By Laman Ismayilova
Samira Efendi will represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with her song Cleopatra.
The song features three traditional Azerbaijani instruments: an oud, a balaban and a tar included into UNESCO's List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The song was written by Luuk van Beers, Alan Roy Scott and Sarah Lake and was produced together with Tony Cornelissen.
As the singer says, Cleopatra is a song about trusting your gut instinct, standing up for yourself and being a "Queen" - even when things get tough and especially if someone betrays or hurts you.
"It is truly a song about freedom, a celebration of all cultures and all sexualities and it's a song that is meant to inspire people to be who they are and to be proud of themselves - just as Cleopatra was. She was a queen who went through love, heartbreak, and betrayal, but she stood up for herself and is now remembered as an icon of strength and femininity," she said.
The music video for song was filmed in Azerbaijan at the Gobustan State Historical and Cultural Reserve.
Samira Efendi was selected based on the votes of an international group of musical experts. Notably, this was her 5th attempt to represent Azerbaijan.
The 28-year-old Samira has taken part in the popular musical projects, such as "The New Star", "The Big Stage" and "The Voice of Azerbaijan". In 2017, she performed at the Silk Way Star, an international singing competition aired in Kazakhstan (3rd place). Last year, the singer successfully represented Azerbaijan at the Voice of Nur-Sultan.
Azerbaijan officially confirmed its participation in Eurovision 2020 on September 16, 2019,
Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will be held in the Netherlands in May 2020, after Duncan Laurence's victory in Tel Aviv.
Rotterdam has been selected as the Host City for the 65th Eurovision Song Contest. The song contest will consist of two semi-finals that will be held on May 12 and May 14. The final will be held on May 16.
Azerbaijan debuted at Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 after the Azerbaijani television channel ITV joined the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and received the official right to broadcast the competition.
Azerbaijan marked its debut in 2008 with the duo of Elnur and Samir, who managed to become eighth in the final with their song "Day after day".
The brilliant duet of Aysel and Arash, which represented Azerbaijan next year, took the third place at the song contest, while Safura Alizada, who represented the country at Eurovision 2010 in Oslo, became fifth.
On its fourth attempt with Ell and Nikki's "Running Scared" song, the Land of Fire won the event, bringing the contest to Baku’s Crystal Hall in 2012. Ell and Nikki were the first mixed-gender duo to win the contest since 1963 and the first winners from Azerbaijan.
It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan reached the Top 5 in five consecutive contests - 3rd in 2009, 5th in 2010, 1st in 2011, 4th in 2012, and 2nd in 2013.
In 2018, Aysel Mammadova brilliantly performed at Eurovision 2018 semi-final, but she couldn't make it to the final. The singer represented Azerbaijan with the song "X My Heart".
Azerbaijan's Chingiz Mustafayev impressed all Eurovision fans with his stunning performance last year. The singer finished in the eighth place at the song contest.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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