Spotlight on Efendi - Azerbaijan 2020/21
Azerbaijan is relatively new to the contest, making its first debut in 2008, and went on to win the contest just three short years later in 2011 with Ell and Nikki and their song “Running Scared”.
In February 2020, İTV announced that Efendi had been selected to represent the country with the track “Cleopatra”.
Efendi gained popularity in her home country after participating in several singing competitions, including The Voice of Azerbaijan both in 2015 and 2016. The following year she went on to be the Azerbaijani representative in the international singing competition Silk Way Star, staged in Almaty, Kazakhstan, finishing in third place.
Cleopatra is a track about female empowerment, and finding your inner queen. Check it out the video and see what you think:
"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."
Like many great Eurovision songs, it features a mix of contemporary and traditional instruments and sounds, including an oud (a traditional guitar-like string instrument), a balaban (a wind instrument) and a tar (a string instrument).
The track was composed by by Luuk van Beers, Alan Roy Scott and Sarah Lake and repeats the line "Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō", which is a well known Buddhist chant.
Alan Roy Scott has an impressive career in the music industry, having previously worked with Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle and Patrice Rushen to name a few.
You can catch up with Efendi and find out what she has been up to on Eurovisioncalls with Nikkie:
We are pleased to announce that Efendi has been selected to go forward to represent Azerbaijan for 2021 although as per the rules for next years contest, it will be with a different track.
We can’t wait to see what this Azerbaijanian goddess will bring to next years contest and we are hoping for another winning combination of traditional and contemporary sounds to give Efendi her time to shine.