Albania to Bulgaria (Wednesday Wishlist)
It’s that time of year again when we reflect and dream of artists who would be fantastic choices for their country at Eurovision Song Contest. And so, we’re back with our annual “Wednesday Wishlist” series. In the seven Wednesday Wish List editions we have made to date, our wishes have been granted 17 times in total. Will others be granted in 2022?
As this is all just a fantasy, we will also be looking at absent countries, long term and short term. Because in our ideal competition, everyone comes to the party. To make sure no one is left out, we’ll be going through the countries in alphabetical order, so this week we start with Albania and continue to Bulgaria.
Eurovision 2022 wishlist (part one)
Albania: Alban Ramosaj
Erdi: Alban Ramosaj is a Dutch-Albanian singer, songwriter and model from Kosovo. He comes from a musical family – his sister Beatrix Ramosaj and his aunt Alberie Hadergjonaj are also singers. Eurovision fans may remember Alberie from her past Festivali i Këngës appearances. Alban started his career on X Factor Albania and The voice of Albania. However, being crowned winner of the 22nd edition of Kenga Magjike with “Thikat e mia” (My knives) is certainly one of his greatest achievements to date. Alban is a perfect candidate to represent Albania at Eurovision Song Contest, even telling wiwibloggs in a recent interview that he was very interested in being a part of the show.
Past wishes: Bleona, Bebe Rexha, Era Istrefi, Elvana Gjata, Anxhela Peristeri (Wish granted), Xhensila Myrtezaj and Butrint Imeri
Louis: We have been talking about the return of Andorra for a long time. And in the year since Måneskin and Blind Channel, what would make a better choice than the country’s most established metal band? Persefone has been around for over 15 years and performs all over Europe, from Amsterdam to London. They haven’t released any music in a while, but they recently released a compilation CD. Tipping the house as their country’s return to Eurovision act would be a great way to celebrate.
Past wishes: Patxi Leiva, Madretomasa, Nami, Lluís Cartes, Marta Knight, Els Pali and Nina
Armenia: Garik & Sona
Jonathan: Armenia naturally missed Eurovision 2021, and it would be great to see the country come back strong in 2022. One act that could do that is Garik & Sona, a duo made up of musician Garik Papoyan and singer Sona Rubenyan . Garik rose to prominence as a stand-up comedian in TV shows alongside Eurovision 2014 Armenian star Aram MP3, but he was also involved in music and served as a judge on Superstar Hay (the Armenian version of Pop idol) and X Factor Armenia. Meanwhile, Sona became a household name after winning the fifth season of Superstar Hay in 2011; she then participated in New wave 2014, winning the Audience Award. They both also have small ties to Eurovision – Garik wrote the lyrics for Armenia’s bids in 2014 and 2019, while Sona was on the Armenian jury in 2019 (her favorite in the final was Italy). The duo started collaborating in 2016 and enjoyed huge success, their song “Lusin” being named Armenian Swallow Music Awards hit of the year in 2018. Although it was a slower and more emotional track, they also hailed for more dynamic songs with a mix of rock and folk influences – see “Esor Urbat e”, “Mayro”, “Hamayak” and “Nino”. Måneskin and Go_A showed that these genres are still strong choices for Eurovision. Garik & Sona could offer us something even more exciting by combining them and putting Armenia firmly back on the Eurovision map.
Past wishes: Iveta Mukuchyan (Wish granted), Christine Pepelyan, Lilit hovhannisyan, Srbuk (Wish granted), Iskuhi Hovhannisyan, Sofi mkheyan and Macha Mnjoyan
Australia: Sneaky Sound System
Sebastian: Those who watched Montaigne’s “Technicolour” performance at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras earlier this year, may have stayed to watch a surprise but legendary performance by Connie Mitchell of the iconic duo EDM Sneaky Sound System. Their radio hit 2007’s “UFO” saw an incredible resurgence among a new generation of dancefloor drummers, and they have since been a mainstay of the club scene with recent hits like “We Belong” and “Can’t Help the Way I Feel. Their singer, the visually eclectic Connie Mitchell, has long vocally contributed to superstars around the world, including lending her voice to four tracks on Kanye West’s Grammy-winning album. Graduation. She also has features with Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg. She’s a star on the Australian club scene, and it’s only fair to let the Sneaky star shine on the European (and Euroclub) scene.
Past wishes: Delta Goodrem, Les Véronique, Tkay Maidza, Anthony Callea, Tones and me and Ricki-lee
Patrick: Austria may be in the doldrums, but there are plenty of artists who can get them out of it. AVEC has been booming in the music scene since 2015. Her self-written song “Granny”, which dealt with her grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, was used in a German television commercial. After that came her first album What if we never forget. He traced instantly. WITH is not a flashy artist. She lets her emotions express themselves through her folk-pop music while always being punchy. Award nominations turned into wins and chart positions turned into gold certification for her song “Under Water”. Her latest single “I Don’t Pray” is an instant earworm that wasn’t actually supposed to come out. He speaks of the tragic death of his uncle whom she considered too personal. This artist uses her heart and soul to create intimate yet strong music that is ready for this big stage.
Past wishes: Andreas Gabalier, Hannah, Denise Beiler, Anna F, Poptracker & ArianA, Seiler and Speer and Mavi Phoenix
Olivier : In 2021, Efendi’s “Mata Hari” made history as the first Azerbaijani Eurovision Song Contest to contain lyrics in the country’s native language. Now, it’s time to continue the trend and celebrate the Azeri language in all its glory. Presentation of Röya. He is a Baku-born superstar with a musical career spanning over 20 years. In her time, she explored traditional Azerbaijani folk music, pop music, orchestral sounds, and hip-hop and trap rhythms. Truly, her iconic deep and sultry alto voice is suitable for almost any genre. Röya’s May 2021 release “Qəribə Dünya” (Strange World) is the latest addition to his eclectic library of sounds, merging rock elements with swing-jazz pop. He leans towards the dark pop flavors that Eurovision fans favor these days, with the added bonus that his lyrics are entirely in Azeri. If the diva ever seized the top of the song contest, Röya’s would certainly be the name on everyone’s lips.
Past wishes: Emin, Aygun Kazimova, Latifa Soyuoz, Vugarixx, Manana, Elyar and Surah skenderli
Lauren: Due to recent events, seeing Belarus on the Eurovision stage anytime soon seems unlikely. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t dream. If a Belarusian broadcaster is ever eligible to submit an entry for the competition, Berlin-based indietronica musician Mustelide would be an intriguing and a lot of fun choice. The musical style of Mustelide of Belarusian origin, real name Natallia Kunitskaya, would be perfect for an ideal competition inspired by the victory of Måneskin. She is off the beaten track, lively, young and true to herself. The likes of Naviband and VAL were very creative choices, and if Belarus somehow makes it to the competition for better days for the country, I trust them to continue this line of great musicians.
Past wishes: Nuteki, Vintage, Shuma, Max Korzh, IOWA, VAL (wish granted) and Kristina bazan
Belgium: Ibe Wuyts
Lucy : Belgium returned to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 for the first time since 2017, and will therefore be keen to maintain success in the years to come. This is where Ibe Wuyts comes in. Ibe won The Voice van Vlaanderan in 2019, with his almost Lewis Capaldi tones. It has soul, but can also pull a more rhythmic ballad like “Dark Maze” which mixes various musical styles popular today. Belgium thrives with pop chic at Eurovision Song Contest. Ibe can perform live with his stunning voice, and he is pissed off performing on live TV. It would be great to see this young talent on the song contest stage.
Past wishes: Stromae, Gabriel Rios, Lost Frequencies, Lea Rue, Emma Balé, Romeo Elvis and Angela
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Božo Vrećo
Pablo: While Bosnia and Herzegovina still have issues with their broadcaster, they are not lacking in talent. With uniqueness as your preferred quality in deeds, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who stood out as much as Božo Vrećo. This Bosnian powerhouse is a walking statement: traditional meets futuristic, eastern chants meet western rhythms, and it all positively drips with avant-garde androgyny. Božo has the potential to live up to Mata Hari and Željko Joksimović when it comes to mightily pure Balkan power.
Past wishes: Neda Ukraden, Magdalena Bogic, Dubioza Kolektiv, Amel Curcic, Armin Malikić, Rialda and Mirza Selimovic
Bulgaria: Eva Parmakova
Calvin: Since her return, Bulgaria has always met with success with traditional rhythms and young but experienced performers. Never change a winning team. However, add a twist for the first all-Bulgarian song since 2013. Eva Parmakova is the perfect person to combine these attributes with another success story for Bulgaria. She rose to fame in 2017 by participating in X Factor Bulgaria. What followed were multiple successes both as a solo artist and with other famous Bulgarian artists like Pavell & Venci Venc ‘. His connection with Virginia Records, one of Bulgaria’s most influential labels, shows his potential to expand his career beyond the national stage. And music runs in his blood since his grandfather was the opera singer Lubomir Bodurov. His songs create a happy atmosphere, are extremely summer friendly and invite you to move your body. As she sings in English and Bulgarian, she can go in a wide range of directions, but one thing is for sure: Eva Parmakova would bring the party with her.
Past wishes: Preslava, Mihaela Fileva, Gery-Nikol, Mihaela Marinova, Nadia, Preyah and METAL WINGS
What do you think of our choices? Who would you choose? Let us know in the comments.
Check out our previous Wednesday wishlists.