Dihaj is the stage name of singer and musician Diana Hajiyeva, who will represent Azerbaijan in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Skeletons.
Dihaj graduated from the Baku Music Academy in 2010 and moved on to The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London. While in the UK, Diana got involved with the local underground music scene by singing in a progressive trance trio Looper & Mancus. Around that time, she decided to start her own band: Dihaj, an electronic music collective from Baku. The band’s breakthrough single was I Break Again. Diana co-wrote it with Azerbaijani jazz pianist Isfar Sarabsky. Music critics have called the band "experimental doom pop", praising the post-rock guitar riffs, semi-acoustic drum set and atmospheric vocals. As the lead singer of Dihaj, Diana has performed at numerous music festivals including Women in Paradise in Amsterdam and Kulturos Naktis in Vilnius. In 2015, Dihaj won the Caucasian Music Awards Phoenix as The Debut of the Year.
Things you should know about Dihaj
What are the most interesting aspects about your entry?
I’d say the most interesting aspect of my entry is that it’s different; from the slightly provocative song title to what you are going to see on the stage in May. I want to show the Eurovision’s audience it doesn’t matter how different or alternative you are; you can be heard and seen by audiences all around the world.
What are the three most impressive facts about you?
I'm a mother and have a beautiful daughter, Savi. I'm an experimental musician. I'm a very confident person - from what I do on stage to how I live my life.
Do you have a (lucky) routine before you go on-stage?
My lucky routine is a good old vocal warm-up. I also try to stay in the best possible mood before going on the stage. It's really important.
Why is the Eurovision Song Contest important for you?
For me, Eurovision is a way to reach new audiences in so many countries. If you are serious about developing yourself professionally, you just can't ignore such a great opportunity to learn and speak to the audience. However, I do understand that I'm not a typical Eurovision singer. So it's crucial for me to stay true to myself in everything I do in the next few months.
About the song writers & composers
Isa Melikov is a famous Azerbaijani composer and music producer. He previously worked with Eldar Gasimov and Nikki Jamal at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 and other Eurovision artists such as Dima Bilan and Aysel. Isa launched Azerbaijan's first online music brand BMF, similar to American VEVO, and Russian ELLO, becoming an official partner of YouTube and the first official Azeri YouTube channel. He also composes music for films and more recently, the world premiere of Isa's latest movie, Dolls, took place at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Sandra Bjurman is a Swedish songwriter that has written for several successful international artists in the last fifteen years. She was among the writers of Azerbaijan's winning Eurovision Song Contest entry Running Scared in 2011. In the Eurovision Song Contest Sandra has also worked with Safura’s Drip Drop (Azerbaijan 2010), Sabina Babayeva’s When The Music Dies (Azerbaijan 2012), Elnur Huseynov’s The Hour of the Wolf (Azerbaijan 2015) and Maria Yaremchuk's Tick Tock (Ukraine 2014).