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Czechia’s top talent: Aiko is putting herself on a pedestal

25 April 2024 at 10:23 CEST
Aiko is representing Czechia at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Kubo Krížo
Aiko is bringing self-love back in vogue, as she heads to Malmö to represent her country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024. She’ll be singing her song ‘Pedestal,’ and will be giving herself top priority.
Aiko is representing Czechia at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Teki Shine

There was tough competition in ESCZ 2024, Czechia’s national selection competition. But Aiko came away with her head held high, and snatched the win after gaining a huge lead from the international votes. She’s now heading to Malmö with her empowering song, Pedestal. 

Aiko’s journey has taken her right across Europe. She was born in Moscow, raised in Czechia, and now spends part of her time in the United Kingdom. She’s already released several albums and toured Europe, and her name (her real one being Alena Shirmanova-Kostebelova) has been on the lips of the writers at both Vogue and Elle.

The lyrics are all Aiko’s work, and she created the music with drummer, writer, and producer Steven Ansell. He’s from the seaside city of Brighton, which is where Aiko lives when she’s UK-side. Steven’s spent the last 20 years playing with Laura-Mary Carter in alternative rock duo Blood Red Shoes. The band’s Morbid Fascination is one of Aiko’s favourite tracks.

Aiko will never forget when she was chosen to represent Czechia at Eurovision, but there is another moment that sticks in her mind. Her face appeared on a huge billboard in Times Square as part of the Spotify Equal project, making her the first Czech artist to be on the New York screens. 

Aiko - Finalist in ESCZ 2024 - the Czechia national final to select their representative for Malmö 2024

She remembers: “The Times Square information was a part of the email and communicated in a way of, ‘Would it be okay with you if your photo appeared on Times Square?’ — I mean, of course!”

The singer’s top hobby is pole dancing, and she even has her very own pole at home — which might also be useful in an emergency for Georgia’s Firefighter singer Nutsa Buzaladze. Aiko says she’d love to incorporate the pole on the Eurovision stage, but she’s already got bigger, better plans… We can’t wait to see them.

She’s also great friends with Teya, who represented Austria (as Teya & Salena) at Eurovision 2023 with Who The Hell Is Edgar? Aiko and Teya have recorded a song together, which is coming out ahead of Eurovision 2024.

If Aiko could put any Eurovision icon on a pedestal, it would be Måneskin, who won Eurovision in 2021 with Zitte E Buoni. She says she loves their cool, laid back energy.

Aiko’s alternative pop is a blend of different cultures and influences. She’s inspired by music like Arctic Monkey’s I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, Grimes’ We Appreciate Power, and MARINA’s Teen Idle.

The Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast had a chat with Aiko, and she said: “I’ve been trying to get into Eurovision for three years, so it’s been a while, but I'm really happy that this is the song that made it in… I did not write it with the intention for it to be in Eurovision, so that’s also something that makes me really happy. That it’s something that really is coming from me, from the heart.”

Could we be loving Aiko more?!

Hear more from Aiko on episode 6 of the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast.

Aiko is representing Czechia at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Honya Tran

You can learn more about Aiko from Czechia right here.

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

Don't forget to download our app (for iOSAndroid), sign up to the official Eurovision Song Contest newsletter, and subscribe to the official podcast!