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Aisel crosses her heart for Azerbaijan in 2018

04 March 2018 at 11:00 CET
Aisel Mammadova will represent Azerbaijan in Eurovision 2018 Ictimai
Aisel Mammadova, Azerbaijan's representative at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest has released her entry for Lisbon, 'X My Heart'. Late last year it was announced that the singer had been chosen to represent her country following an internal selection.

Aisel will be performing the song X My Heart (Cross My Heart) at the 63rd Eurovision song contest in Lisbon. The song has been written by the Greek producer and songwriter Dimitris Kontopoulos and Swedish songwriter Sandra Bjurman. Both authors have scored victory at the Eurovision Song Contest: Dimitris Kontopoulos won the public vote in 2016 with You Are The Only One performed by Sergey Lazarev and Sandra Bjurman's Running Scared won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011.

 X My Heart has been arranged by Tim Bran, the man behind the production of City Lights, the Belgian entry in 2017, which finished fourth. Tim has also worked with several well-known artists such as: The Verve, London Grammar, Birdy, Halsey, Bloc Party and others.

X My Heart was been recorded in London and the mix of the song belongs to Ash Howes, internationally recognised for his work for One Direction, Dido, The Corrs, Ellie Goulding and many others. Stage director Fokas Evangelinos will work with Aisel on her performance. Fokas is responsible for some of the most memorable numbers in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, such as the winning acts of Helena Paparizou (2005) and Dima Bilan (2008), the runner up numbers of Ani Lorak (2008) and Farid Mammadov (2013) and of course the stage presentation of Russia's Sergey Lazarev.

All about Aisel

Aisel was born into a musical family in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1989. The singer studied at a musical secondary school and in 2010 she graduated from Azerbaijan's State Conservatory. Aisel has performed at several international music festivals over the years and more recently appeared at the the Caucasus Jazz Festival amongst others.

Aisel said; "X My Heart" was my favourite song from the first moment I heard it. The music gave me a positive, uplifting feeling while performing it has a power that made me enjoy every second in the studio. I feel a strong connection with the lyrics of the song, since believing in myself made me overcome several difficulties I had in my life. This is a message I want to send to everyone: believing in yourself can make you “stronger than cannonballs”.  I also like the way Sandra Bjurman played with my name, since “Aisel” in Azerbaijani means “the path of the moon”. Finally, I am thrilled to be working with such an international team. Professionals from Azerbaijan, Greece, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Cyprus, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine are all working together for this entry. For me Eurovision is a contest that unites people around Europe through music. I am really proud to be representing my country in this event."

Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest

Azerbaijan is a relative latecomer to the Eurovision family, having made its debut in 2008 with Day After Day performed by Elnur and Samir. The duo finished eighth and sparked a series of successes for the country which culminated in Ell and Nikki's win in 2011 with Running Scared. The 2012 contest was held in Azerbaijan's capital Baku and success in the competition continued when Sabina Babayeva finished fourth on home ground with When The Music Dies. Azerbaijan is one of the few countries that continues to have a 100% qualification record for the Grand Final.

Azerbaijan will participate in the First Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest which will be held in Lisbon on Tuesday 8th May.