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Albania's Eugent Bushpepa rocks the stage at first rehearsal

29 April 2018 at 13:55 CEST
First rehearsal Albania Thomas Hanses
Third up on stage today was Albanian hopeful Eugent Bushpepa, performing 'Mall', accompanied by his band and two backing singers.

For the first time in twelve years, Albania is sending a male solo artist to the contest. Eugent Bushpepa was born in 1984 and started singing when he was only six years old. In December 2017, the Albanian national selection Festivali i Këngës took place and Eugent Bushpepa was chosen by a professional jury to represent his country at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. He is performing the song Mall, which he wrote and composed himself.

READ MORE: Eugent Bushpepa's profile

During today's powerful renditon of his song Mall, Eugent was wearing a black blazer, cuts in the back and sleeve revealing part of his arm, matching black trousers and a white shirt falling longer in the back.

Going solo, but not alone

The act starts in black and blue colours, changing to warmer tones of red, yellow and white as the song reaches its climax. Eugent is accompanied by two female backing vocalists and a small band of musicians, including a drummer, bass player, and a 'double' (acoustic and electric) guitar player. caught up with Eugent after his first rehearsal:

"Finally we're here -and very happy to be here. It felt very very good, the rehearsals went very well: I was comfortable on the stage and already looking forward to sing well and show a nice staging. I think that the Eurovision Song Contest is a big door, a giant door, that we can pass our art through and maybe people might grab it and feel the emotions that we are trying to transmit".

Albania will take part in the first Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest on the 8th of May.