Since Albania joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, the winner of their popular Festivali i Kënges goes on to represent the nation in Europe's favourite TV show. The winner this year, Aurela Gaçe won the festival already in 1999 and 2001, when Albania was not participating in Eurovision yet, so at 36 years old, this will be her debut in the international competition.
From December to May
When it takes place every December, the songs at Festivali i Kënges are performed in Albanian and for their european showing the following May, the winner is usually re-arranged, edit and traslated into English. That's how Kënga Ime (My Song) has turned into the powerful Feel The Passion, a title that gets a real meaning thanks to Aurela's performance. You can check it's preview video here:
A lifetime singing
Aurela Gaçe was born in Vlora on October 16th, 1974. She started singing at the age of 4, in the children’s festival in her native Vlora. From Festival to festival she continued to win different awards: at 19 in the Music Festival of the National TV, then in Spring Festival in 1994 and the real success came with her victories in Fest'95, '99 and 2001. In 2006 she also got the first place at the Magic Song Festival.
She graduated with a degree in Drama, at the Academy of Arts in Tirana and performed live concerts around Albania. She released six albums from 1998 on. Aurela's style of singing varies from pop to folk. In 2002, Aurela moved to the USA and she currently resides in New York. She quickly gained popularity there, in the Albanian community.
With that background it's only natural that Aurela now represents Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest with Feel the Passion, a song written by Sokol Marsi and Shpetim Saraci.
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Even though Albania managed to reach the Final of the Eurovision Song Contest on several occasions, Aurela Gaçe will try to improve the 7th place reached by her country at their debut in 2004 in Istanbul with Anjeza Shahini and The Image Of You.