Azerbaijan's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest is ‘Mata Hari’ and will be performed by Efendi at the first Semi-Final on Tuesday 18 May.
Explaining Mata Hari, Efendi tells Eurovision.tv:
“It is very important to talk about strong women in order to remind our beautiful ladies that despite the fact that we still live in a world full of prejudices, a woman can do anything and female power cannot be compared with anything. And if suddenly you do not have enough inspiration now, let the stories of strong women in history become the source of that very charge of energy with which you can cope with everything and achieve even bigger success. There is a queen in each of us and I want to remind you that it's time to release her”.
The lyrics tell the tale of Mata Hari, a Dutch exotic dancer who was convicted of being a spy during World War I; though some historians dispute this was ever the case.
Efendi's storytelling focuses on female empowerment, as Team Azerbaijan explain:
“The song is about the power of women, who captivate you with their poise, who surprise you with their endless strength, and who move you in mysterious ways. Women in society are habitually associated with tenderness, care and weakness, but for some of them, life has prepared cruel lessons that not every man can handle.”
Mata Hari was written and produced by Amy van der Wel, Luuk van Beers, Tony Cornelissen and Josh Earl.
A household name in Azerbaijan, Efendi is known for her success in popular TV talent shows such as Yeni ulduz, and also Böyük Səhnə and The Voice of Azerbaijan where she finished in 3rd place in both. In 2017, the starlet competed in The Silk Way Star, an international singing competition which aired in Kazakhstan, before successfully representing Azerbaijan at The Voice of Nur-Sultan, another Kazakhstani competition.
It took five attempts for Efendi to represent Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest. She was eventually chosen in 2020 by an international jury, which included music producers, composers, television industry professionals and journalists.
Efendi is interested in sports, Pilates, dancing, and strip plastics. She spends most of her free time walking pet dog Mini around the boulevard, and also cares for two bad-mannered parrots, Chip and Dale, that are completely untrainable and swear a lot.
Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest
The country known as the ‘Land of Fire’ made its Eurovision Song Contest debut in 2008, and it didn’t take long for them to score a first win.
Ell and Nikki's triumph came in 2011 with Running Scared, and to commemorate the moment Azerbaijan issued a special postage stamp dedicated to the victory.