Interview: Eurovision.tv meets Olta Boka16 May 2008 at 18:45 CEST
Can we begin Olta by getting a little background information on your career so far, from when you began performing right through to now?
Olta: "I started singing at nine years old, with the Choir of Angels led by National Opera Music Master Suzana Turku. I then took part in a lot of childrens festivals both in Albania, and also countries like Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia. I also entered a European Song Contest for children, and I came in second place. At age 10 I was part of a concert in Albania called Little Genius where I took the prize for greatest interpretation. My biggest victory was of course in the Albanian national selection, which I won and it got me the ticket here."
Besides singing and performing, are you involved with any other work, or studies?
Olta: "I am studying at school in Tirana but not music at the moment, I will look to get another qualification besides being a singer."
When you took part in the Albanian national selection, you were competing against a lot of more established artists. How did it feel to gain such a victory and win the ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest?
Olta: "It was incredible, I was the youngest there. I was there to promote myself, the song, and didn't really think about representing Albania in such a great competition. The victory made me very happy. I didn't expect it at all, it's more than a dream, I feel very lucky. I am very happy here and I'm having a great time."
How do you like to spend your spare time when you are not at school or performing?
Olta: "I do other stuff like all teenagers, I like dancing, running, reading, helping my mother, walking. Dancing is my main favourite. Also if I don't have any homework from school, I will watch some television, check e-mails and that kind of thing."
When you are watching television, or listening to your CD player, what kind of music do you prefer to hear or see?
Olta: "I listen to all kinds of music, I like foreign artists and cultures. My favourites are ballad songs, as it suits my vocal more and I prefer to sing this kind of song."
Albania is a very young nation as far as the Eurovision Song Contest is concerned. Anjeza Shahini enjoyed a great debut finishing in seventh place, but the results have not been so good in recent years. How has the contest developed in Albania, and what kind of popularity does it enjoy?
Olta: "The Eurovision Song Contest is the most important festival in Albania. We are a small country, and we are very happy to be in the contest. It's a good competition for an Albanian artist to promote themselves, a great opportunity. It is very important in Albania, and is well received by the public."
The Eurovision Song Contest has grown so much now, two Semi-Ffinals are required to decide the ultimate finalists. What would be a successful position or achievement for Albania in this contest in Belgrade?
Olta: "I realise about the Semi-Finals, we actually had two semi finals in Albania. Firstly of course we hope to pass to the Final itself. If we qualify, we will then set another goal. We all will do our very best on the stage."
Did you get any opportunity to see any of Belgrade, or attend any parties so far? How pleased were you with the way rehearsals have gone so far?
Olta: "During the first rehearsal I was a bit scared, frightened as it was a very huge stage. I have no experience of that, so i'm at a disadvantage to some of the other countries. The next rehearsal will be a little different. I'm a lot more sure of myself now. I will have my band with me on stage, the movement may also be a little different. As for the parties, yesterday we were at the Russian and FYR Macedonian parties. I had a really great time, I didn't expect it to be so good. I was dancing there and enjoying it. I will work hard on stage but try to enjoy the experience and do some parties, as if i'm enjoying myself it will only help my performance on stage."
Eurovision.tv would like to thank Olta Boka for the interview. Check out the YouTube clip below where the charming Olta has a message for all readers and viewers.