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Albania's Ronela Hajati
Albania's Ronela Hajati
Photo: EBU / Corinne Cumming

Albania: Ronela Hajati spills the secrets behind her staging

Ronela Hajati is not shy in letting us all know just how excited she is to finally be here in Turin for the Eurovision Song Contest. And her enthusiasm is infectious. Very nearly as infectious as her song, 'Sekret'.

Ronela Hajati gives her first rehearsal at the PalaOlimpico, representing AlbaniaEBU / Nathan Reinds

It’s a dream that the singer from Tirana in Albania has long had, and which she is now finally seeing become a reality.

4 or 5 years ago, I would just be watching Eurovision in my house, thinking it would be so cool to be there. Now that I’m here, I’m excited, of course. But I’m also thinking I really need to do this well. I’m so focused. And I also know that after this ends, I’m gonna miss it so bad. All the artists; we’re friends!

Ronela backstage at the first rehearsals in Turin, 2022EBU / Andres Putting

Now that she’s here, Ronela’s priority is putting on the best performance she can possibly give. But she’s also aiming to showcase a somewhat different side of her native Albania than the one that has been seen on the Eurovision stage over these past few years.

First of all, what’s different is that I’m not bringing a ballad, which Albania used to bring to the contest for a lot of years. They were beautiful ballads, by singers with beautiful voices. But I think I’m bringing a more modern style.

It’s an approach that has proved positive for Ronela so far, with Sekret having gone down quite a storm whenever it was performed at the Eurovision pre-parties that took place across Europe ahead of the Contest. And the artist herself is rightly proud to have taken things in this direction, sonically. But there’s also another reason why Sekret sounds the way we all know and love – and as to why it will look the way it will on stage at the PalaOlimpico.

The idea was mine. I wanted to have a modern song. I wanted to keep some parts that would help identify Albania. And since we all have secrets, we can all find ourselves in the song. Staging – it was mostly my idea. The message is that everyone can love whoever they want. And if they want to keep it a secret – that’s their life.

📺 Watch: Ronela Hajati – Sekret (Official Music Video)

Beyond the Eurovision Song Contest, Ronela is equally as vocal about her grand plans after Turin as she is about her enthusiasm to currently be in the Italian city. And she wants all of us to join her on that impending journey.

If I do well, I really hope to get a record deal outside of Albania. I would love to take my music to a wider audience. I would love more people to listen to my music – I have so many songs and lyrics to share with you all.

The first step in participating in Ronela’s journey with her, will be by tuning in to her performance of Sekret at the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, as she represents her country. Albania will be performing in the First Semi Final, taking place on 10 May 2022.

📺 Watch: All 40 Songs of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest

Follow the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook channels – and subscribe to the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast.

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