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  • Writer's pictureDale Roberts

Albania: Festivali i Këngës 62 - Night 1 highlights

This morning, Australian time, Albania's week-long music event Festivali i Këngës (FiK) kicked off its first night.

The festival takes place over four nights and will decide who represents Albania at Eurovision 2024 in Malmö.

The first night saw 16 of the 31 participants take part and we've picked out some of the highlights.

Our top picks

Besa Kokëdhima - 'Zemrën n'dorë'

Besa is a well established artist in Albania who has won the Kenga Magjike contest before. The song has rap, powerful vocals and a hook that should get the jury and public interested. On reputation alone, she should do well, but she's brought a package (with Darko Dimitrov a part of the production team) that definitely has a chance.

Eldis Arrnjeti - 'Një kujtim'

Eldis impressed as a newcomer at FiK two years ago and is back with a stronger song. He delivers a great vocal in this tender but powerful Balkan ballad. It had one of the strongest reactions from the audience on the night.

Luan Durmishi - 'Përsëritja'

Realistically this probably doesn't have any chance of winning but it was so compelling we had to put it into the top picks. An electro-experimental number with a driving beat. It's something totally unexpected at FiK. Luan had an interesting staging approach and was the favourite of international fans watching.

Olimpia Smajlaj - 'Asaj'

Olimpia is anothe former FiK entrant who has gone for a ballad rather than something more "pop". It's quality and she deliveres a quality vocal that will certainly grab both the public and jury's attention.


Melodajn Mancaku - 'Nuk jemi ne'

Melodajn Mancaku is from a well-known musical family in Albania. She has a great voice, a great look and a pretty good song. This is something the jury at FiK usually love so expect it to do pretty well.

Festina Mejzini - 'Melos'

Festina is a veteran of FiK and delivered another excellent vocal performance. The song isn't her strongest but that hasn't stopped other entries in the past of getting a good result.

Stivi Ushe - 'Askush si ty'

Stivi didn't set the world on fire but he delivered a strong vocal performance in a typical Balkan man ballad. Each year something like this can spring from the pack to do well, could be one to watch.


Mal Retkoceri - 'Çmendur'

The biggest talking point of Mal's performance was his biceps. In a revealing dress-type outfit he passionately performed his song in a style that attempted some of the bravado and stage craft of Damiano from Måneskin. Not sure he pulled it off but it was entertaining nonetheless!

Kastro Zizo - 2073

Kastro often brings the weird and wonderful to FiK contests. This, for him, is a little more understated in the crazy department. However, his signature angry shouty rap is there but so is some really lovely vocal moments including something almost operatic from the backing crew. It's WTF meets maybe he's having a proper crack at the title.

All videos are available on the RTSH broadcaster YouTube account: 

Night 2 will take place tomorrow with the second half of artists to perform.

The final will be on the morning of Saturday 23 December in Australia, Friday 22 December in Europe.

For continued updates on all the Eurovision Song Contest news follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Threads and TikTok. All links at:


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