After three nights of performances, “Shaj” was rated most highly by the jury consisting of current Melodifestivalen supervisor and American Song Contest producer Christer Björkman, Greek producer (Sergey Lazarev’s Eurovision songs, among others) Dimitris Kontopoulos, Icelandic Head of Delegation Felix Bergsson, Albanian ethnomusicologist Mikaela Minga, and Albanian poet Rita Petro. In effect, Arilena will represent Albania in Rotterdam in May 2020.
As referenced in our music preview, “Shaj” (Curse) portrayed the weight of holding something terrible and unshareable inside. The lyrics were written by Lindon Berisha; Darko Dimitrov and Lazar Cvetkoski (“Proud”, North Macedonia 2019) wrote the music. The music faintly echoes Indila’s “Tourner dans le vide”. The instrumental includes a prominent rock ballad instrumentation: lightly overdriven guitar, an active bassline, and grooving percussion. It also features cascading strings and backing vocals. During the live performance, she was seen wearing leather resembling Ryuk of Death Note, and a backlight resembling John Lundvik’s setup in both Melodifestivalen 2019 and Eurovision was featured behind her.
The winner of Albania’s X-Factor, Season 2 will now bring her curses to Rotterdam, where she will attempt to charm both juries and audiences with her song. A revamp is likely, as the song is over the three-minute time limit.
Photo: Ara’s Facebook page.