The last three winners of Eurovision only got to the contest, after losing in a previous national final first. This year, many artists with a similar track record will try to follow in their footsteps. In this episode we highlight DiHaj from Azerbaijan.
Dihaj is the stage name of singer and musician Diana Hajiyeva who will represent Azerbaijan in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with the song ‘Skeletons’. Her road to stardom started in 2011, when she also wanted to go to Eurovision.
Milli Seçim Turu 2010
Dihaj graduated from the Baku Music Academy in 2010 and moved on to The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London. In December, she returned to Baku for Milli Seçim Turu, the preselection show for Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011.
Diana Hajiyeva was in the sixth heat of the talent show, where eventual Eurovision winner Eldar Gasimov also took part.
He finished second in his heat, while Hajiyeva got a fourth place out of the ten acts that got on stage. There is no footage left from her performance, as it was not enough to advance to the next stage of the talent hunt in Azerbaijan.
DiHaj at Eurovision
Diana’s career was far from over however. In fact, it was just beginning. In 2014, she created Dihaj, an electronic music collective from Baku. The band’s breakthrough single was ‘I Break Again’. And with that unique tone of voice, she got noticed by broadcaster Ictimai and chosen for Kiev 2017.
Sandra Bjurman wrote the lyrics of her song “Skeletons”. Bjurman is a Swedish songwriter who wrote for several successful international artists in the past fifteen years. She was among the writers of Azerbaijan’s winning Eurovision Song Contest entry Running Scared in 2011. Which makes the circle round for DiHaj in Kiev…