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ESC Reporter | January 17, 2018

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Hersi Matmuja interview: "I have never wanted to live differently"

Hersi Matmuja interview: “I have never wanted to live differently”
Eric Nocito

With Eurovision quickly approaching, ESC Reporter recently had the privilege of speaking to this year’s Albanian entrant, Hersi Matmuja.

In the interview, we talked about her memories of Eurovision and her plans for her performance in Copenhagen.



Thank you for speaking with us, Hersi!  

  • You have competed in Festivali i Këngës several times before. What made you come back this year?

I have competed in the Festival I Këngës many times, considering it as the main event of every year. I wanted to participate, because singing live on a stage like that would definitely improve me as an artist. Then last year, in 2012, I participated in collaboration with Genti Lako and Jorgo Papingji, and we arrived third on the final. That encouraged us to participate again this year.


  • After winning Festivali i Këngës, do you feel any pressure from representing your country in the contest?

I have always been a perfectionist, in the sense that I wouldn’t forgive myself to skip not even one detail, and this time, it all comes doubled! I just hope I will be able to extract the best from me, from my skills and talent, because I have a bigger responsibility on my shoulders…



“Calm down and think twice,
that’s our big advice!”



  • Your song is called “One Night’s Anger” – what is it about and what was the inspiration?

Genti Lako, the composer, got inspired and wrote the song, having a general idea about the lyrics; not wanting them to be just about love of two people, but about human feelings in a much wider sense.

Then, Jorgo wrote the lyrics about the anger. It’s about the anger of one moment, of one night, which if you aren’t able to control, can destroy the most beautiful human relationships like friendship, love, respect, and above all, our inner energy (hate is never a good thing). So, calm down and think twice, that’s our big advice!


  • Are you planning any promotion or touring before Eurovision?

The Albanian Eurovision staff is working on fixing the dates, places and other details. I just can’t wait!


Hersi Albania


  • Are you planning any special performance for your song at Eurovision?

As I have said before, I would like it to be a simple, clean and classic performance, with few stage elements, but I’d like to add something catchy to it, which is still to be thought of.


  • This is the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, are you a fan and if so, how long have you watched?

Yes I am! I have started watching it since 2004, when Albania first entered the contest.



“This time, I have bigger expectations”



  • Have you ever attended a Eurovision and what are your expectations of the Eurovision experience?

As a watcher from TV, yes! I have never seen it from close, only as a simple spectator, though I always dreamed about how it would be to sing on that stage… I always try to give my best and gain experience, improve professionally in every stage I perform, no matter how little or marginal it may be, but this time, I have bigger expectations… I’m sure it will be a whole other kind of emotional experience!


  • Do you have any favorite Eurovision songs from previous years?

The good about watching Eurovision is that you get to know different, various cultures and each one with its own authenticity…each year I have a lot of favorites, because, I don’t know, it’s like every country represents the perfection in its own way!


  • Have you heard any of the other Eurovision songs?

Yes I have heard them…I can say this is a year full of interesting songs… It’s like a New Eurovision Wave kind of contest this year, so the competition will be hard and full of surprises!


Hersi Albania 2


  • Have you ever visited Copenhagen?

Until some days ago, NO! It was a beautiful, beautiful experience, just like I had expected! People were so warm, it was a lovely environment.


  • If you weren’t a professional singer, what do you think you would be working with?

Hmmm…interesting question…I would maybe be part of the commercial music environment, as many do for different reasons, but I don’t know… I have never thought about it.



“This is how it has been working all these years,
you know, I’m kind of a nerd!”



  • Besides music, what keeps you happy and motivated in life? How do you best like to spend your time when you aren’t busy working?

I don’t actually have free time, because if I’m not at the Santa Cecilia music conservatory, in Rome, where I study canto since 5 years, I am studying at home with my piano.

On the weekend, I am almost always busy singing in classical music concerts, and if not that, I’m in Albania recording a song for the Festivali I Këngës. This is how it has been working all these years, you know, I’m kind of a nerd! The truth is, that this kind of life entertains me, it fullfills me, and I have never wanted to live differently.


  • What do you hope people will remember you for once Eurovision is over?

That I had a good vocal performance, that there is nothing to be ashamed of if you watch it after some years, and the most important, I could give my country the best representation.


  • Do you have a special message for the readers at

Thanks for your attention, a big thank you to everyone who has been supportive, because it is something I really need at the moment. We artists would be nothing without the support of those who love art and music…so, THANK YOU a lot! Hugs!



Thanks again, Hersi! See you in Copenhagen!





Hersi Matmuja will perform 6th in the first semi-final on May 6 in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Hersi Matmuja – “One Night’s Anger”


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