Head of Delegation for Azerbaijan, Vasif Mammadov, has revealed that İctimai Television (İTV) has received over 200 songs in the search for what will succeed Fade To Black as Azerbaijan’s Eurovision representative.
Mammadov revealed that of the over 200 songs submitted, a majority had come from international composers. In an effort to showcase homegrown talent, a preference will be given to songs composed by Azerbaijanis ahead of international writers. Mammadov further stating that he expects Azerbaijan to have selected its participant and song by the end of the month. Though there is no word on the timeframe of when the outcome of this decision will be revealed.
There has been no further word on how Azerbaijan will be selecting the act that will perform in Liverpool this coming May. In recent years that decision has been made internally by İTV.
The announcement that İTV will be favouring home-grown talent when searching for this year’s song is a sharp change in direction for the country. Although Azerbaijan has relied near exclusively on Azerbaijani nationals for their performers, this is in sharp contrast to the writing teams; which have seldom featured an Azerbaijani writer. Of the 15 entries Azerbaijan sent to Eurovision, only four have featured Azerbaijani writers (2019, 2017, 2009, and 2008), with only 2008’s Day After Day being written by an exclusively Azerbaijani team.
Azerbaijan’s Eurovision Journey
Azerbaijan is a powerhouse in Eurovision, first debuting in 2008 with the song “Day After Day” by Elnur & Samir, finishing 8th. The country has since gone on to achieve five top-5 performances, including one win in 2011. Azerbaijan has a near perfect qualification record, only failing to make the final in 2018, and is known for its impressive on-stage performances. In 2021, they were represented by Nadir Rustamli, who received 106 points and finished 16th with his song “Fade to Black”.
Image Source: EBU / Corinne Cumming