Azerbaijan’s broadcaster Ictimai has announced via Instagram that they have extended their call for performers and composers to submit songs to represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2023 until 15th January. This provides artists and songwriters with just over an additional two weeks to submit their work from the original deadline of 31st December 2022.
In particular, the Instagram post made by the broadcaster is encouraging Azerbaijani performers and composers to apply.
Previously, the broadcaster had reported that they had received over 200 submissions.
What are İTV looking for?
Performers and composers are now able to submit their songs (in demo or final form) to email@example.com for the chance to represent their country in Liverpool in 2023. Artists must also submit a short biography. The open call marks a change in direction for the Azerbaijani delegation, who in recent years have called for songs, but not for artists.
Azerbaijan has recently seen a change of Head of Delegation. Vasif Mammadov, Deputy Director General of Ictimai, will take over from Isa Melikov, who served as their HoD in 2021.
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 stated 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”.
Who would you like to see represent Azerbaijan in the upcoming contest? How might this change of direction work for them? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok as we prepare for Eurovision 2023!
Image Source: EBU / Nathan Reinds