Azerbaijan made its debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008. Since then, Azerbaijan has never missed the final. Four years after the country debuted at Eurovision, Azerbaijan won the contest in 2011 with Running Scared by Ell & Nikki. I was lucky enough to meet Ell in Malmo and he was a charming man – and this is the reason I chose to review Azerbaijan and always hope they do well.
Azerbaijan has reached the Top 5 in five consecutive contests - 3rd in 2009, 5th in 2010, 1st in 2011, 4th in 2012, and runner-up in 2013.
2017 will see Diana Hajiyeva (known more commonly by her stage name Dihaj) represent Azerbaijan. Diana was born on 13 June 1989 and lives in Baku.
Diana has previously released a few songs as part of an electronic music collective trio from Baku who also perform under the name of Dihaj. Dihaj broke through with their 2014 single “I Break Again” co-written by Diana and world famous jazz pianist Isfar Sarabsky. It is an electronic pop style song sung in English. Clearly she can sing well and her vocals really suit her unique style of music.
Another of the trio’s songs is ‘Gecələr Keçir’ which translates to ‘Try it at Night’. This is sung in their native language and has a very electronic sound. It is a 2015 cover of a 90’s pop song written by renowned Azerbaijani composer Eldar Mansurov.
Diana was chosen for Eurovision 2017 by internal selection. This is the third time in a row that the national broadcaster has chosen to choose the act this way; following from 2015’s Elnur Hüseynov and 2016’s Samra.
Diana sang as a backup singer for Samra at the 2016 contest - so she has already experienced some of the excitement of performing on the big Eurovision stage.
Diana has previously completed in Azerbaijan's Eurovision 2011 selection, coming fourth in heat six.
Her latest song is ‘Complain’ was released this year and is sung in English. It is extremely easy to listen to and quite relaxing. Diana has rich and ethereal voice, which lends itself to this chillout/lounge type sound.
I’m looking forward to seeing what song Diana will be taking to Eurovision 2017.