Azeri broadcaster ITV have announced that AISEL will represent Azerbaijan at the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon in May.
Aysel Mammadova, better known under her stage name AISEL, will represent Azerbaijan at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in May, it has been revealed. The singer was chosen by an internal jury, who decided on 8th November that AISEL would be the best candidate to represent the country in Lisbon.
28-year old AISEL was born in Baku in July 1989, and is part of a musical family. She attended the Bulbul School of Music from 1995 to 2006, and the Azerbaijan National Conservatory, a higher music school, until 2010. She is a jazz and soul singer, and an accomplished vocalist, pianist and composer. She has performed at festivals such as the Caspian Jazz & Blues Festival (2002), the Baku International Jazz festival (2005 & 2006), the MuzEnergo Festival of Music Improvisation (2007), Montreux Jazz Festival (2009), and the Caucasus Jazz Festival (2012), and is also a member of the Baku Jazz Centre.
As has become tradition with Azeri Eurovision representatives, AISEL’s Eurovision entry is expected to be announced at a later date. Indeed, last year’s entrant Dihaj was announced as the country’s representative in December, with the song only being revealed 4 months later.
AISEL will be the 11th artist to represent Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest. Despite the country’s initial success in the contest, AISEL’s participation at the contest will follow a recent run of average to poor results. From 2008 to 2013 the country failed to finish outside of the top 10, even managing to finish in 3rd, 2nd and 1st in 2009, 2013 and 2011 respectively. However, since 2014 Azerbaijan has failed to finish inside the top 10, with this year’s representative, Dihaj, earning a respectable 14th place for the country with her song “Skeletons”.
Azerbaijan will participate in one of the two semi-finals of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest on the 8th or 10th May, in the hope of qualifying for the grand final on Saturday 12th May.