Yerzhan Maksim will represent Kazakhstan at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Gliwice.
Dauren Abayev, Kazakh minister of Information and Public Development, revealed via Facebook that national broadcaster Khabar Agency has internally selected 12 year-old Yerzhan Maksim to represent the country at their second appearance at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. His song is yet to be revealed.
Hailing from the city of Oral in northwestern Kazakhstan, Yerzhan had been taking music classes since 2012, according to the Astana Times. He is no stranger to international singing competitions, having taken the grand prize at 2016 Batumi Dolphin Fest and second place in the 2017 Slavianski Bazaar International Children’s Song Contest. He has also participated in the Sanremo Junior festival, as well as various other contests across Europe. Earlier this year, he was one of the winners of the Russian edition of The Voice Kids.
Yerzhan competed in Kazakhstan’s national selection show for Junior Eurovision last year, where he took third place with the song “Elimdi súyemin” (I love my country).
Last year, Kazakhstan debuted at Junior Eurovision with Daneliya Tuleshova singing “Ózine seń” (Yourself). She took sixth place, having been one of the favourites to win that year’s contest. She finished 8th in the jury vote with 68 points, but came third in the online vote with 103 points. Around 132,000 viewers watched as Kazakhstan made their first appearance at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.