The singer Alban Skënderaj speaks for Albania News, on the eve of the Florence concert on 7 Novembre 2010, in the FLOG auditorium from 21 onwards.
The event will launch the cultural activities of the Network of Albanians in Tuscany (RAT), and was organized thanks to the commitment and dedication of the young people of the GAT association, part of the Network itself. Skënderaj, raised in Italy, has been very successful in Albania and is much loved by the Albanian public. After winning the top prize at TOP FEST, the most renowned Albanian music festival, his success has always been growing.
You lived in Italy for a while. How did you get back home and started taking care of music?
Actually I grew up in Italy, since I lived there from the age of 14 years. This age also affects the formation of the character of a teenager and from the artistic point of view Italy has meant so much to me, because that's where I started to take my first steps in music. The return to Albania was really random and it was mainly my family that insisted that I do something in Albania, even though my biggest aspiration was the Italian and Western markets. In spite of everything I felt Albania as my home.
What were your first steps in this field and how did the Albanian market and the public towards you prove to be?
I started in Italy, studying the guitar and writing the lyrics for myself. Then, I gradually passed to some live performances with groups of friends, I participated in competitions and professional studio recordings. The first songs in the Albanian language had an immediate effect on the public and obviously this also positively influenced me. It is difficult to put it into words, because it all happened so quickly that I didn't even have time to understand how. It was a nice surprise and the feeling I created with the audience, to whom I am grateful, continues to remain so, because an artist without his audience is an orphan.
How did the idea of a commitment not only musical but also social come about, through involvement as a RAT testimonial (Albanian network in Tuscany)? Has your personal experience in Italy affected you?
In my experience, social commitment is very important, given that I experienced emigration and I feel it is a very personal issue. As a person I like, as well as on an artistic level, to exploit my image even in actions that may have a social utility. The proposal of RAT to become their testimonial for the promotion of the Network in the Tuscany region, I was thrilled and I wanted to be present at a live performance, which will be followed by others. I am committed and I will work harder in the future to be close to every organization that deals with and supports the integration of the Albanian community in the countries where it is present.
What are your current projects, musically and personally?
The first short-term project is the successful realization of the concert we have on 7 November next to the Flog auditorium in Florence, area where I grew up and that is very important to me. On this occasion I will be singing for the first time in public and live some songs from the Italian album I'm finishing. In addition to the album I am also working on a video clip in Italian and my third album in Albanian which should be released next summer.
Interview by Ismail Ademi. Posted the November 2 2010 in the Albanian section of Albania News. Original title "Intervistë me Alban Skënderaj në prag të koncertit në Florence" .
Translated for Albania News by Belina Sinani.
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