Elhaida Dani, the new Albanian singer who won the competition of the program “The Voice of Italy” 2013, has benefited from the Italian public assessment, the Albanian one and the international public with her undisputable voice and at the same time, with her sweet communication towards the public.
Described by one of the members of the jury, Piero Pelù, as “a hurricane”, Elhaida has the ability to transform the power of her voice, into deep silence that usually comes after the storm, where the emotions are embraced in an inevitable way by those who follow her high quality interpretations.
Elhaida made it to this musical program, after her victory at the Albanian program “Star Academy” 2009 and some other musical contests.
The student of the famous maestro Riccardo Cocciante, Elhaida got selected as the most distinguished contestant by the public, highly valued by the jury, factors which, got her crowned the winner of the show among the key competitors, talents in Italy.
I have the pleasure to welcome you to Albania News, Elhaida.
A warm embrace to all the readers that follow Albania News in Italy, Albania, Kosovo, etc.
It is my pleasure to chat with all of you: you are an important, a uniting and a necessary network which supports and promotes knowledge and shares the Albanian culture in Italy!
When did you start realizing that you have the passion for singing?
Singing was always my passion, I got it from my mother. I practically inherited my voice from her. Ever since I was a little girl, I was found singing in my room, almost secretly and I would dream about my future, consisted of an orchestra and a stage…
My mother, by her intuition that she had understood that I was gifted and thought to enroll me in a music school and thus, began my journey.
Is Music Art part of the family?
My mother loved singing and she had an incredible talent: she would have liked to make music part of her whole life and her profession. Unfortunately, those days were not the brightest ones in Albania and for a woman it was really hard to pursue her dreams. The family conditions and the conditions of her times did not allow her to follow this dream.
What part does Shkodra take in your heart?
Shkodra is the city where I was born and raised. It is a city where my passion for music was practically born and and where it grew continuously. My parents would always tell me “The whole Albania is beautiful, but Shkodra is sweet”. I don’t think that there is any other epithet to describe it: Shkodra is sweet for me because every time I go back there, awaits me and embraces me this special love and sweetness.
The Award Winner title of “The Voice of Italy” 2013, what kind of a significance had for Elhaida?
It is the first step of a journey, which I really hope it will be an important one. It is a long journey, I have yet so much to tell, but I must say that for me were opened important scenarios, starting from the summer that has just passed.
On a personal level, it means that you have to carry on a heavy weight within yourself, primarily related to our compatriots that live in Italy, for whom I represent something really big, something that goes far beyond the music world. Their expectations over me are really high and I often get this fear of disappointing them…
The fact that the best voice of this show, organized by RAI, was of an Albanian girl, what kind of emotions stirred up within you?
This “variability” of mine, along with other competitors, brought multiple emotions for me, for my family and for thousands of others that were watching me. It made everything more beautiful, more incredible!
During the long hours of the program, I felt this heavy responsibility on my shoulders and the triumph of May 30th, released me from this feeling, made me feel happier and proud. This was a victory of many of us, not just mine.
Realizing that thus, I was voted by thousands of Italians, going beyond any judgments, this was for me a great lesson learned when it comes to great culture and correctness.
From maestro Cocciante, how much have you learned professionally?
I knew and liked Riccardo since I was little. I consider it a true privilege, the fact of working with him and I am honored by his evaluation of my voice. During “The Voice”, I worked hard with him on the field of emotions, rather than on the technical side. Riccardo helped me go beyond the technical side, on which until then I was heavily concentrated on. He stimulated me to deliver what I feel from deep within when I sing, which brings the natural emotional burden that is way more important than any technique.
Riccardo taught me to realize such an interpretation that is not a sham staging, but an expression of my true self.
Now, this cargo represents the very essence of my artistic and musical expressions and for this reason, from now on, I want to only play parts that represent me completely.
What kind of an emotion did you feel when he came to visit Albania and your city, Shkodra? Did he express to you what he mostly liked about our country?
Riccardo has made me this great honor: he came with me to my land and was among my people. What mostly impressed him, was the incredible warmth of people with which we got surrounded with, by everyone. He himself didn’t know that he was that famous in Albania, he didn’t have a clue what “Margherita”, what his music that he wrote meant to us. We talked about this at “The Voice” but for him to discover this right there, among people, it was extremely emotional for him too.
Who is your favorite Albanian composer and singer?
My favorite composer will always be the big maestro, Shpëtim Saraçi, with whom I worked with for three years at the show called “E djela shqiptare“.
He created wonderful music for all of us, Albanians, I grew up with his music. I consider it a great luck and honor to have known him, he is truly an incredible person.
Among Albanian singers, there’s a lot of them, there are many of those who are skilled and whom I highly evaluate.
From the foreign singers, who is your idol?
I am in love with the “black” singers.
I adore M. Jackson, W. Houston and the latest one Beyonce. They give me great emotions with their voice and their music. For me it is emotional to just follow their moves: they tend to get through you even by their body movements, a body language which is always miraculously electrified by music and rhythm.
From the Albanian cuisine, Elhaida’s favorite specialty? And what about the Italian cuisine, too?
I like Albanian traditional food, I adore its simplicity: its is a simple cuisine, but at the same time a very diverse one, where culinary traditions of many different places are met in one. Of course, I adore all the dishes that my mother prepares!
From the Italian cuisine I like pastas the most.
How was your new album welcomed by the public, are you satisfied?
Yes, on July came out my first EP (Extended play) , not the most authentic album. It was created in a short time, as the mark of the success of “The Voice“, according to the form of “The Voice” and fully intended to put out this experience.
As a matter of fact, there was a distinct success in the first week of its release. Maybe, we expected a greater success in terms of medium and long term duration. Wheres, the future album will be of completely different music experience, we wont create it based on the past, but based on the future, it will be my product completely that would represent me 100%.
To get to the Ariston Theater Stage in 2014- of the Sanremo Festival, what is Elhaida’s desire on achieving and accomplishing this objective?
We are thinking over this.
Maybe we will present a project to Sanremo, but these are the choices that should be considered with caution. If a draft is presented to Sanremo, it must be an important one, perfect in every possible way. These days I will be in the studio to record new songs. But, it is still contemplative whether we will present a project to Sanremo or not.
Any concerts soon? New professional project in the future?
This is a period, where I need to concentrate over my new projects, where I need to work, think and to create.
The most important thing that I have to concentrate on right now is how to find my own artistic identity, which has to be an impersonal and a true one.
I have to find my own journey, a different one from everyone and an original one, I have to be outstanding as an artist, as Elhaida Dani and thats it, not to be comparable or confrontative with others. In short, when it comes to this maybe I should keep silent at the moment so, soon I could be presented with something magnificent.
What do you think about the participation of an Italian girl, at the music show- competition which is being held in Albania? What kind of a feeling evokes this analogy?
I believe that music just like any other artistic expression- shouldn’t know limits to nations or passports. Art belongs to everyone, without any national conditionings.
There where the regulations of music competitions allows it, it is something really beautiful that artists of different nationalities face each other, in fact I think that this brings a great enrichment for all, for the public and for the contestants.
I personally, was part of manifestations in Romania, Monte Negro, Bulgaria…
I think it is something very beautiful to have a foreign contestant come to Albania! In fact, if this girl deserves to move forward, I believe that this is a great moment where we can show that we are not judgmental people.
With the hope for a brilliant achievement- in a possible participation at the Sanremo music contest- as well as in your career as a whole, I greet you Elhaida, in the name of our readers, as well.
I truly thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk through your network. Before I leave, I would like to convey to all of you, a message of positivity: lets believe in the strength that is within each of us, lets believe in our thoughts and desires, lets all get guided by our emotions and lets try to change the lives that are surrounding us! Lets relight our dreams!
You can also find this article in Albanian language under the title “Elhaida, uragani i ëmbël ”
Translated by Saranda Shala