2018 marks ten years since Azerbaijan’s first Eurovision appearance, and the singer charged with making it a memorable anniversary is 28-year-old performer Aisel.
In the time since their debut, Azerbaijan have been a consistent presence in the final – even winning the contest back in 2011 – although they haven’t troubled the top ten since a second place finish in 2013.
Here’s everything you need to know about the singer hoping to take them back to the top…
Who is Aisel?
Born Aysel Mammadova but performing as just Aisel, the 28-year-old singer was always destined for a career in music.
Not only was she born into an already musical family, she was educated at first a Special Secondary Musical School and then the Azerbaijan State Conservatory.
She might not be an unknown quantity to viewers around the continent – her touring career has taken her to Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine, Israel, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy.
When she’s not singing, Aisel is also a dedicated animal lover, and devotes her time to caring for homeless cats and dogs at the Baku Animal Rescue Society.
Today we visited the King's Park with a statue of Azerbaijani poet Huseyn Cavid, which was opened in 1910 to honour the coronation of King Nikola, and its new look is a donation by the Government of #Azerbaijan ?? as a gift to the Capital?? #Aisel #Promotour #Montenegro #Xmyheart #Eurovision #Eurovision2018 #Esc #Esc2018
What is Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2018 song called?
When Aisel takes to the stage in Lisbon, she’ll be singing X My Heart, a catchy and upbeat pop song with music by Dimitris Kontopoulos and lyrics from Sandra Bjurman.
Those names might not be particularly familiar, but both have Eurovision pedigree – Kontopoulos wrote Russia’s 2016 entry You Are The Only One, which finished third, while Bjurman penned Azerbaijan’s 2011 winning entry Running Scared.
Can the trick be repeated?
What will Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2018 song look like on stage? Is there a rehearsal video?
Yes, Aisel has already taken to the Lisbon Eurovision stage for technical rehearsals, giving us a sneak peek what to expect come finals night…
How did Azerbaijan fare at the semi-finals?
Aisel did NOT qualify for the final.
The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final takes place in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 12th 2018