UPDATE 1 February 2023
The Azerbaijani delegation responded today to Rauf Kingley’s allegations in a statement issued by broadcaster İctimai Television. In summation, they deny that this year’s artists have already been selected and state that the field has been narrowed down to five acts, all of whom recorded their potential entries in the same studio this week.
You can read the entire statement here.
Has Azerbaijan already selected its artist for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest? One disgruntled singer seems to think so.
Azerbaijani singer Rauf Kingsley alleged in posts made to his Instagram today that electropop band Mamagama will be representing ‘The Land of Fire’ in Liverpool. According to Kingsley, who himself claims to have submitted three songs to the broadcaster, the delegation made the decision early on and has been shortlisting other acts for the sake of appearances.
In his tirade, Kinglsey called out the process, saying:
Why didn’t you declare Mamagama as an official competitor right from the start? … It is a disrespect and a total rip off.
Kingsley has received support and commiseration from a number of other artists through Instagram, most evidently seen in his recent Instagram stories, though it’s worth noting a number of the artists expressing their displeasure are signed to Kinglsey Records, the label he founded.
Mamagama was formed in 2022 and was, until very recently, a two-man group. They won Best International New Artist in December at Albania’s Kënga Magjike music festival, placing 4th overall with their song “Dreamer”. (Watch below.) Lead singer Safael has a degree in Jazz performance and has been competing at international music competitions since the age of 14. It was announced on Instagram three days ago that his collaborator, Russian-born cellist RomaZee, was departing the band. In his place, Azerbaijani musicians Humbatli Allahverdi and Efendiyev Bahruz have come on board. (Rauf Kingsley alleges this change in membership was orchestrated by delegation members, including Eurovision 2011 champion Eldar Gasimov.)
What do #YOU think: real conspiracy or just a case of sour grapes? Are #YOU excited to hear more music from Mamagama either way? Sound off in the comments below, in our forum, or on social media @ESCUnited.
Source: Eurovision IN
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