The Land of the Eagles has chosen its champion!
Albanian broadcaster RTSH announced today that 12-year-old Anna Gjebrea will represent the nation at this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Paris. She won this honor at Junior Fest 2021, a pre-taped national final that will air on Albanian television next week.
Anna is no stranger to the Albanian music scene. Her father, Ardit Gjebrea, has a long history in the country’s music industry. He won Festivali i Këngës in 1991 and 1995, and he is the founder of another annual Albanian music competition, Kënga Magjike, that has been running since 1999. Albanian Eurovision representatives Eneda Tarifa, Jonida Maliqi, and Anxhela Peristeri are all previous winners of that contest.
Shortly after being announced as the winner, Eurovision Albania posted a message from Anna on Instagram.
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Her song, ‘Stand by You’, is an upbeat, dance-y pop song in both Albanian and English. The official version of the song will be released after Junior Fest 2021 airs, but a demo version is available online now.
The songwriting quarter behind ‘Stand by You’ is an international delegation of talent. In addition to Albanian songwriter Endi Çuçi, the team features three American songwriters. Gannin Arnold and Adam Watts are no strangers to writing songs for children. Arnold has worked on music for Disney Channel shows like Austin & Ally and Liv & Maddie. Watts has written songs for Disney Channel Original Movies ‘Camp Rock’ and ‘High School Musical’, as well as the song ‘Happily Ever After’ that served as the official theme of the Tokyo Disney and Disney World nightly fireworks shows from May 2017 to September 2021.
Both Arnold and Watts have worked with a number of former American Idol contestants. Sanni M’Mairura is now among them! He is an American singer-songwriter of African descent who, in 2012, auditioned for the 12th season of American Idol. He was 16 at the time, but, based on his YouTube channel, his creative talents have only grown since then.
Albania has participated in Junior Eurovision six previous times since joining in 2012. Its best result is a 5th place finish in 2015. Its most recent entry, Isea Çili with the song ‘Mikja ime fëmijëri’, finished 17th in 2019. Albania did not participate in last year’s Junior Eurovision, due to the pandemic.
Do #YOU think Albania has what it takes to snag its first ever Eurovision win at Junior this year? excited to see thisave a forgotten story from Eurovision or Eurovision-artists past that Reach out in the comments below, in our forum, or on social media @ESCUnited. We may just