Ktheju tokës

"Ktheju tokës" (Albanian pronunciation: [kθɛju tɔkəs]; transl. Return to your land) is a song by Albanian singer Jonida Maliqi. It was released as a single on 8 March 2019 by Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH) and Universal Music. The song was composed and written by Eriona Rushiti, and produced by Enis Mullaj. It is musically an authentic and rhythmic Albanian-language folk-electronic ballad backed by traditional Albanian instruments. Lyrically, the song addresses the theme of migration, particularly to that of the Albanian people during the Kosovo War in the late 20th century.

"Ktheju tokës"
The cover portrays the outlines of a star including Jonida Maliqi's face within
Single by Jonida Maliqi
LanguageAlbanian
Released8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
StudioSvenska Grammofonstudion, Gothenburg, Sweden
GenreFolk-electronic
Length3:14
Label
Songwriter(s)Eriona Rushiti
Producer(s)
  • Enis Mullaj
Jonida Maliqi singles chronology
"N'errësirë"
(2018)
"Ktheju tokës"
(2019)
Music video
"Ktheju tokës" on YouTube
Eurovision Song Contest 2019 entry
Country
Artist(s)
Language
Composer(s)
Eriona Rushiti
Lyricist(s)
Eriona Rushiti
Finals performance
Semi-final result
9th
Semi-final points
96
Final result
17th
Final points
90
Entry chronology
◄ "Mall" (2018)   
"Fall from the Sky" (2020) ►

The song represented Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel, after winning the country's pre-selection competition Festivali i Këngës. It eventually reached the seventeenth place in a field of twenty six, gathering a total of ninety points and marking the fourth year for Albania to achieve the same result. During Maliqi's black and red-toned performance, she was accompanied by three backing vocalists, while the background LED screens prominently displayed a flying eagle and its nest.

"Ktheju tokës" was positively received by music critics who praised Maliqi's vocals, the song's composition as well as its ethnic appeal. An accompanying music video premiered on the official YouTube channel of the Eurovision Song Contest on 10 March 2019. It portrays Maliqi singing the song in smoke and rain, with scenes of two children running, one across the water, and one escaping from the flames. For promotional purposes, she made various appearances to perform the song in Amsterdam, London and Madrid.

Background and compositionEdit

"Ktheju tokës" was composed and written by Eriona Rushiti, and produced by Enis Mullaj along Sokol Marsi for Jonida Maliqi's participation in the 57th edition of Festivali i Këngës, a competition for determining Albania's participant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.[1][2][3] It was recorded and remastered at Svenska Grammofonstudion in Gothenburg, Sweden.[4] The song has been described as a rhythmic Albanian-language folk-electronic spiritual and dramatic ballad backed by traditional Albanian instruments consisting of a fyell, lahuta and tupan.[5][6][7] Lyrically, "Ktheju tokës" explores the theme of migration particularly that of the Albanian people during the 1990s as a part of the Kosovo War and also alludes to the continuous migration crisis around the world.[8]

Critical receptionEdit

Upon its victory at Festivali i Këngës, "Ktheju tokës" was generally met with positive reviews from music critics. In a Wiwibloggs review containing several reviews from individual critics, including Robyn Gallagher and Deban Aderemi, Maliqi's vocal delivery and the song's production as well as its authenticity were praised, while being labeled as "organic" and "alluring".[9] Overall, the reviewers of the website gave the song 7.17 out of total 10 points.[9] Emma Kelly, writing for Metro, was additionally positive towards the song's composition and the singer's vocal performance, while lauding that she chose to keep the Albanian-language lyrics instead of translating the song to English.[10]

Music video and promotionEdit

 
A screenshot of the "dark" and "dramatic" music video, showcasing Jonida Maliqi in front of a black backdrop with white smoke slowly moving across her.[11]

An accompanying music video for "Ktheju tokës" premiered on the official YouTube channel of the Eurovision Song Contest on 10 March 2019.[12][13] Its filming process started in early March 2019 and was organised by Triangle Media Group in Tirana, Albania.[14] Described as dark and dramatic, it prominently features scenes of Maliqi performing the song in front of a smoke-filled black backdrop and prior to the end, in the rain.[11] Interspersed shots through the main plot portray two children running separately, one across the water and the other escaping from the flames, symbolising the message of the song.[15]

For promotional purposes, she made various live performances at multiple events, including in Amsterdam, London and Madrid.[16][17][18] In March 2019, she appeared to perform a special version of the song live on the Albanian television show The Voice Kids.[19][20] Outside the pormotional phase, she opened the first semi-final of the 58th edition of Festivali i Këngës.[21] Beside that, the song was featured at number 40 on the 2019 edition of the Eurovision Top 250 chart.[22]

At EurovisionEdit

Festivali i KëngësEdit

The national broadcaster, Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH), organised the 57th edition of Festivali i Këngës to determine the Albania's participant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. It opened a submission period for artists, bands and composers to submit their entries between 16 May and 30 September 2018 to the competition, during which 54 entries were received.[23][24] A jury panel, consisting of music professionals, scored all received songs and revealed their 22 semi-finalists on 17 October 2018.[24][25] During the second semi-final, Jonida Maliqi qualified for the grand final and eventually was chosen to represent the country in the contest.[26]

Tel AvivEdit

 
Jonida Maliqi performing during a rehearsal. She wore a full-length black gown decorated with filigree and ancient Illyrian symbols.[27]

The 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Tel Aviv, Israel, and consisted of two semi-finals held on 14 and 16 May, and the grand final on 18 May 2019.[28] According to the Eurovision rules, each participating country, except the host country and the "Big 5", consisting of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, were required to qualify from one of the two semi-finals to compete for the grand final, although, the top ten countries from the respective semi-final progress to the grand final.[29] On 28 January 2019, it was announced that Albania would be performing in the second half of the second semi-final of the contest.[30]

During the second semi-final, Albania performed fourteenth, following Russia and preceding Norway, and qualified for the grand final in ninth place with 96 points, ranking twelfth by the jury's 38 points and ninth by the televote of 58 points.[31][32] At the grand final, the country performed second, following Malta and preceding the Czech Republic.[33] Albania finished in the seventeenth place in a field of twenty six with 90 total points, ranking seventeenth by the jury's 43 points as well as seventeenth by the televote of 47 points.[34]

Maliqi's Albanian-themed performance commences with her singing the song in front of dark coloured LED screens enhanced by black, red and white lights.[35] She wore a full-length black gown decorated with gold accents inspired by ancient Illyrian symbols.[36] Graphics of burning fire, rain and various dark images were displayed during the rest of the performance, and near the end, a nest and a flying eagle is depicted.[35] The graphics constitues as the representatives of the song's lyrics, reflecting the Albanian-themed migration that is discussed in them.[35] Before the final performances, technical rehearsals for the song were held at Expo Tel Aviv on 7 May and 11 May 2019.[37]

PersonnelEdit

Credits adapted from Tidal.[2]

Track listingEdit

  • Digital download[38]
  1. "Ktheju tokës" – 3:14
  • Digital downloads[39]
  1. "Ktheju tokës" – 3:05
  2. "Ktheju tokës" (Karaoke Version) – 3:05

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various
8 March 2019
  • RTSH
  • Universal
[38]
15 March 2019
[39]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Tel Aviv 2019 Participants Jonida Maliqi". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 1 August 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Ktheju tokës / Jonida Maliqi Tidal". Tidal. Retrieved 2 April 2020. Note: Open "Credits" for credits.
  3. ^ "Enis Mullaj: Reagimet e ndërkombëtarëve për këngën "Ktheju tokës", si dolën përtej pritshmërive tona" (in Albanian). Panorama Plus. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  4. ^ "More Details Revealed About "Ktheju Tokës" Revamp". Eurovoix. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  5. ^ "ESC-Songcheck kompakt (27) – Albanien: „Ktheju tokës" von Jonida Maliqi" [ESC-Songcheck compact (27) – Albania: „Ktheju tokës“ by Jonida Maliqi] (in German). ESC kompakt. 13 April 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2020. "Ktheju tokës" ist ein rhythmischer Song mit reichlich folkloristischen Elementen.
  6. ^ "Albanerin Jonida Maliqi singt über Migration" (in German). ARD. 13 June 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  7. ^ Adams, William Lee (22 December 2019). "Albania: Jonida Maliqi wins Festivali i Këngës 57 with "Ktheju tokes"". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  8. ^ Adams, William Lee (22 December 2018). "Albania: Jonida Maliqi wins Festivali i Këngës 57 with 'Ktheju tokes'". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  9. ^ a b Gallagher, Robyn (21 April 2019). "Wiwi Jury: Albania's Jonida Maliqi with "Ktheju tokës"". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  10. ^ Kelly, Emma (11 May 2019). "Who will win Eurovision Song Contest 2019? We rate all 41 entries so you don't have to". Metro. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Albania–Jonida Maliqi Releases Official Video For 'Ktheju tokës'". Eurovoxx. 10 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Jonida Maliqi - Ktheju tokës - Albania 🇦🇱 - Official Music Video - Eurovision 2019". European Broadcasting Union. 10 March 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Jonida Maliqi - Ktheju tokës - Albania | Official Music Video". YouTube. 10 March 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Nisin xhirimet për videon e këngës "Ktheju tokës"" (in Albanian). RTSH. 5 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  15. ^ Mike, Barnabás (11 March 2019). "She's back home! Albania's Jonida Maliqi unveils the revamped version of "Ktheju Tokës" along with its music video". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  16. ^ Dee, Daphne (12 April 2019). "Albania's Jonida Maliqi: "The song is personal to me, my sister also left Albania"". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  17. ^ Halpin, Chris (10 April 2019). "London Eurovision Party 2019: What are your questions for the stars?". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  18. ^ Escudero, Victor M. (25 April 2019). "This was PrePartyES 2019 in Madrid". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Jonida Maliqi të premten në The Voice Kids!" (in Albanian). Top Channel. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  20. ^ Muldoon, Padraig (30 March 2019). "Daily Digest: Jonida Maliqi performs stripped back "Ktheju tokës" and Tamta talks Eurovision outfits". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  21. ^ Outerson, Michael (19 December 2019). "Albania: The first ten acts perform at Festivali i Këngës 58 but willl any of them be heading to Eurovision". EuroVisionary. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  22. ^ Vautrey, Jonathan (31 December 2018). "ESC250 2019: Loreen rounds out the decade with an eighth straight win". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Njoftim – Festivali i 57-të i Këngës në RTSH" (in Albanian). RTSH. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Shpallet lista me këngët konkuruese në Festivalin e 57-të të Këngës në RTSH" (in Albanian). RTSH. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Shpallet lista me këngët konkuruese në Festivalin e 57-të të Këngës në RTSH" (in Albanian). RTSH. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  26. ^ "Jonida Maliqi fiton Fest 57" (in Albanian). RTSH. 28 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Fustani i Jonida Maliqit, stilisti Ardi Asllani shpjegon pse zgjodhi elementet etnikë" (in Albanian). Vizion Plus. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest–Tel Aviv 2019". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  29. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest–Rules". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 8 April 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  30. ^ Josianne Zwart; Evert Groot (28 January 2019). "Eurovision 2019: Which country takes part in which Semi-Final?". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 3 August 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  31. ^ Groot, Evert (2 April 2019). "Exclusive: This is the Eurovision 2019 Semi-Final running order!". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  32. ^ "Tel Aviv 2019: Second Semi-Final Scoreboard". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  33. ^ Royston, Benny (17 May 2019). "Eurovision 2019: This is the running order of the Grand Final!". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  34. ^ "Tel Aviv 2019: Grand Final Scoreboard". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  35. ^ a b c LaFleur, Louise (7 May 2019). "Jonida Maliqi sings 'Ktheju tokës' in Albania's first rehearsal". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 3 August 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  36. ^ "Jonida Maliqi në Eurovision do të duket si mbretëreshë ilire" (in Albanian). Kult Plus. 29 April 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  37. ^ Halpin, Chris (29 April 2019). "Eurovision 2019: Full rehearsal schedule published". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  38. ^ a b Citations regarding the digital release of "Ktheju tokës" by Jonida Maliqi in various selected countries:
  39. ^ a b "Ktheju tokës (Eurovision 2019 - Albania) – Single by Jonida Maliqi on Apple Music United Kingdom". Apple Music. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2020.