Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Albina & Familija Kelmendi – Eurovision 2023 Albania

Albina and Familija Kelmendi
Country🇦🇱 Albania
Birthday27 January 1998
Zodiac♒️ Aquarius
OriginPeja, Kosovo
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Albina Kelmendi (born January 27, 1998) is an Albanian singer and songwriter from Kosovo (then part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). In Familija Kelmendi are Albina, her parents, and siblings

Early life and family

The Kelmendi family – it is a family of musicians, including Albina’s father Bujar and mother Albana. Albina has two other siblings – a sister Sidorela and brother Albin, who are singers as well. As a child, Albina studied clarinet and piano at a music school in her hometown, before eventually taking up singing.

Naturally Albina’s family had a big influence on her musical developement, as she explained in an interview to Albanian Radio K4:

My family has supported me, but is also critical of my music, especially my father who constantly demands the best from me. But of course this helps me succeed.

When she was young, Albina and several of her relatives came together to form a musical group which they called ‘Family Band’. The group often performed at weddings in Albania and abroad.

Rase to fame – The Voice of Albania

In 2014, Albina auditioned for the fourth season of The Voice of Albania. She triumphantly performed at Blind Audition with Etta James’s song “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”, made all four judges turn their chairs. After a lengthy deliberation, Albina choses Elsa Lila to be her mentor. It was a successful partnership and Albina eventually finishing runners-up in the season.

Albina’s Blind Audition with “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”

Top Fest

In May 2015 Albina participated in the 12th edition of Top Fest – another prestigious television festival of modern Albanian music, organized by the television station Top Channel. Many past Albanian Eurovision participants have won Top Fest including Elhaida Dani (who represented Albania in 2015), Eneda Tarifa (2016), and Linda Halimi (2017). At the Top Fest finale, Albina performed the song ‘Nuk ka ma mire’. 2015 was actually the last year of Top Fest, as viewers increasingly tuned in to Festivali i Këngës as it was Albania’s Eurovision selection show.

Released Songs

On 25 November 2015 Albina released her first single as a lead artist ‘Endrren Mos Ma Merr’ (Dream Don’t Take Me). And for now she has released already more that 20 singles. Albina’s first album as the lead artist, Nana Loke, was released on 25 June 2022 and features several songs that are a duet with her mother Albana including the interestingly named ‘6 Tetor 68‘ (meaning October 6, 1968).

Albina with her mother Albana Kelmendi singing “6Tetor 68”

61st Festivali i Këngës

On 27 October 2022 Albina & Familija Kelmendi, along with 25 other acts, were announced to be competing in the 61st Festivali i Këngës. Several changes were introduced in this year’s edition. The participating songs would not be revealed until the live shows, whereas in previous years they were released prior to the event. Also changes were done in its selection method: the jury always had the right to decide, who will go to Eurovision from Albania, and now RTSH (the public broadcaster in Albania) decided to shift that decision towards the public.

Albina & Familija Kelmendi – which included Albina, her parents, and siblings – debuted their song ‘Duje’ in Semi Final 1 of Festivali i Këngës on December 19. As they were considered an Established artist, Albina & Familija Kelmendi automatically had a place in Saturday’s final of the contest. 

In the final on December 22, Albina & Familija Kelmendi performed ‘Duje’ again. Interesting, that Albina’s mentor in The Voice of AlbaniaElsa Lila also participated in the 61st Festivali i Këngës with the song ‘Evita’. Elsa won the jury vote and therefore the entire competition. It was Elsa’s third victory at the festival, having previously won in 1996 and 1997.

Albina & Familija Kelmendi finished second with the juries, but first in televoting, and, by new rules, got the right to represent Albania at Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

Albina & Familija KelmendiDuje” at the Final of 61st Festivali i Këngës

Personal Life

Shortly before her participation in Festivali i Këngës, in October 2022 Albina married her long-term partner, businessman Valon Vataj. When she is not tending to the music side of her career, Albina manages one of Valon’s businesses as a director.

About Albina’s Song “Duje”

The song was composed by Enis Mullaj, with lyrics by Eriona Rushiti.

In an interview with RTSH, Albina & Familija Kelmendi stated, that ‘Duje’ is about members of a family separating, and not necessarily a couple. The separating family members are splitting over a disagreement, but they are forgetting about the well-being of their children. In the chorus the band implores the family to love each other unconditionally, especially the children, as if their life depends on it.


Albina & Familija Kelmendi “Duje” Lyrics

Duje (Albanian)

Diçka mrena frymen ma nal
S’di çka bohet, bohet
Po du me nal
Çka o ka bohet
Krejt tuj pas
E krejt tuj pas
S’po muj mu knaq

Jan tu u nda
Veç për nje fjalë
Janë tu u nda, dashnin’ kanë vra
Janë tu u nda
E kane harru se kan nje shpi
Sofër me fmi

Duje, si dikur ti duje
At dashni ti ruje
Si jeten, ti ruje
Mos e gjuj me gure
Si dikur ti duje
At dashni ti ruje
Si jetën ti duje

Jan tu u nda
Veç për nje fjalë
Janë tu u nda, dashnin’ kanë vra
Janë tu u nda
E kanë harru se kanë nje shpi
Sofër me fmi

Ti duje, si dikur ti duje
At dashni ti ruje
Si jetën, ti duje
Mos e gjuj me gure
Si dikur ti duje
At dashni ti ruje
Si jetën ti duje

Duje, duje
Jan tu u nda
Duje, duje
Veç për nji fjalë
Janë tu u nda, dashnin’ kanë vra
Duje, duje
Janë tu u nda
Duje, duje
E kanë harru se kаnë nje ѕhpi
Sofër me fmi
Duje, duje

Love Them (English)

Something inside is holding my breath
I don’t know what it is
I want to stop it
What’s happening
Having everything
And having everything
But not being happy

They are breaking up
Just for a word
They are breaking up, they killed the love
They are breaking up
They forgot they have a home
A table with kids

Love them, like before
Save the love
Save it for your life
Don’t hit it with stones
Love them like before
Save the love
Save it for your life

They are breaking up
Just for a word
They are breaking up, they killed the love
They are breaking up
They forgot they have a home
A table with kids

Love them, like before
Save the love
Save it for your life
Don’t hit it with stones
Love them like before
Save the love
Save it for your life

Love them
They are breaking up
Love them
Just for a word
They are breaking up, they killed the love
Love them
They are breaking up
Love them
They forgot they have a home
A tаble with kidѕ
Love them