Albania picks Eurovision song for 2018

Eugent Bushpepa

As is tradition, the first singer and song to go public for Eurovision next year comes from Albania. Even though the Austrians have revealed details of their entry, their powder remains dry. Tonight, fans got their first taste of the upcoming line-up.

Eugent Bushpepa won the 56th edition of Festivali i Këngës with a song currently called ‘Mall’. It will doubtless be changed beyond all recognition in the 140 days leading up to next year’s competition.

Eugent Bushpepa (also known as Gent Bushpepa) was born 2 July, 1984 in Rrëshen, and is an Albanian rock singer and songwriter.

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Here’s his Wikipedia bio:

Eugent joined Top Channel in 2006 as a singer, and since then he has been present in the Albanian music scene. He has slowly become one of the best known singers in Albania. On the talk show called TOP SHOW he is a permanent singer and sings mainly cover songs. According to critics, with his powerful and beautiful voice, he has done several covers of high quality. At weekends, with his band, he is present in the best known clubs of Albania. Apart from the career as a cover singer, he has a solo career, offering to the public music generally perceived as good and memorable by the Albanian speaking audience. His career started with the popular Albanian rock song ”Maska e Madheshtise”, released in 2007 during TOP FEST 4. In the same competition, he also participated with a rock band called Sunrise, performing their song “Engjell”. After the successful debut he continued to participate in other competitions and working on new music. He has collaborated with several Albanian artists like Rovena Dilo, Andos, and Gledi Mikerezi.

In 2009 there were some rumours surrounding Genti and an Italian metal band called Seven Gates. He was rumoured to be the new singer for their album Betrayer. Neither the band or the singer confirmed this.

Genti and his band were the support band of the rock band Deep Purple during their concert in Albania in March 2007 during the Rapture of the Deep tour.

His international career was intensified further when he was asked to be the support band of Duff McKagan on their Loaded tour on June 1st, 2011 in Tirana, Albania.

During a traditional beer festival in Korca, Albania in August 18, 2013 Eugent Bushpepa performed with Ron “Bumblefooot” Thal, the guitarist of Guns N’ Roses.

The high point of his international career so far was in 2014 when Eugent joined the Darkology Band as a tour vocalist. The band supported the rock band Overkill in their tour around Europe called “Kill Fest 2014”.