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Azerbaijan’s Efendi Releases New Version of ‘Mata Hari’ Song for Eurovision

By Nargiz Mammadli April 18, 2021

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Azerbaijan's 2021 Eurovision contestant Samira Efendi. / Courtesy

Azerbaijan’s contestant for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, Samira Efendi, introduced last week the slow version of her contest entry titled “Mata Hari.”

In a video clip released on the same day with the song, Efendi performs a sentimental version of her uptempo song on piano.

The original version of “Mata Hari” has been composed and penned by Amy van der Wel, Josh Earl, Luuk van Beers, and Tony Cornelissen. The song’s ballad version is authored by Josh Earl.

“It is very important to talk about strong women in order to remind our beautiful ladies that despite the fact that we still live in a world full of prejudices, a woman can do anything and female power cannot be compared with anything,” Efendi said according to a story issued by Eurovision.tv.

“And if suddenly you do not have enough inspiration now, let the stories of strong women in history become the source of that very charge of energy with which you can cope with everything and achieve even bigger success. There is a queen in each of us and I want to remind you that it's time to release her,” she added. 

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the Rotterdam city of the Netherlands from May 18-22, with representatives from 39 countries participating. The first and second semi-finals are scheduled for May 18 and 20, respectively. The winner is to be known on May 22 during the Grand Final show. Rotterdam Ahoy multi-purpose arena will play a host to the contest.

Efendi will reportedly perform in the first semi-final along with the contestants from Lithuania, Slovenia, Russia, Sweden, Australia, North Macedonia, Ireland, Cyprus, Norway, Croatia, Belgium, Israel, Romania, Ukraine, and Malta.

ESC is going to be the next song contest in Efendi’s professional career. She has previously performed in various popular musical shows such as the New Star, the Big Stage, and The Voice of Azerbaijan. At the local version of the worldwide known Voice contest, Efendi was the third-best singer. In 2017, she ranked third at the Silk Way Star international competition held in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Her most recent successful performance beyond the borders of Azerbaijan came in October 2019, when she took the stage at the Voice of Nur-Sultan singing show.

Since making a debut in ESC in 2008, Azerbaijan has been sending singers to Europe’s biggest song competition each year. Over the past thirteen years, representatives of the country have repeatedly made it through to the Eurovision finals. El & Nikki duet from Azerbaijan won the contest with their “Running scared” song in 2011, bringing the grand show to the country. A year later, the 57th edition of the Eurovision took place at the flamboyant Crystal Hall concert arena at the Caspian Sea promenade in the capital city Baku of Azerbaijan.