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By Pete Devine

An upbeat number from Albania's entrant this year is something of a departure from a country that will clearly be seen as cannon fodder by many Eurovision fans.

On first listen the song Mall, which features five piece band and lead signer Eugent Bushpepa, is a bit of country, a bit of rock and a bit of pop. 

When that is combined with the fairly unique voice of Eugent it has all the hallmarks of an outsider that just might on the night come good.

With groups an awful lot depends on the hook and apart from a very pleasant song which could join the final mix it will need to be something quite special to reach it.

Born in 1984 Eugent joins a select band of child prodigies from across Easter Europe who started on his musical career aged just six.

He describes himself as a creative professional with extensive project experience from concept to development. He claims some interests including a love of art to supporting human rights.

Since 2006, he has performed in live shows in various night clubs and pubs. In that same year he started working for Top Channel Television as a resident singer in a talk show called Top Show. 

2006 is also the year in which his career kicked off as Eugent won several awards in Top Fest, a music competition organised by Top Channel in Albania. 

In 2008 and 2011 he won Best Male Singer, the Vodafone Club Award in 2009 and the Honorific Award in 2015. 

Besides performing in Top Show, he and his band supported several rock bands on their tours like Deep Purple in 2007, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) in 2011 and Overkill in 2014.

In December 2017, Eugent was chosen by a professional jury to represent his country at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Mal,l that he wrote and composed.

Previous Years

2016 - Eneda Tarifa "Fairytale" - Failed to qualify for final

2015 - Elhaida Dani "I'm Alive" - 17th place (34 points)

2014 - Hersi "One Night's Anger" - Failed to qualify for final

2013 - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko "Identitet" - Failed to qualify for final

2012 - Rona Nishliu "Suus" - 5th place (146 points)

2011 - Aurela Gace "Feel the Passion" - Failed to qualify for final

2010 - Juliana Pasha "It's All About You" - 16th place (62 points)

2009 - Kejsi Tola "Carry Me in Your Dreams" - 17th place (48 points)

2008 - Olta Boka "Zemren e lame peng" - 17th place (55 points)

2007 - Frederik Ndoci "Hear My Plea" - Failed to qualify for final

2006 - Luiz Ejlli "Zjarr e ftohe" - Failed to qualify for final

2005 - Ledina Celo "Tomorrow I Go" - 16th place (53 points)

2004 - Anjeza Shahini "The Image of You" - 7th place (106 points)

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