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Getting to Know Albania, Ukraine and North Macedonia πŸ‡¦πŸ‡±πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦πŸ‡²πŸ‡°

After their first rounds of rehearsals here at La Seine Musicale in Paris, the JuniorEurovision.tv team took a moment to get to know Albania's Anna Gjebrea, Ukraine's Olena Usenko, and North Macedonia's Dajte Muzika.

🇦🇱 Albania

Albania’s Anna Gjebrea was born to sing, growing up in a musical family. She can’t recall when she started singing, but she says that performing with her father Ardit on television at the age of seven was one of her proudest musical moments – before competing at Junior Eurovision, of course!

Anna Gjebrea, Albania, First Rehearsal, La Seine Musicale, Paris, 15 December 2021Andres Putting/EBU

Stand By You is a lighthearted song with a serious message: be a supportive friend and stand up to bullying when you see it.

As Anna says:

'Being a good friend is basically not talking behind each other’s backs, and standing close to someone while they’re at their lowest. When you see someone being bullied, don’t just laugh! Stay with them and tell them it’s going to be okay. And if you’re being bullied, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell it to someone!'

When she’s not singing, Anna loves travelling; she’s been all over the globe, from Israel to the United States, and especially loves Paris.

Albania first joined the Junior Eurovision family back in 2012, and we’re happy to welcome them back into the Contest after a hiatus last year.

🇺🇦Ukraine

Olena Usenko, Ukraine, First Rehearsal, La Seine Musicale, Paris, 15 December 2021Andres Putting/EBU

Olena Usenko’s Vazhil is truly her song, as she has created both the lyrics and the musical composition.

When asked to explain the meaning of Vazhil, Olena says:

'I realised that you have to live your life, because it’s the most important thing that we have, and time flies so fast, so we have to do everything we can to make our dreams come true…you have to live your life while we have time.'

Olena casts a wide net, musically, listening to everything from classical music to rock to everything in between. She loves to be different, and feels that music truly has no borders, so if you want to listen to Nirvana and Edith Piaf, why not?

She loves creating her own music from top to bottom. When asked to give advice to budding young songwriters, Olena says:

'Don’t be scared to show your feeling and emotions in your songs or poetry! You have to write about your feelings honestly!'

🇲🇰North Macedonia

The four members of North Macedonia’s group Dajte Muzika have been performing as cast members of their eponymous show for the last three years. Basically, that means that for over 90 episodes, three studio albums, and a theatre tour, Anastasia, Filip, Kiki, and Miha have been working together very closely.

Dajte Musika, North Macedonia, First Rehearsal, La Seine Musicale, Paris, 15 December 2021Andres Putting/EBU

Not only are the quartet musical collaborators, but they’re also close friends.

The team were asked to play a bit of 'word association’ with the other members of the group.

  • When asked about Anastasia, the rest of the team thought of her character Natasha.

  • Miha made his teammates think about words like 'charming’, and 'funny’.

  • Kiki brought on the words 'pretty’ and 'kind’, which made her blush a bit.

  • And the words that came up for Filip were 'best friend’, 'style’, 'fashion’, and 'hair’.

Green Forces is all about coming together to make the world a healthier and safer place for future generations. We might not be all able to make huge changes individually, but we can all make small changes that, together, will make a huge difference.

Dajte Muzika recommends walking or biking instead of driving places, turning off lights when you leave a room, recycling plastics, and donating your gently used clothing to charity instead of throwing it out. Together, we can all be members of the Green Forces!

Make sure to follow the official Junior Eurovision Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook channels for exclusive behind-the-scenes content from Paris.

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