Dilara Kazimova’s “Start a Fire” is poised to give Azerbaijan yet another Top 10 finish in the Eurovision Song Contest. But does the song tell an incomplete story?
Song Title: “Start a Fire”
Artist: Dilara Kazimova
Semi-Final: First, Position 8
Last year’s entry: “Hold Me” – Farid Mammadov (2nd Place)1
Some day I hope we get the opportunity to learn how Azerbaijan has cracked the code in the Eurovision Song Contest. It might be some day in the distant future, as the country will not want to share their secrets as long as they continue to produce entries that finish in the Top 10. Dilara Kazimova’s “Start a Fire” is probably going to be another major hit in the Contest. Take a listen:
Ben’s description of “Start a Fire” as bluesy/jazzy is exactly how I would describe the track. I am reminded of Adele’s “Hometown Glory” — the husky delivery and a story of everyday life. Unlike Adele’s song, Dilara Kazimova’s entry does not have as clear a thesis in its lyrics. I wouldn’t call this a countdown song (the way I did with Greece’s entry), but I feel like a lyrically packed bridge or an additional verse would complete the story. On the other hand, this track shares many characteristics with Serbia’s entry in 2012, and that finished in third place. Perhaps “leave them wanting more” is part of Azerbaijan’s strategy.
The other component of Azerbaijan’s strategy: the stage performance. Dilara Kazimova did not sing “Start a Fire” in the national final, so how she is going to wow us will be a mystery until rehearsals begin. I would say expect to see a fiber optic dress were it not for the fact Azerbaijan originated that look in 2012. I don’t expect running order neighbors Russia or Ukraine to upstage Azerbaijan in the semi-final, but I do expect a performance everyone will be talking about at the end of the show.
Surprisingly, the bookmakers (as of this posting) have Azerbaijan ranked as eighth favorite to win. “Start a Fire” is a much stronger entry from Azerbaijan than those that have fared much better in previous Eurovision Song Contests. The worst Azerbaijan has ever done is 8th place, and I think we may see a surprise in Dilara Kazimova’s favor in Copenhagen.
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- This year’s Contest should have been in Baku, but whatevs. ↵