This summer, we are running a series of feature articles that is slightly different to the norm. We think this is the perfect time for you (and us!) to find out more about the ESCXTRA team! What is our personal Eurovision story? Why did we want to be a part of this website? What are our favourite Eurovision songs of all-time? How can you get in touch with us on social media? Read on to find out!
My name is Sagheer Chaudhry. I am 23 years old and from London. For most of my life I have lived in London, apart from when I moved away for my undergraduate degree where I moved to the West Midlands for three years. I joined the Escxtra team not long after the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest concluded.
I use the following social media platforms:
Your first Eurovision memory:
My first Eurovision memory was actually not that long ago, when you compare it to other members of the Escxtra team. I first came across Eurovision in 2007 whilst watching it with my family and have never looked back since. I was in absolute awe of Natalia Barbu, who represented Moldova that year and still to this day enjoy listening to ‘Fight’.
Being from the UK, my first impression of our representatives, Scooch was slight disappointment, particularly when there were better songs *coughs* Cyndi who just missed out on being our representative for that year.
Your Eurovision journey:
Over the years, my love for Eurovision grew and grew. 2008 was a fantastic year and one that I will cherish for years to come. With truly magnificent entries from Serbia, Armenia and Greece I just could not get enough of all the great songs that the 2008 contest had to offer.
2011 was the first year where I found out that countries actually have selection processes to choose their entrant for the main contest in may. I was so excited to see so many different artists and entries that you wouldn’t normally come across over the course of the three shows in May.
To the next level:
My interest in Eurovision truly grew when I watched more national selections, and invested a lot of time and emotional attachment to some of the artists. I was overjoyed when I found out that Ivi Adamou was internally selected in 2012 to represent Cyprus. This was repeated in 2016 with Iveta Mukuchyan and again in 2017 with O’G3NE who represented the Netherlands.
Listening to artists music outside of the Eurovision bubble and seeing them go to Eurovision gave me so much happiness that I just cannot describe.
I also got to meet Iveta Mukuchyan in person for the first time, during the Armenian Street Festival where she was the headline act. You can read about my experience here
Why is Eurovision special to you?
Eurovision is special to me because it brings two important things together. They are music and languages. I love love love music and listening to a variety of genres and also love learning different languages. Eurovision allows me to combine both together which for me is the dream. I do however hope that there will start to be a trend in more countries sending songs in their native languages, as opposed to English, but time will tell if that becomes a reality.
What attracted you to Escxtra?
I thought about joining a Eurovision site for a fair few years but didn’t have the confidence up until last year. There were a few sites that I regularly looked to for Eurovision news, and Escxtra was one of those few.
The unique selling point that Escxtra had for me was that it gave a voice for the fans and an opportunity for them to engage and speak (via their webstream). I loved and still love watching the team on it.
Another thing that stood out for me with Escxtra was that they published articles that were entirely focused on Eurovision and Junior Eurovision and the artists. That is what Eurovision is about after all, supporting the artists and acts at Eurovision and beyond Eurovision too.
And finally your top 5 Eurovision songs of all time?
Before I whittle down my Eurovision songs to a top 5, I have to say that this has been extremely tough and there are two honourable mentions. The first one goes to Safura with her entry ‘Drip Drop’ and the second one goes to Kaliopi with ‘Crno I Belo’.
5. Hera Bjork (Iceland 2010)- Je Ne Sais Quoi
This is what you call a ‘Party song’ and it always puts a smile on my face. How Hera, did not make the Top 10 in that year, still baffles me.
4. Inga & Anush (Armenia 2009)- Jan Jan
A beautiful, song in Armenia that had middle eastern influences. I just loved everything about this song, from the costumes to choreography.
3. O’G3NE (Netherlands 2017)- Lights & Shadows
I am a sucker for good harmonies and this goes to another level. The televoting let down the song and it deserved better. What a travesty!
2. Iveta Mukuchyan (Armenia 2016)- LoveWave
Outfit check, choreography check, voice check. Iveta has it all and LoveWave is a masterpiece that I will cherish for years to come.
1. Jelena Tomasevic (Serbia 2008)- Oro
Balkan ballads send shivers down my spine and this one is the best of them all. I truly believe that this would have won if Serbia had not have won the year before. This is the song that I tell anyone who has never watched Eurovision before to listen to. It’s a beauty that goes above and beyond.
Stay tuned for the next part in our Meet the ESCXTRA team series. On Saturday we will meet Sara! Remember you can share your Eurovision stories with us in the comments section below or via the comments sections on our Facebook page @ESCXTRA. We would love to hear them!