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VIDEO: Romani singer Joci Pápai makes it to the Eurovision final

15.5.2017 7:19

Joci Pápai, the 35-year-old Romani singer representing Hungary, made it to the final round of the international Eurovision Song Contest, which was held this year in Kiev, Ukraine. The singer performed the song "Origo", which combines hip hop and traditional Romani music, during the second semifinal on 11 May.

"The song summarizes my life, because everything I sing about in 'Origo' is 100 % about me. The composition is a mixture of styles, it's modern world music - electronic beats encounter the Hungarian and the Romani styles in an exceptional, gently balanced combination," the singer described the song that got him to the final round of the competition.

"I love Hungary and its unique music. I am the first Romani performer to proudly represent Hungary at the Eurovision Song Contest, and I am grateful to have so many people behind me," the performer said.

The guitarist, rapper and singer comes from the city of Tata and immediately became a celebrity in 2005 when he shone on the "Megasztár" singing show on Hungarian television, which is like the famous "X Factor" competition shown on Czech television and in other countries such as the UK and US. His first hit was the song "Ne nézz így rám", followed by other solo recordings and a collaboration with the rapper Majka.

This is not the first year a Romani musician or singer has represented a country at Eurovision. In 2009 the Czech Republic was represented at Eurovision in Moscow by the group but did not receive the votes needed to make it to the final.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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