Elhaida was born on February 17, 1993 in Scutari – North Albania. Music has always been her passion.
“I started to sing when I was 4 years old, all by myself, in my bedroom, for hours, entire afternoons. Every moment was filled with the company of song. I did not want to sing in front of other people, not even my mother…”
Her parents understood how important her passion for music was; so they decided to send her to the Music School “Prenke Jakova” to study piano. But her real and deep passion was singing, but she kept it for herself.
“I never talked about it with anyone. Even at the Music School no one had ever heard me sing…”
At School Elhaida played the piano, the instrument she grew up with. As time went on, Elhaida’s mother understood how important her passion for singing was.
“One day my mom said to me “There is nothing I would like more than seeing you on a big stage singing. Because you can do it”. That was the moment that everything started. For the first time I found the courage to look inside myself and see that this was what I wanted from life”.
From that time on, she changed her life to make her dream come true.
“From this moment on, I took part into many local concerts and cultural activities of the city. In 2009 I decided to take part into the talent show “Star Academy”, where I won the first place and my career really started here”.
After this show she released her first song ever called Si asnjëherë which brought great luck; and later she released two more songs Fjala e fundit & Vetmia.
When she was 18 she moved with her family to Tirana where she started studying Musicology in the ‘University of Arts’ and started singing live with her band in the most important venues in Tirana.
Since then, she took part to several music competitions in her country and abroad, and she came out winner from all the competitions she attended…an unreachable record.
- The best New Artist of the Festival ‘Suncane Skale’ in Herceg Novi, Montenegro.
- The Best Singer of the festival ‘Zlaten Kesten’ Festival in Petric, Bulgaria.
- The Best Melody of the Albanian National Festival.
- Winner of the VIII edition of the festival ‘George Grigoriu’ Braila, Romania.
- Winner of “Grand Prix” in the festival “Nova Musica” (New Music) in Gorna Oriahovitsa, Bulgaria.
- Winner of the festival “Champions League”, Romania.
- Senior Trophy and the First Price in the National Festival “Mihai Traistariu” in Romania.
- Grand Prix of the Silver Yantra Festival, in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria
- In June 2012 Elhaida became the Winner of the most important competition of modern music in Albania “Top Fest” where she was the winner of the “Best New Artist” title too. The unreleased song she presented S’je me has been a great hit in Albania.
“In January 2013 I decided to follow my dream and I left my country and my family to take part into the Audition of the first edition of the talent show The Voice of Italy”.
During the first step of the Show (so called Blind Auditions) Elhaida performed Mama knows best and she achieved a complete success: all the 4 coaches fought to have her in their team.
Elhaida chose to enter Riccardo Cocciante Team : “In Albania Riccardo is so famous, he’s an icon of Italian music and I have grown up with his songs…my choice couldn’t be different…”
During the Show she performed No more tears, All by myself, Nessun dolore, Adagio, I believe I can fly, Margherita and When love calls your name, the unpublished song written by Riccardo Cocciante for her.
This musical path led her to become The Voice of Italy on May 30, 2013.
In July she released her first EP including some of the songs she performed during the Voice and 2 unreleased songs: Baciami e Basta (written for her by Francesco Silvestre, leader and singer of the pop-rock band Modà) and In the sky for a while.
During 2013-14 she has been on tour throughout Italy, performing in top events and singing on the same stage together with Patti Smith, Elisa, Fiorella Mannoia, Dolores O’Riordan, Fausto Leali, Giovanni Allevi, Caro Emerald and many others.
In December 2015 Elhaida won the 53rd edition of Festivali i Këngës, and got the chance to represent Albania in the Eurovision Songo Contest 2015 in Vienna.
In May 2015 Elhaida performed her song I’m Alive in Vienna, reaching the Grand Final and a position in the Europe Top20 songs.
Her official video has been in the Top 5 most popular songs on the ESC Official Youtube Channel.