Georgia will be represented by the band Iriao in 2018. Get to know the band better with ten facts about them and their history!
1. Iriao is a Georgian jazz and ethno folk group known for their unique style, a combination of traditional Georgian polyphonic singing and jazz.
2. The name Iriao comes from the common phrase ‘Iriao-uruao’ synonymous with the famous Georgian yodelling singing style Krimanchuli.
3. The band currently consists of seven members; David Malazonia, David Kavtaradze, Bidzina Murgulia, Levan Abshilava, Shalva Gelekva, George Abashidze and Mikheil Javakhishvili. This means that at least one of them will have to sit out the Eurovision performance, as EBU rules state only six people can appear on the stage.
4. The lead singer of the band and song composer David Malazonia is considered to be one of the first Georgians to combine the two genres of Georgian folk music and Jazz.
5. As well as composing for the band, in the past 30 years David has also successfully composed music for a number of films and plays in both Georgia and Gemany.
6. Over the years Iriao has been invited in a number of important musical festivals around the globe. This includes the 2014 edition of the Borneo Jazz Festival in Malaysia.
7. Iriao’s debut performance took place in June 2013 in Tbilisi and received wide recognition both among fans and critics.
8. Iriao has plans to promote its musical ethos not only at home in Georgia but worldwide, the Eurovision will give them this international stage to spread their music in 2018.
9. The band’s songs include the hits ‘Star’, ‘Take 5’, ‘Adio’ and ‘Fingertrips’.
10. Iriao are the eleventh representative for Georgia who have had mixed results over their history. Their best result was in 2010 and 2011 when they placed ninth on both occasions with Sopho Nizharadze and Eldrine respectively. They have failed to qualify on three occasions and had to withdraw in 2009 due to a controversial song with an overt political anti-Russian message.