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Meet Iriao from Georgia!

This year 43 countries will be present at this years Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Lisbon in May. With around two weeks to go until all of Europe descends on Portugal's capital, Eurovoxx will introduce you to each country that will be participating.

Who are Iriao?

Iriao are an ethno-jazz band, lead by David Malazonia. David is considered to one of the greatest composers in Georgia. Throughout his 30 year career, he has composed music for films and theater shows, as well as writing music for artists both in Georgia and Germany.

Iriao were formed in 2013 in Tbilisi and their singing style is a mix of traditional Georgian polyphonic music and Jazz. They performed their first concert in Tbilisi in 2013, and have gone onto perform many other concerts throughout Georgia and abroad, including the Borneo Jazz Festival 2014 in Malaysia.

The band currently has 5 members for Eurovision: Bidzina Murgilia, Georgia Abashidze and Mikheil Javakhishvili (vocals), Levan Abshilava (drums) and Shalva Gelekva (bass).

Their name, Iriao, derives from the phrase Iriao-Uruao, which is a common phrase in the traditional yodelling singing style "Krimanchuli".

Check out Irao's Eurovision song below:

How were Iriao chosen?

Iriao were chosen via an internal selection back in December 2017 by Georgian Broadcaster 1TV. Their song "For You" and accompanying music video were officially released in March 2018.

The music video was shot in Saguramo, Eastern Georgia by Zaza Orashvili who also shot the postcards for Junior Eurovision 2017 in Tbilisi.

Georgia in The Eurovision Song Contest

Georgia made their Eurovision debut in 2007 with Sopho Khalvashi's "Visionary Dream" finishing in 12th place. Out of a total of 10 participations, they have made the final 7 occasions, with their best result coming in 2010 with Sopho Nizharadze and her song "Shine". Their worst result came in 2014 when The Shin and Mariko with their song "Three Minutes To Earth" finished last in the semi final with only 15 points.

In 2009, Georgia had selected Stefane and 3G to sing "We Don't Wanna Put In"; However, they never made it to Eurovision as their song was deemed to contain political references to Russian President Vladimir Putin. After their refusal to change the lyrics, they were disqualified from Eurovision 2009 by the EBU.

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