VIENNA, Austria (A.W.)—On March 12, Armenia released its Eurovision 2015 song entry, “Don’t Deny.” Diasporan artists from five continents and one artist from Yerevan will represent Armenia as “Genealogy” in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Vienna this May. The song has enraged some in neighboring Azerbaijan, which claims the lyrics contain a political message.
Along with the release of the song and its music video, Inga Arshakian of Armenia was unveiled as the final performer of the group Genealogy. Arshakian joins Stephanie Topalian, Essaï Altounian, Vahe Tilbian, Mary-Jean O’Doherty Vasmatzian, and Tamar Kaprelian, who hail from Europe, Asia, America, Africa, and Australia—and are all of Armenian origin. According to the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest (Eurovision.tv), this is the first time a country is participating with performers from different parts of the world.
The music for “Don’t Deny” was written by award-winning Armenian musician and composer Armen Martirosyan, who also composed Armenia’s entry into the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, “Apricot Stone.” The lyrics to the song were penned by Inna Mkrtchyan; the music video was directed by renowned Armenian director, Aren Bayadyan.
Since the name of the song was made public, there has been speculation that the title refers to denial of the Armenian Genocide. The genocide began on April 24, 1915; its Centennial is being commemorated this year in communities throughout the world.
France’s entry has also been accused of referring to the Armenian Genocide. The song is entitled, “N’oubliez Pas” (or “Don’t Forget”). According to Eurovision.tv, the song was first performed at a concert in November 2014 at a World War I commemoration event, and “the singer emphasizes that the song refers not only to this very special event in history, but to any kind of conflict.”
Although there has been no explicit mention of the Armenian Genocide from the organizers, Azeri media outlets have accused both Armenia and France of politicizing the music event.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 will take place in Vienna from May 19 to 23.