A firm favourite of ours of the 2021 entries was Efendi’s banger Cleopatra featuring musings on the Egyptian ruler’s sexuality, demonic chanting, and a banging dance beat. Thankfully Efendi returns for the 2021 contest and this time takes on another influential female role model for her musical inspiration – Mata Hari.
Mata Hari was a Dutch exotic dancer convicted of being a spy during World War 1. Her story was turned into 1931 Greta Garbo film and then later a high camp thriller in 1985 by director Curtis Harrington. Efendi was inspired by Mata Hari’s story, sharing to Eurovision.tv: “It is very important to talk about strong women in order to remind our beautiful ladies that despite the fact that we still live in a world full of prejudices, a woman can do anything and female power cannot be compared with anything. And if suddenly you do not have enough inspiration now, let the stories of strong women in history become the source of that very charge of energy with which you can cope with everything and achieve even bigger success. There is a queen in each of us and I want to remind you that it’s time to release her”.
In the lyrics of Mata Hari, Efendi namechecks her previous anthem “Just like Cleopatra (Aah-aah), The army of lovers,
I start a fire, Yalan da mən…” whilst providing an infectious chorus of “Ma-Ma-Ma-Mata Hari.” The track is produced by Luuk van Beers and Tony Cornelissen has many of the stylistic flavours of Cleopatra from Efendi’s powerhouse vocals to the unique chanting effects.