Face The Shadow (ESC 2015 FINAL LIVE)


Genealogy is a supergroup that was formed especially to represent Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. All six members of group come from a different continent but all of them have Armenian origins.

 The first member Essaï Altounian representing Europe is a French-Armenian singer, songwriter, keyboardist, music producer and an actor. Being of Armenian origin Essai lived and debuted in France. His grandparents escaped from Kharpet during the Armenian Genocide.

At the age of 12 Essaï composed his first song and at the age of 19 signed a contract with Sony France as lead singer of the urban and pop idol group “Ideal-3”. The Pop/urban inspired top ten hit “Pardonne-moi” and was played on all major French radio stations, including NRJ and Fun Radio. The band toured all of the major venues and arenas of the time. They also appeared on numerous television shows including Jacques Martin.

Essaï has established a collaboration with music veteran Kerry Gordy and Kerry Gordy Records (KGR). The first single, “Family” has been an up-tempo, urban song that pays homage to the sanctity of those who are closest to you. His new album will be released in the beginning of 2016. Essaï is really concerned by the story of his grandparents and in 2015 for the centennial of the Armenian genocide, he wrote, composed and produced a song called “Je n’oublie pas / ChemMorana “, dedicated to the 1,5 million Armenian victims of the 1915 genocide.

The second member of the group Tamar Kaprelian representing America was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA to Armenian parents, but she grew up in Georgia and California. Kaprelian is her mother’s maiden name and she chose it in honor of her grandfather who died a few years before her career began. Tamar is incredibly proud of her heritage and she wants people to know that she is an Armenian. Her great-grandparents are from Old Armenia. On her mother’s side of the family, her grandfather Girair Kaprelian was born in Kharpert and her grandmother Hasmik Kaprelian was born in Mousel.

Kaprelian won the OneRepublic “Apologize” Cover Contest in March 2008, and as a reward, Ryan Tedder helped bring her to the attention of Interscope Records which signed her shortly afterward. Wax Ltd produced her song “New Day,” which went on to be her first single, and her first album Sinner or a Saint on Interscope records was released August 24, 2010. During 2010, she performed Dev’s part of “Like a G6” with The Far East Movement at selected live performances. Her first EP, California, was released on June 19, 2012.

The third member Vahe Tilbian representing Africa is an Ethiopian-Armenian artist. Vahe is known for his style – from rock to techno, reggae to R&B, Armenian to Ethiopian and a lot of Latin music.

Vahe was born and raised in Ethiopia. Both his parents (Garo Tilbian and Ani Aslanian) are of Armenian origin. His paternal grandfather escaped the Armenian Genocide in 1923 and by way of Syria eventually settled in Ethiopia. His mother’s side of the family all left the ancient lands of Western Armenia by the late 1890s or early 1900s. Vahe values his Armenian roots and believes that it was the cruel history of Armenia that built his unique artistic character.

In November 2012 Vahe finished his album titled “Mixology”,  and released it for free. It has been over 2 years that Vahe became the lead singer at Zemen Band. Vahe worked with well-established Ethiopian singers Zeritu Kebede and Michael Belayneh and the musical group Nubian Arc Band. He also was the backing vocalist as well as an opening act for artists like Ledj Leo, Abby Lakew, Nhatty, Tsedenya Gebremarkos, Eyob Mekonnen, Shewandagn Hailu, as well as artists from other African countries like Oliver Mtukudzi, Vee and Liz Ogumbo when they visited Ethiopia. Vahe also has been a columnist at Zoma Magazine published in Addis Ababa.

The fourth member Stephanie Topalian represents Asia. Topalian is a Japanese American singer, songwriter and actress of mixed Japanese and Armenian descent. She was born to a Japanese mother and an Armenian father in Los Angeles, California. Although Stephanie is residing in Japan she has a strong commitment to her Armenian background and is very attached to her grandparents. Beginning to sing at the young age of 13, Stephanie sent an audio demo tape of her singing to various music productions, and received a response from a Japanese music producer Joe Rinoie. Rinoie was impressed with her singing, and at the age of 19 Stephanie made her major debut in Japan from SME Records (Sony). She achieved the “Best New Artist Award” at the prestigious 49th “Japan Record Awards” in 2007 and afterwards released two albums.The fifth member is Mary-Jean O’Doherty Basmadjian, an Australian opera singer of Armenian descent. Her membership was announced on 3 March 2015.

 The fifth member of Genealogy representing Australia continent is Mary-Jane O’Doherty born in Houston, Texas to an Australian father and a Greek-Armenian mother Eliza Bas­mad­jian. She was educated at North Carolina School of the Arts and East Carolina University from which she received her Bachelor of Music degree in voice and flute performance as well as Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 2005. She won the ABC Symphony Australia Young Vocalist Award in 2007 and the following year was the first recipient of the Australian International Opera Award which included a scholarship to study at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice under the direction of Dennis O’Neill. Shortly after completing her post-graduate diploma there in 2010, she sang the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Prague State Opera and reprised the role with the company the following season. In November 2011, she made her Royal Albert Hall debut as a concert artist performing in Raymond Gubbay’s Classical Spectacular.

And the sixth member of Genealogy who represents Armenia is Inga Arshakyan who already made her contribution in Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 together with her sister Anush Arshakyan by representing Armenia with the song “Jan Jan” and achieving 10th place. Inga was born on December 24, 1980 in Yerevan. She graduated from S. Aslamazyan music school, in piano. In 1994, she came first and was awarded the audience prize in the “Sonorous Voices” competition that took place in Omsk. In that period, she started promoting herself as a writer/composer. After her graduation in 2001, she entered and graduated from A. Babajanyan music college, in piano. In 1999, she made her debut as a soloist together with Armenia State Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. From 2001 to 2005, she studied at Yerevan State Conservatory, and graduated in jazz-vocal.

Her professional career as singer grows in a duet with her sister Anush. In 2002, the Armenian variety song festival “Golden Lyre 2002” congratulated Anush and Inga on the “Sympathy of Audience” nomination. In February 2003, the “Seasons of Life” concert program was prepared, where ethnical, national and modern songs were included in the musical performance, as well as songs to the accompaniment of violin, guitar and piano.

In March 2003, solo concerts of Inga and Anush took place in the “Alex” Theater. At the same time their first album We and our Mountains was released. This was followed by invitations to appear on stage with the same program in New York, Toronto, Argentina and Paris. Eventually in November, they left the theatre staff and started working on their own. In 2004, their rendition of the folk song “Tamzara” was announced as the winner of the “Golden Lyre 2004” festival.

In November 2009 Inga and Anush’s third studio album “Heartbeat of my Land” was released. The album’s single “Menq Enq Mer Sarere”, was selected as the 2009 song for the annual Armenian Telethon, under the name “Our Shushi”. On 21 May, Inga & Anush started a tour to promote their third album. Their first show was in Yerevan, having several other appearances in Syria as well as in Beirut and Russia.


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