Philip Cecil has teamed up with Alexander Rybak and created one of this year’s big hits.
The music producer Philip Cecil and Alexander Rybak released the single “Looking My Way” on streaming services Sunday May 28th, and the song is “The single of the week” on NPS Music.
Source: npsmusic.no, published 29.05.2017
Translated by Jorunn Ekre, revised by Anni Jowett.
Alexander has stated for a while that he has had a wish to create something modern, fun and fresh, and that Philip Cecil has given him the opportunity with this song. The combination with Alexander’s violin and vocal in an EDM wrapping courtesy of Philip Cecil is the proof that the collaboration has been successful, and not the least that the violin and EDM is a good match. The song is super catchy and it can easily become one of this summer’s big hits. The music video for the song, which you can watch further down here, was released on Friday May 26. We had a nice conversation with Alexander and Philip Cecil about the song, their collaboration and further plans.
Congratulations on the super catchy song “Looking My Way”. Can you tell us a bit about the process around the song and what it’s about?
A: It’s mostly about collaboration and about supporting each other. Philip believed in me as an EDM singer and I believed in him as a producer. Plus we both knew my girlfriend, which is fun. The lyrics are about that the hottest girl in the bar has chosen to look at me and how wonderful that feels.
In a way this is a “new sound” in the EDM context. Who would think that the violin and EDM would work so well together. How did you get the idea of writing this song and not the least, how did you two meet?
A: We won’t brag and claim that we’ve invented the wheel, and I’ve played the violin on an EDM song both with Katastrofe and Gaute Ormåsen with great success, but Philip inspired me to use the fiddle in new way, and instead of the folk song inspiration, the fiddle sounds much more jazzy with Philip behind the wheel.
P: It was very inspiring to work with such a capable and creative musician as Alexander. The fact that he believed that we could create something cool together motivated me to do my very best.
Philip Cecil, at the moment you study sound and music production at Noroff, and last year you won the award for best student works at the school. Can you explain a bit about that, your musical background and who you are?
P: It was a great incentive to be awarded the prize for best student works and see that hard work pays off. I was exposed to music at an early age. My father played the harmonica every night to make me sleep. He has even contributed on a couple of songs you can listen to on my Sound Cloud. Already at the age of 6 I sat down at the grand piano and my parents decided I should take piano lessons. After many years back and forth with piano lessons I took the matter in my own hands and started learning on my own. From then on I realised early what songs I liked, and my taste in music started to take shape. With modern music production and new genres, I discovered the new music and decided that this was what I wanted to work with, hence my choice of studies and launching of songs too.
Those of you who want to know who Philip Cecil is, I’m a happy boy with lots of energy. When I have a goal I work hard to achieve it, and I won’t stop till I’m a 100% satisfied. I enjoy having many projects; sometimes too many at the same time, so many of my songs are not ready yet.
Alexander, you’re a multi talent who literally can play on many strings. It’s not the first time you have created music crossing genres. How comfortable do you feel creating music by mixing genres and this time EDM?
A: Normally I do everything from writing folk pop, children’s musicals, DreamWorks songs to arranging for symphony orchestras and making covers of Eurovision songs. But the EDM genre is much more difficult than what you assume, namely because it’s so pure and simple, and every superfluous sound can ruin the song. Many Norwegian DJs have tried to get me to play on their songs, but with the exception of Rykkinfella and Kristoffer Tømmerbakke from Erik &Kriss, I have turned it down at the last minute. With Philip I heard an open sound where there was room for experiments.
Philip Cecil, not many are aware of that you’re actually the cousin of Martin Danielle (CLMD), and that he is your musical mentor. Can you tell us a bit about that and what Martin has added to your musical expression?
P: I have been lucky to have had Martin as my mentor the past few years. Despite that we have different sound he has guided me along the way. He has been good at giving me feedback when it comes to the productions I work with and also as a good supporter.
Alexander, the day after the ESC final you uploaded a lovely version of the Portuguese winning song on YouTube , which has received a warm welcome both near and far. Why did you want to do this, and will we see you as a contestant in the Norwegian Eurovision finale again- soon it’s 10 years since you won ESC with “Fairytale”?
A: In fact I made the video a month ago when Portugal was way down on the betting lists. I just HAD to show the song to everyone I knew, and when half of them replied: “We don’t understand what it’s about”, I did a stunt and recorded a video with English lyrics. I wanted to wait with the publishing till after the contest was over, and the day after the final I suddenly had a cover version of this year’s winner.
Yes, if I feel that I have a song that has to join Grand Prix (Norwegian Eurovision selection), I’ll join. Anniversary or not.
What is the most fun or most special thing you have experienced as artists?
A: That must be hearing “Fairytale” sung by Lars Lillo-Stenberg. It even beats when I was in Moscow last year and had to sign autographs for four hours.
P: That must be all the new fans I’ve made after Alexander has posted photos of us on social media.
There’s a lot of good Norwegian music which is released nowadays, what do you enjoy listening to?
A: I’d rather say that there’s lots of good international music created by Norwegian artists.
P: Our Norwegian DJs have contributed to the modern American sound, and that’s awesome. My personal favourites are “Breathe” with SEEB and “Sing Me to Sleep” with Alan Walker, since they actually dare having atypical, melodic chords in the song.
Do you have any musical idols or sources of inspiration?
A: I’m an entertainer, so my idols will always be Gene Kelly, Michael Jackson, Robbie Williams and Elvis.
P: I am often inspired by artists and producers like Martin Garrix, Broiler and Matoma
What other musical plans do you have together in 2017- is there an album in the works (Alexander), will there be more singles from the two of you, and will there be concerts, festivals later?
A: I won’t do more albums, I rather release one song at a time on YouTube. It can be a classical piece, a pop song, a collaboration with Philip Cecil or just a cover song, but I will ALWAYS have something visual together with my songs, and probably a music video.
Apart from that I am busy playing Ole Bull in Ørje, near the Swedish border, together with Dennis Storhøi in the “Soot play”, and creating my own musical based on my book and CDs about Trolle.
P: My plans are to continue working hard to achieve my goals and dreams.