Alexander Rybak: “As a child I was a clown” – Interview to Russian newspaper “Pervostolnik” #7, 2011

Found by: Irina Kuvaldina. Translated by: Irina KuvaldinaZhanna Sergueeva. Revision by: Bita J.

Also available in: Russian (русский)Greek (ελληνικά).

We came to know him just 2 years ago, after his victory in the ESC 2009. Ever since then, Alexander Rybak has not been lost amongst the countless European pop artists and has become one of the most popular artists in Europe. Of course, he is especially loved in the CIS countries. This is understandable since Alexander is of Belorussian origin, though he represented Norway in the famous song contest. Moreover, the musician doesn’t become tired of repeating  throughout interviews that  considers himself Russian in soul.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2011, which ended several months ago, could not have take place without Alexander’s participation either. This time around, Alexander tried out a new role as a host and reporter for  Norwegian TV. The day before his trip to Dusseldorf, he found the time to answer to our questions discussing the attention he receives from girls, his first self-earned income and the contents of his luggage.

– Alexander, could you tell us about how you’ve changed ever since the memorable moment in which you won the ESC?

– My attitude towards the things around me has changed. I’ve become self-disciplined. I now know how and where to direct my energy more effectively. I then started becoming more selective, as I understand that it’s not possible to be in multiple different parts of Europe all in one day (Laughs. – Comment of author). But managers still think this is possible and invite me to perform. I thank them for it, but recently my managers have tried to make my schedule logical and not overloaded.

– What’s your dream? What are the things you tend to?

– Currently I have many things that I want to accomplish. Firstly, I’m going to finish conservatory. I’m a classical violinist, and it’s very important for me to have this education, this diploma. Before Eurovision, I had just one year in conservatory left, but then things started piling up… Finally, now it is the time to finish (Smiles. – Comment of author). Other plans include new albums, musicals…

– Could you share the last experience that had a bright impression on you?

– I suppose the brightest impression was my first, after two and a half years, vacation! I went to America, Los Angeles, for 2 weeks. What a wonderful trip! Wow, I’ve seen so many sights, have been to several amusement parks, unforgettable!

Also, I remember when I, a year ago, had 1 day off after 3 months of daily concerts and minute-to-minute planned out days. I played computer games the entire day (Smiles – comment of the author).

– Having such a tight schedule is probably the most difficult aspect of an artist’s life, isn’t it?

– You know, it depends on artist. If we’re talking about an artist who works all the time and goes on tour, the most important thing for him is to manage his emotions, and to direct and spread his energy efficiently. For example, whenever I feel anger, it should stay inside myself. You mustn’t show your problems to the audience.

– What would be the most pleasant thing then?

– I will not deny that it brings a great pleasure that people know of your creations and yourself, that they sing along in concerts, smile at you when they run into you on the street. It’s inspiring.

– What’s one thing you can’t imagine living without?

– Music and the violin. And aside from this, not having diversity. I’m so used to having interesting things always happening to me, visiting  different places, getting acquainted with a lot of people – so I can’t imagine my life without any of that.

– And certainly without female attention either? You once mentioned in an interview that you like to flirt with girls. What’s your secret to winning over the girl during a conversation, to please her?

– Well, It depends. If I’m interested in a girl, there’s always something specific in her that attracts me first. For example, what does she enjoy, what does she do… then we talk about that. This is a very good technique – to discuss the things that she’s interested in. Not so much so to talk a lot, but to listen to her. (Laughs – comment of the author)

– They say that women are an enigma. What’s your definition – what is a woman?

– A woman is the very best friend. Of course only if you are devoted to her and trust her and that she feels the same in return. Women are like wild horses… Sorry if this comparison seems harsh to you, I mean it in the most positive way! That is to say they are inaccessible, you need to tame them, to conquer them… But the main thing is that women strive to tame us too, and the sooner a man will understand this the easier it will become for him.

– Many girls just lose their heads because of you, so what makes you lose your heads?

– Well, girls! (Smiles – comment of the author)

– Do you remember the first time you earned your own money? How old were you?

– Yes, I remember it very clearly. I was 8 years old. I passed a children’s exam with the “excellent” mark and my mother gave me money for it,  as motivation.

– And what did you spend it on?

–  On candy.

– If little Sasha Rybak saw today’s Alexander Rybak, what would he think?

– I am glad that there won’t be such a situation, because in that case I would have given up the violin and had done only pop music, but that would be quite wrong.

– As a child were you a ring-leader or more of a modest type?

– As a child I was a clown, I made everybody laugh. My teacher at once suspected that I would become an artist. I always tried to draw attention to myself. But now it’s vice versa – I want less attention.

– Many famous musicians expand their activities and become actors, designers, restaurateurs. You already have the experience of voicing a character of an animated movie (Alexander voiced the protagonist in a Norwegian version of the cartoon “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2010), but perhaps you’re preparing something else that’s unusual?

– In fact, all my activity in one or another way is connected with music. I’ve already acted in a movie. (Alexander talks about the Norwegian film “Yohan- the Child Wanderer” in 2010, in which he played a gypsy Levi – comment of the author) Today I would gladly act as a character in a musical. I also want to come out as a composer of a great musical.

– Which do you like to visit the most: restaurants, bars or clubs?

– I like restaurants when I’m with one person. And in general, of course, it’s better being in a club than in a bar, since there’s usually very loud music in bars but you aren’t able to dance, and although in clubs the music is also loud, you can at least dance to it.

– You once said that you almost never drink. Is this related to an intention to live a healthy lifestyle or there is some other reason? And if you do drink alcohol, which drink would you choose?

– The fact is that I do not like alcohol in general. I can drink something but very rarely do- some soft drinks, wine or a Martini, for example.

– How has he content of your luggage changed from the days when you just started to tour until now?

– It’s become much easier now. Earlier I used to bring along all my pants, all my shirts. Now, I understand that on my trip I can buy everything I need. In addition, gifts may be given to me. (Smiles – comment of the author) Now I carry a light half-empty bag, one can say half of the original luggage.

– This question is often asked by employers in job interviews: How do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

– Happy and experienced. And what else do you need from life?

– How would you have continue this sentence: “Alexander Rybak is a person who…?”

– …knows how to live without boundaries and how to cross the boundary! Something like this.

– Popular wisdom says: “Happiness doesn’t lie in money.” What is happiness to you?

– Not money – that’s for sure. I think happiness is when people understand you, and you understand people. Understanding – that’s real happiness. We miss out on it so often unfortunately. Therefore a lot of problems arise, both at the household level and more global ones.

– Speaking of global, did you ever want to change the world?

– I want to change only the music world. I would really like to show people that it is possible to combine completely different genres.

– What is the most absurd gossip you’ve heard about yourself?

– I don’t like when people say that I’m always trying to record duets with various artists, because I can’t manage that. I do not want to do that at all. I don’t like when people gossip saying that everybody denies my duet requests when I haven’t even made such proposals to anyone. My life is much quieter than people think.

– How would you like to be remembered by people?

– I would like to be remembered as a man who did not incommode anyone.

Interview made by Elena Polyakova, photos provided by the press-service of Alexander Rybak – Mastermanagement.

7 thoughts on “Alexander Rybak: “As a child I was a clown” – Interview to Russian newspaper “Pervostolnik” #7, 2011”

  1. I wanted to buy this newspaper because I really like this interview, but I can not find it despite of I live in Russia. Is this really Russian newspaper?

  2. Wow thank u guys! I LOVED this interview, my sweet Alex.. he is so incredible <3 Thank you for your hard work guys, I really appreciate it!

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