Alexander Rybak: I don’t want to stop at what I’ve achieved so far

This singer has impersonated so many characters on the stage of “One to One”: Elvis Presley, Enrique Iglesias, Dima Bilan, Shura, Eduard Khil and even Gloria Gaynor. Alexander Rybak still has quite a few impersonations left to do before the final, and in the meantime, he shared with our correspondent what he’s already managed to accomplish.

Source: Author: Oksana Tishchenko.
Photo: Alexey Ladigin. Translation by Sonya L. & Marina R.

– What does your participation in the project “One to One” do for you?

– I agreed to do this contest because I have a lot of Russian fans. I wanted to make them happy. In addition, thanks to the show, I discovered new Russian artists for myself-for example, Vladimir Markin. After Mark Tishman sang “Ya gotov tselovat’ pesok” (“I’m ready to kiss the sand”), I’ve been listening to this song every morning. In general, the team that is working on the project is very good. It combines the Russian and European styles of working, so I feel right at home. And of course, the teachers diligently work with us and they have to endure many things. After all, we are not used to learning to sing again. It’s a valuable experience for me, because I don’t want to relax and just enjoy what I have already achieved. Even though my victories have helped me, I feel that future projects are more important than the past ones. For example, I’m currently writing a book – it’s a tale in Norwegian about a troll .

– Which of the artists that you’ve impersonated so far has been the most difficult ?

– Probably, Eduard Khil. Basically, after I performed a few numbers, I realized that not all appreciate them as I do. What I mean is that if I get a male image that looks a bit similar to me, the audience seems to think that this impersonation is easy. It happened with the Eduard Khil number, for example. But everyone thought that the Gloria Gaynor was more difficult, because there was more makeup, a dress, heels… But, in reality, her voice is not that different from mine, so that performance was easier for me.

– And what impersonation did you like the most?

– Enrique Iglesias, because I managed to pull away from my sincere smile and to be more constrained, more careful. He’s a very humble guy. I’m pleased with this character, because I put a lot of work into it. The audience, of course, immediately felt that Rybak was on stage, because they saw my simple clothes, my hair, and it was a young guy’s character. But I think like a musician, about the differences in the singing style , the vibrato. For me, it was a great victory to do this number so well.
– Ruslan Alehno impersonated you during the show. Did you help him?

– No, his performance was a big surprise for me. And in my opinion, he did great, and not just my character. He manages to do all of them very accurately and in a beautiful way.

– And when you were preparing to impersonate Shura, did he help you?

– Yes, he did. He advised me when I asked him how he sings. But Shura helped me even more without knowing it. I just watched him. He has such an open soul, everything is very sincere. He never hides anything, so I just followed him and wrote it all down. I liked being Shura so much that I continued to talk like him even after the recording, ‘till they took off my makeup.
– In the next episode of the show, you will stand before the audience as the lead vocalist of the group “Tsvety” (“Flowers”) – Alexander Losev. Tell us about this number.

– I’ve never been as nervous before the show as I am now. I found a video online of an older Losev, but I will impersonate the young singer, as many remember him. So for the first time in this project, I needed to guess how he sang then, how he moved, whether he smiled… Usually we copy the video, but now, all I can rely on is my soul. So I can very easily miss it. I need to do it in a beautiful way. I hope that even if the jury decides that I don’t look at all like Losev , they would still say that they were touched. This will be the first time that I will sing a Russian soulful ballad in the show.

– What musicians inspire you?

– I really like Sting, Michael Jackson, Mozart, Andrea Bocelli, Eminem. I have a very diverse taste in music. You know, sometimes I see that my colleagues are a little upset when they get a certain character who they don’t understand or don’t like. But I’m always very happy, because I like every genre. The most important thing for me is the melody. Shura, for example, has a lot of beautiful melodies. “Tvori dobro” (“Do Good”), let’s say. But I chose a song that was supposed to energize. And it was so energetic that I was out of breath.
– Your performance brought you victory at Eurovision in Russia. What do you think, will you manage to win the Russian version of the international project “One to One”?

– I would like to. Maybe the viewers think that if I smile a lot and joke a lot, then for me it’s more important to just have fun. But I’m just as nervous as the other participants. I do have a chance to win. Of course, it will be too bad if I don’t get to the final. It’s clear that I’ve won other competitions, but every project is important for me.

Watch Alexander Rybak’s new performances in the show “One to One” on TV channel “Russia”, as well as online on the website. Watch the next episode on Sunday, March 22 at 15:00.

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