Alexander Rybak makes his debut as an Author
Source: paper issue of Her&Nå, published 29.09.2015. Author: Sindre Nordengen. Photo: Lasse Eriksson og Morten Bendiksen.
Provided and translated to English by Jorunn Ekre. Revised by Anni Jowett
I felt left out
Alexander Rybak knows what it’s like to feel different and left out. Now he hopes to be able to help others who struggle with the same problem.
I felt left out for several years. While others who were the same age as me hung out together after school, I had to go home and practise. I don’t miss practising on a daily basis, says Alexander Rybak (29) to Her og Nå.
Now the popular musician makes his debut as an author with the book “Trolle and the Magic Fiddle”.
The book is based on my own observations and elements from my childhood. Life isn’t just joy and delight. I love telling stories, but there has to be something sad to make it a good story, Alexander says.
There are several hundred fan letters around him at his apartment at Aker Brygge in Oslo. After he won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 with the song “Fairytale”, letters have poured in from all over the world. So far the popular musician has answered more than 12.000 letters.
I answer them all, but not as fast as I wish. I think I have 400-500 letters waiting to be answered that I’m working on right now. It takes time, even if it’s just a pleasure, he assures.
The main character in Alexander’s book also feels left out. He didn’t have any friends until he meets a girl in the woods who becomes a good friend. Alexander thinks that many people have experienced being left out and the feeling of not fitting in.
The girl in the woods is inspired by a girl from my childhood that showed me that I could trust people. I had big problems trusting people earlier, he tells.
Alexander himself had a few, but good friends during his childhood.
I lived for the music and spent all my time practising. There’s been a price to pay and I’m glad I’m not a child anymore who has to practise every day. But when it comes down to it, it has been worth the effort. It has brought me to where I am today.
Alexander spent the first five years of his childhood in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, which back then was a part of the former Soviet Union.
Then he moved to Norway together with his mother Natalia, who is an accomplished pianist.
Alexander’s dad Igor had already lived in Norway for a while. He worked as a music teacher, classical musician and pedagogue. It was obvious that Alexander would become a musician, too. And even if he doesn’t miss the practising, Alexander realises how important it was to him that his parents demanded something of him.
I am forever grateful to Mom and Dad who showed me the importance of practising for several hours every day as a child. It’s during your childhood you develop your senses. In addition I developed absolute pitch and that helps me a lot in life.
During his teens Alexander dreamt of everything that would’ve been fun to do.
– Now I just do it without waiting to achieve this or that first. It’s important to follow your dreams and do what you want to do.
There’s LEGO all over the dining table at Alexander’s home.
I never sit still and I think it’s boring to relax, apart from when I fall asleep, but I like to build Lego when I write lyrics. I have a sense of music but I have to work more with my lyrics.
The musician spends much time alone, but still he doesn`t feel lonely.
– I have the music and I spend time with people as much or as little as I want to. One of the best things with being alone is being able to reflect upon the experiences I have had with people.
Alexander’s great wish is that his book will make those who read it less biased against children or adults who are different.
I hope it will teach those who read it something. The book is definitely an encouragement to everyone who feels left out, he says.