Alexander Rybak – Interview to Dagbladet. 14.03.2014

Article in a paper issue of Dagbladet from 14.03. 2014

Author: Merete Skogrand

Found and translated by Tessa Lande. English revision by Anni Jowett.

Professional: You have to embrace the whole profession, if not you are not meant to be an artist.


Alexander Rybak has learned to sleep, to say no, and he has stopped arguing with the sound engineers.

Uh-huh … we just wondered if we could get an autograph and picture. Three girls looking up at Alexander Rybak.

– Of course,- he says, and offers them to kiss him on the cheek. The 27 year old from Nesodden won the 2009 Eurovision in Russia. “Fairytale” instantly became a megahit. In the period after there were concerts, concerts, concerts, tours, autographs, hotel, travel and interviews. Now he takes part in “Hver gang vi møtes” on TV2, and in tomorrow’s episode Rybak said that he was only home five days during the whole 2010.

Has learned 

Now he has doubled the number of nights at home, but 11 to 12 days in your own apartment during the last year is rather not especially many.
– I have learned to love hotel rooms. In my own home, I do not have so many things, just a big sofa, giant expensive equipment and some paintings. My apartment looks really like a hotel room, Rybak tells Dagbladet and smiles.

In June 2010, he smashed a violin on stage in Sweden, and earlier in the spring injured his fingers when he banged his fist on the wall during a fit of rage.
– The time I broke my hand just before Eurovision in Oslo was due to a sound engineer, and when I wrote some goofy stuff on Facebook, it was because of another sound engineer. When you become that way over worked and over stressed, you never know what makes the cup run over, says Rybak in tomorrow’s program.

– It’s just like “Hver gang vi møtes.” Why are so many crying there? That’s because we never get to lie in. There was not much sleep for me in 2010 either, and when, for example if there was a sound engineer who did not take me seriously, then … Well, then I slammed it. Both outbreaks made headlines in summer for almost four years ago, happened during sound check. Now Rybak has learned to set boundaries….

Inner Success 

– If there’s anything I’ve learned, which made me feel better, it is putting quality before quantity. Last year I had about 100 performances, while in 2010-2011 had almost 300 per year,- says Rybak.

He does not mention the period as “tough” or “hard”, he will not be presented ungrateful. For he is very grateful for the success he has experienced, and call those years rather “immersive” and “unreal.” And again a guest comes over to the table, this time a boy. He wants to take a picture. Rybak smiles, says “of course”. He says that real artists must embrace the whole profession.

FANS: Alexander Rybak appreciates his fans, and offers a kiss on the cheek when three girls ask about autographs. All PHOTOS: Nina Hansen.

200,000 in postage

– These days I preferably want to be at peace, one has to pull yourself together.
And you become stronger. Now I’m glad to have smiled at those who expected that I’ll smile . The best success is the inner,- he says.

– But did you have inner success in 2010 when you had five days at home and had been on tour for a whole year?
– I got it afterwards, when I had been through all the day. It doesn’t really matter how hard you
fall, as long as you stand up again.
– Did it take you long?
– No, I got up with at once, but I made it very slowly. You cannot go from being far down to become world champion immediately.
– What did your parents say?
– In the midst of it all they said” Hold on, take it like a man. Go all the way”

He met Barack Obama, Will Smith, Russian elite athletes and screaming girls. He has received letters from soon 100 countries. He tries to answer them all, by hand, but it may take up to two years before the girls get letter back.

Dreams about having children

– It’s so nice to get a teddy bear, a milk tooth. And I also get some other things that I  must censor. But it is never uncomfortable. I have now used over NOK 200,000,- on postage.  But I feel it gives something back.
He is working on a musical, and last year he wrote the song for Annsofi in Melodi Grand Prix. Now he wants to “cultivate the artist and world citizen”. But in about 10 to 15 years he hopes he has found a place where he can live and work. Maybe settle down on a farm and raise a family.
– When I’m father, I don’t want to be weekend dad. Then I really want to do it fully.

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