Tonight it’s 5 years since Alexander Rybak won the Norwegian ESC selection, MGP with his Fairytale.To celebrate we asked for a little interview. So here it is, fresh from New York, where Alexander has a concert to conclude the seminar he has held for young talented children there this week.
Suddenly I´m famous…. a look back.
Looking back at the last 5 years, have they turned out the way you hoped for, and what would you do differently if you won ESC today, based on the experience you have had?
AR: I may have trusted my instincts more, instead of doing everything as I was told to, by the book. But fortunately I understood this pretty fast, and now I am the master of my own life.
What have you found the most difficult to achieve your goals?
AR: Making songs for other artists. If I write a beautiful ballad, people get disappointed. All they want is a copy of Fairytale.
How was it to return back to the MPG arena as a composer in 2013, and how will you use this experience to further your career as a composer?
AR: I never took Annsofi (the singer) for granted. And she really made me believe in myself as a composer. I haven´t “learned” anything, other that writing music for others is fun.
Your activity level is pretty high, and you are always on the go. How do you find the time to get inspired and make new music when you have such a busy schedule?
AR: I think it would be more difficult to set a date for “getting inspired”. The fact that I´m busy, makes it easier for melodies to pop up in my head. But I always write my ideas down, or record them with my phone. I think you should have this much respect for yourself, that you don´t let your own ideas pass by.
Concerts and Music
What has been your favorite thing to notice in the audience?
AR: They understand so much more than just Eurovision! And they don´t care about trends or fashion, only good music.
What distracts while you are on stage?
AR: People on first row taking pictures while I play something classical. But really it´s all about me. I can always be prepared for anything, if I want to.
How would you describe your music for the public audience if they have never seen you before, and what can people expect to see at your live performance?
AR: If people aren´t originally interested, then I don´t bother explaining. Music should be played, not described.
You are very open, so we have learnt a lot about you. Tell us something we’ve never heard before.
AR: I tongue-kissed a horse once, when playing truth or dare. It was a beautiful horse.
How many violins do you have?
AR: One. At least one that matters.
Can you tell us a bit about the one you like the most?
AR: The one that matters? It´s a Norwegian violin made out of Tasmanian wood, which I bought from the amazing violinist Henning Kraggerud. It´s nice to have a violin that can be as tender as I want it to be. And a violin that I really need to work hard with, to get the really loud volume. I´m a guy who likes to use his muscles.
How important is it to find a bow that “matches” the violin to get the sound you want?
AR: It´s more important that the bow matches you.
Alexander Rybak. Norwegian ESC Final. “Fairytale” & voting. 21.02.2009