Interview from “Желтая газета”/ “Yellow Newspaper” №1, 2013
Author: Kataeva Viktoria
Link to the original article in Russian here
Translation by Kristina Ovcharenko
Revised by Bita
Alexander Rybak: “The girl wanted to kill me”
The winner of Eurovision 2009, “sunny boy”, as he is referred to as by journalists and fans, violinist Alexander Rybak had come to Moscow to present his song with the self-explanatory title: «Dostala» («Driven me up the wall»). For almost three years now, a strange female fan has compulsively pursued Sasha, and he is so sick of her at this point that the musician decided to take action and teach her a lesson by making her the heroine of his music video. After his presentation, Rybak gave a frank interview to “Yellow Newspaper.”
Immediately after the victory he lost friends.
– Sasha, obviously, this girl, like a woman, is trying to get you. Who is she, do you know?
– All that I know about her is that she is older than me by 10 years and lives in Israel. Obviously, her friends or parents hold high posts – because how else would she have managed to not only get hold of my phone number, but also the contact information of my parents and close friends. When she can’t phone me personally, she drives my loved-ones up the wall. She calls me almost everyday, sometimes several times. The first year I was polite – couldn’t understand that it was the same person calling. Girls often call me. They call a day or two, giggle into the phone and stop (laughs). But she didn’t go away. And every time time she had something new to say: that she wanted to marry me and wanted a child, or that she was going to kill me because I don’t want to date her. I still didn’t understand, is she sick or healthy? Once she arrived in Norway, came to my parents and for two days she stood at their door. I was on tour, called home, and my mother told me: “Sasha, there is such a cute girl, maybe I should let her in?” Mom is a polite person. “She flew from so far away, from Israel” – explained my mom. “No, mom, – I shouted – don’t let her in!” I adore my audience, the girls that wait for me after concerts, asking for a kiss on the cheek. I do so with pleasure, I talk to them. But this … in short, she has driven me up the wall! Something, obviously, is wrong with her head.
– Did your life substantially change after Eurovision?
– For positive things: I went on many tours, I managed to see the world.
I can write a letter to almost any artist, even if we’ve never met before. And I receive answers like: Hi, I’ve heard about you, let’s work together! As for the bad things: I’ve lost a lot of friends. Practically in the same day I won the competition. When I returned to the hotel, I felt so tired that I immediately fell asleep. I was physically unable to answer any calls or texts. The next morning, I read texts that said: “Everything is clear, Sasha, you have star fever!” Those who were once friends stopped talking to me. Only three close friends are left. One, who like me, is a violinist. The second one is a singer. And the third has no relation to music, but we’ve been friends for 25 years – childhood friends.
Love can quickly become hatred
– You have Belarusian roots. How are your Belarusian relatives?
– Good. My dad’s mom is now in Norway. In the summer we had another grandmother as a guest, my mother’s mother. I am glad that my family is full and strong. Grandmothers also do exercises in the morning, running around. In the summer they love to go down to the woods to pick berries or mushrooms. I hope to be as active as them when I reach their age. I’m also glad that my mom and dad are together and not divorced.
In Norway, as probably in Russia, more than half of the families decay very quickly. And my parents had their own difficulties. I will not tell what it was. Once, I even asked my parents break up. I’m happy now, that they had not listened to me. They managed to become not just a husband and wife, but first of all friends. I think friendship is more important than love. Because love can quickly turn into hatred. Whereas friendship, mutual respect – they are eternal.
– What is the funniest rumour you have heard about yourself?
I once said at a party: “I love you guys”. And someone heard not guys, but gays. And so there was a rumour that I was gay. I was not upset (laughs). In Norway, people are not homophobic as they are in Russia, and they’re comfortable with those who are not like themselves. In Eurovision, generally 50 percent of the public are gay, and many have become my fans (laughs). There was also a rumour that I have in my rider a mandatory requirement of vodka and wine. When I heard that, I was so surprised, I wrote nothing. And then, I walk into the dressing room before a concert, and there was my whole team, drinking vodka. Oh, I think they composed my rider so that’s it! (Laughs.)
He lost a lot of money because of his girlfriend
– Is your heart free now?
– After Eurovision, I had three girls, but not developed relationships. My last relationship lasted two years, though we were together for only 20-30 days. I repeatedly asked her to come with me on tour, but she didn’t want to. In Norway, all the girls are very afraid of losing their freedom, so they don’t want to adjust to men. We have to run after them. Last year, I was offered thousands of Euros to work at a New Year’s corporate party. But I refused, as he promised to Masha – which was the name of my girlfriend – to go with her to Egypt. And I felt like such a good boyfriend, refusing such a profitable offer! But Masha said to me: oh, you know, I’ve made an agreement with my friends that I will celebrate with them. I couldn’t just tell her that, oh, because of you, I lost so much money! (Laughs). I’m waiting for this year, if I get corporate offers, I wont refuse! (Laughs.)
– Describe the ideal type of girl
It does not matter what the colour of her hair or eyes are, or how her figure is. The main thing is that she is sincere and not indifferent. In Norway, the girls play a silly game, for example, before responding to a text from a guy, you need to wait 4-5 days to avoid looking intrusive. But I do not think it’s an obsession. I would like a girl to gang up on me with all the passion (laughs).
In the future, I see myself a composer. I’m writing music, but for myself. And I want to write for others – classical, jazz. Then it would be easier to find a wife and to have children. I’ve already figured out, a rare girl waits for the artist at home when he is on tour for months. Some musicians, when their concert careers end, become businessmen or go into politics. I myself choose to stick to music.