Article: Million coup of Alexander Rybak. VG. 22.02.2009

Text: Camilla Bjørn and Marcus Husby

Photo: Espen Braata and Kristian Helgesen

Found by Marijke Arentsen. English translation by Jorunn Ekre. English revision by Katie Anderson and Anni Jowett.

Alexander gets the royalties: Million coup.

Alexander Rybak can laugh all the way to the bank after his record breaking victory in Melodi Grand Prix yesterday.

– It feels great, and overwhelming. It`s so wonderful that I get the chance to be the fiddler I`ve always dreamt of becoming.- Rybak says to VG. Last night the heartthrob celebrated his crushing Grand Prix victory at Hard Rock Cafe, after having received the amazing amount of 747 888 audience votes (the highest amount in the history of MGP), and beating the seven other finalists with the song “Fairytale”.

Thanks his ex-girlfriend

Rybak and his Frikar dancers got 600,000 more votes than their arch rival, Tone Damli Aaberge, who became second.

-It feels great beating everyone. I`ll just say, thank you so much to the Norwegian people who voted for me. I`m speechless from the response. It will definitely be one huge party.

The 22 year old bachelor also says thank you to his ex-girlfriend that he wrote about in “Fairytale”.

– What would I do without her? I can`t do anything but thank her, even though I don`t really think she`ll do the same.

Rybak, who was born in Belarus and moved to Norway as a four years old, is looking forward to representing Norway in the international Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow on May 16.

– I`ll give it my best shot, I promise. I`ll do everything I can to win. I`ll do exactly the same as I did at Oslo Spektrum and hope the audience will like it.- Rybak says with a smile.

He owns the rights

Contrary to the other participants in MGP, Alexander Rybak owns all the rights to his song, and has deliberately chosen not to negotiate about a record deal until after the finale at Oslo Spektrum. So far, over 7,100 people have bought the winning song, which gave Rybak the No.1 spot on the VG-chart this week.

He spent his own savings securing the rights to” Fairytale” from the giant, Universal Music, the company that has the rights to all the MGP-songs and which releases the official MGP album.

When the participants sign a contract with NRK, they`re offered a licensing and artist contract with Universal Music, which secures the company some of the income from the song. Rybak has spent around 20,000 NOK from his savings to get out of this deal. All royalties from Fairytale therefore go directly back to Alexander, who has both written the lyrics and composed the song. He has also paid for all the expenses connected to the studio recording to producer Kim Bergseth at Kitchen studios.

A very good deal

I have worked a bit to secure the rights, but I have focused the most on creating the song. If I earn any money on this, it`s just a bonus.- Alexander explains.The music expert, and head of the radio station P3, thinks however that Rybak has made a good coup by securing all the rights at such an early stage.

– It`s a great advantage to own your own recordings, this is large sums we`re talking about here. Rybak will be a very hot object in the Norwegian music business from now on, and now he has the chance to earn lots of money. At the same time, he has much more freedom to get a very,very good deal.- Moslet tells VG.

Rybak therefore has a great advantage when he and his manager, Kathrine Synnes Finnskog, start negotiating for a record deal next week. He has gotten lots of offers from record companies both in Norway and abroad.
– We start negotiations on Monday, and we`ll look at all possibilities.We are looking for a company which appreciates Alexander`s long term potential, regardless of MGP,- says Synnes Finnskog to VG.


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