Written by Per-Magne Midjo. Photo by Per-Magne Midjo.
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Translation from norwegian by Laila Ulvseth
Concerts and love
Who was shining brightest of the sun and Alexander Rybak at Namsos airport wednesday night, was hard to say.
The welcoming comittee was his girlfriend Maria Strøm Slyngstad. They will have a few days vacation on the farm where Maria’s mother grew up on Otterøy outside Namsos. But Rybak is also looking forward to the two signing concerts at Namsos storsenter and at Amfisenteret in Steinkjer saturday.
– Even though it is a year since my last album, “No Boundaries” was published, I feel it has a potential that has not reached through. I am very proud of the album and want to promote it better. That is why I have done a twentysomething signing concerts so far this spring and summer. I am looking forward to meet fans in Namsos and Steinkjer friday and saturday, a happy 25-year old concludes.
– People from Trøndelag (trøndere) are so calm.
He boasts of trøndere and his girlfriend Maria in particular. Alexander Rybak thinks Maria Strøm Slyngstad affects him in a very good way. He feels very relaxed in her presence.
– I have a very good impression of trøndere as a people. I imagine a scene where a trønder-family sits around the breakfast table when a UFO comes flying. Their first reaction is one of them saying: “Ein sånn ein hi itj æ sjett før”. (This is untranslatable, but means something like “I haven’t seen one of those before”)* It is just wonderful,- Rybak smiles.
That is why he looks forwards to the following days. Perhaps he gets the opportunity to milk the cows at the farm where his girlfriend’s mother was raised. Perhaps there will be a large amount of people at the following signing concerts.
– A little vacation is always nice. Playing twice along the way, is okay. That is what makes my living, he concludes.
Maria Strøm Slyngstad has never lived on Otterøy herself, but has spent many summer vacations there. She feels the belonging and thinks it is nice that Alexander comes to stay a few days with her.
– I myself have grown up in Oslo doing different things. But it’s very nice here in Nord-Trøndelag, and I like it here at Otterøy, she says. This spring she finished her medical training.
– It is difficult balancing life in media and as an artist, and their interest for my girlfriend. I’d prefer to protect my private life and concentrate on doing what I am doing as an artist, when speaking to media, Alexander Rybak points out.
Culture school projects
Alexander Rybak was born in Minsk, Belarus, but came to Norway and Nesodden when he was four years old. His major breakthrough was winning ESC 2009 with his own song “Fairytale”. But three years prior to that, he won “Kjempesjansen” on NRK after a swift exit in Idol on TV2.
– Since then there has been successive ups and downs. But I have felt a good progression in my life as an artist. When this summer’s signing tour is over, I have some culture school concerts throughout the autumn. Then we’ll see. I think there are lots of exciting things waiting, adds a visibly merry Alexander Rybak.
Comment by translator Laila Ulvseth:
* I have used the common phrase “trøndere” for people from Trøndelag. Some – mostly themselves – seems to be a particular kind of people. Otterøy is in the northern part (Nord-Trøndelag) and the dialect there should not be tampered with. I have friends in Nord-Trøndelag that is very adamant in this area and also very proud of their dialect.
Pronouncing and speaking the north trønder dialect is more or less impossible for us southernes, in whom I include Alexander.
But it is true that most trøndere are calm, no-nonsense people – and the mentioned sentence might very well be said when/if they see a UFO….