Dagbladet interviewed Alexander Rybak before his trip to Belgium

Text to photo:  To Belgium : Tonight Alexander Rybak will be onstage in Belgium in connection with Eurovision. He will be performing with children. Photo by  Nina Hansen

Article published in Dagbladet on 16.03.2014 Author: Merete Skogrand. Photos: Nina Hansen
Translated by Jorunn Ekre. English revising by Anni Jowett.

I always try to find a new incentive to play Fairytale.

Tonight Rybak will be onstage at Eurovision again.

Yesterday Lars Lillo-Stenberg did a new Version of Alexander Rybak’s song “Fairytale” in “Hver gang vi møtes” and the reviewer in Dagbladet gave 6 on the dice.

The song became an immediate hit and a door opener to the 27 year old when he won the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow in 2009, and has given him an enormous success. Rybak has played the song numerous times since, but feels he will never get tired of the pop song with a violin sound.

– I’ll never get tired of that song. There’s always a reason to play Fairytale. I always try to find a new incentive, either with dancers, children’s choirs, orchestras or sing-along. I feel like a missionary with that song,- says Rybak to Dagbladet and explains :
– A missionary for building bridges between different cultures. When I’m in Azerbaijan and Russia I enjoy showing off Norway, and when I’m in Scandinavia I enjoy showing off my Slavic roots. But I also want to build bridges between different genres, like when I play pop concerts and sneak in classical songs and vice versa.

DOORWAY: On 16 May 2009 Alexander Rybak became common property when he won the Eurovision Song Contest with Fairytale. Foto: Sara Johannessen / SCANPIX

To Belgium

Rybak has travelled around large parts of the world the last few years, and has been celebrated like a superstar. In 2013 he was among other things a part of the Eurovision final in Azerbaijan when the Swedish artist Loreen won and our own Tooji ended up last.

And the performances in national and European Eurovision finals continue. Tonight he`s onstage in Belgium.

– On Sunday I`m going to perform in the break in the national final in Belgium. That`s what`s fun, being invited all the time to these finals. Now I’ll be singing on TV with talented kids, I have become a family friend,- says Rybak.

Whether he will be performing Fairytale was still not clear when Dagbladet interviewed him on Wednesday, but the chances of the hit thundering over the cities in Belgium tonight is probably big.

Rybak has recently stated that even if he is travelling a lot, it`s always important to him to constantly return home, even if it`s only for 11-12 nights at his own apartment a year.
He emphasises that on Twitter today by writing that the only reason for leaving Norway on a day like this is because he will be a guest at the Belgian Eurovision final tonight.

“-Enjoy Europe!” Yesterday Carl Espen won the Norwegian final of Eurovision, and will represent Norway in Eurovision. The former winner Alexander Rybak congratulates the guy from the western part of Norway and asks him to enjoy Europe.

Return home

He gives the same advice to this year’s Norwegian winner of Melodi Grand Prix on the same web site today.

Yesterday Carl Espen Thorbjørnsen (31) won the national final with the song Silent Storm. It got six on the dice by Dagbladet’s reviewer Anders Grønneberg, and several people think the song can go far in the European final in Copenhagen in May.

“Congratulations on winning Melodi Grand Prix, Carl Espen! Enjoy Europe, but never forget to return home,”– says Rybak on Twitter today, before he gets on the plane to Belgium to perform as a former Eurovision winner.

My most cherished project

Recently he has been working on a musical about trolls. Rybak would like to concentrate on song writing, and he won`t be singing all of the songs himself in the musical. He dreams of settling down on a farm with a wife and kids, and to be able to live and work at the same place, with the main focus being on song writing.

– I’m working on a musical about trolls. This my biggest project, it`s ten times bigger than Eurovision. This is the apple of my eye,- says Rybak.
In yesterday’s episode of “Hver gang vi møtes” we could also see how he was moved by Sigvart Dagsland’s interpretation of his own song “13 horses”.

In Saturday`s episode of Hver gang vi møtes Rybak talks about how he often plays with LEGO, and that he calls it escapism.

Alexander Rybak

Born May 13 1986.
Born in Minsk, Belarus.
Came to Norway as a five year old.
Grew up in Nesodden.
Has played the violin for most of his life.
Educated at the Barrat Due Music Institute.
Won the Hedda Award as newcomer of the year in 2007 for his role in “Fiddler on the roof” at Oslo Nye Theatre.
Had instant success when he won Melodi Grand Prix and Eurovision in 2009.
Won the award as Artist of the year at Spellemannprisen in 2009.

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