Interview with Alexander Rybak in paper issue of Aftenposten 26.6.11.


Journalist: Ingrid Anthonsen. Photo: Dan Petter Neergaard
Found by Olina Novikova. Translated  by Tessa La.

Rybak and the Swedish troubadour Mats Paulson have released a CD about life’s small pleasures.They describe the cooperation as therapy.

– This has been therapy for me. For the first time in two years I have control of the situation, Rybak (25) said.

He talks about his new album, “Visa Vid Vindens Ängar,” which is made in collaboration with the Swedish troubadour Mats Paulson (73).

Rybak sings the beloved songs in Swedish, and has also contributed with melodies to four of the songs on the album. The songs are about life’s little golden moments, like to cuddle a cat, or the first kiss. For Rybak, the project has also been about finding peace after a turbulent time in the wake of the superior Eurovision victory in 2009. Fatigue, excessive workloads, and a fiddle smashed in frustration, have made headlines.

– After several breakdowns, I needed to retrieve the human in me Rybak says, who now only says yes to half as many offers as before.

Praise by mail. But he did not hesitate to accept Mats Paulson. The troubadour veteran, who belongs to the same tradition as Cornelis Wreesvijk and Fred Åkerström, contacted Rybak after he had seen a video where he performs “Visa Vid Vindens Ängar” – the classic summer song Paulson wrote 45 years ago. He thanked him for the interpretation, and congratulated with the victory.

– It was nice to get praise from a legend I’ve played songs from since I was 5-6 years. It strengthened me. I was glad that he saw the musician in me, and not just the pop star, Rybak says.

Mats Paulson, who has produced 35 albums and 500 traditional songs over the years, has rarely collaborated so closely with other musicians.

– Music has been my own world, but I’m more than happy to let Rybak in. He interprets the songs in a wonderful way, and has inspired me to new songs, praises Paulson.

Mate. Alexander has slow down the tempo, but is still busy in other roles than as a musician. This summer he will be Kathrine Moholt’s co-host in «Allsang på grensen» (where he will perform with Paulson next week). This spring he ended on 4th place in the Swedish version of “Let’s Dance”.

– I’m happy with where I am in life now. The most important thing is that I get to do what I want, work with different people and play for children. I will not be a star, I will be a mate, Rybak says.

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