Translated by Ida Marie Brøske Kleven.
Photo from the printed issue taken by Tessa La.
“I love to live in the past, with a little hope for the future”
Alexander Rybak (25) has made big money on songs about his ex-girlfriends. Now he has written two Swedish folk music songs to his new girlfriend.
The songs “Maria” and “Din första kyss” are about his doctor girlfriend Maria Strøm Slyngstad (25), and participate on the famous violinist’s new CD “Visa vid Vindens Ängar” which is made in collaboration with the famous Swedish folk singer Mats Paulson (73).
– You have to ask Maria what she thinks about the songs. But I like to write songs about love. I think that it gives the songs more suspense when the audience knows who the songs are about, Rybaks says, and refer to “Fairytale” and “Oah” which are dedicated to his ex- girlfriends Ingrid Berg Mehus (23) and Moa Meinich (19).
The 25-year old thinks that the reason why his ex-girlfriends again and again appear in his songs arise from his Belarusian disposition and manner.
– I am nostalgic and melancholy, and I live rarely only in the moment. I love to live in the past, with a little hope for the future. Old love is always much more stronger, and that emerged in “Fairytale” too, Rybak admits. He describes himself as a “soft man” in private:
– Outwards I may seem like a Casanova. But after all, in fact I am a teddy bear who likes to cuddle. To fall asleep close to someone is a lot better than what which possibly has happened before, he says with a smile. The last two years Rybak has released four pop –album in Scandinavia – and the rest of Europe and East- Europe. Therefore many were surprised when he wanted to make a pure folk music album together with 73–year old Paulson.
The contact between them was created two years ago – before Rybak won Eurovision Song Contest with record score.
– Mats had seen me perform his song ““Visa vid Vindens Ängar” on YouTube. I thought someone was kidding with me when I saw the e-mail from Mats. But when I understood it really was him I was completely “star struck”. To me he is a living legend and it has been therapy to work with him on this album. After several turbulent years I needed something that was a little “down”, Rybak says.
– What do you mean with “down” and “turbulent years?
– There have happened a lot around me, and most of it has been mentioned in media. But Paulson has helped me to focus on my own health, so I have been better to it. In addition it is very lovely to work with someone who loves girls even more than me. He has given me advice about flirting and seducing more – and in that field I have been quite notorious, Rybak says quick to laugh.
In April Rybak went to the USA with his girlfriend Maria. It was his first real vacation in three years. However, this summer he has completely other plans – far away from both girlfriend and family.
– I want to go on “loffen” again. To knock on doors to unknown people gives me a lot, and I get a chance to test out new songs as well, Rybak says.
It was on “loffen” in 2008 he wrote “Fairytale”.
I think more people know who I am now, but if they don’t like me, they will rather slam the door when they see me, Rybak laughs.