Interview with Alexander Rybak in Belorussian women’s magazine “Zhensky journal”

Article published in a paper issue of “Zhensky journal” (Women’s magazine), June 2013 edition.

Found by Sonya Luzina. Provided by Tania Kuzmina. English translation by Zhanna Sergueeva & Julia B. English revision by Katie Anderson.

Alexander Rybak: “It’s very nice – to make people happy!”

Interviewer: Daria Egorchenko

We happened to meet Alexander Rybak at the Award Ceremony “Top 50 successful and beautiful people of the city of Minsk,” where he performed as the guest of honor. Prior to that, I only heard from my colleagues and others about what a sociable and pleasant person Alexander is. Here he is smiling on the photo with a daughter of my friend, here he is signing her exercise books, here he is holding her in his arms at his concert … It seems none of our stars can manage to become an idol that quickly or easily. And all of that because Alexander is very sincere. And absolutely not “star-like”. However, judge for yourself.


J: This question you’re probably asked at every interview. And still, how has your life changed since you won “Eurovision-2009”?

AR:  Yes, you’re absolutely right, this question I hear quite often (smiles). I have received more work, and my time for sleeping, meeting with my friends and my loved ones, not to mention my private life, has really reduced. But I don’t complain. I sought it myself. Every time I enter the stage and see the happy and glowing eyes of my audience, I realize that spending so much time on my work is not for nothing . This is a very pleasant feeling – to make people happy!

J: You are originally from Vitebsk. Do you communicate with your relatives, and how do you generally perceive the city where you were born?

AR:  Yes, I am constantly in touch with everybody, at least by phone. My grandmas come to Oslo to visit me every year. I had been in Vitebsk in the spring, and will be happy to come back again to the “Slavic Bazaar”, invite me! It is a pity that I can’t see my cousin and my niece more often. It would be very nice to come to my motherland and to see my loved ones more often. Yes, and to meet the Belarusian audience in different cities at my concerts.

J: What was your childhood in Belarus like?

AR: I really do not remember that time as we moved to Norway when I was only 4 years old. I remember how my grandma taught me Belarusian folk songs, how we were walking through the park with my parents. Well, I come to Minsk, go along the streets, and the memories are born in my head. Even recently I have been to our apartment where I lived when I was little – it’s so unusual, so many thoughts flooded …

J: Many Belarusians only manage to glorify their country abroad. How do you feel about this trend? Why can we value our heroes in the field of show business only from a distance?

AR: Probably because in Europe show business is better developed than in Belarus, no matter how much it hurts to admit. But the main thing is that the Belarusians glorify their country! It’s good when the recognition comes on time. And I am sure that everything is still going to come to Belarus!

J: What inspired and motivates you in music, and in life in general?

AR: As for my creativity, I am inspired by my audience, for whom I would like to work and to give the best of everything. And in my life in general – traveling, nature, life stories and meeting people inspire me. Sometimes, after staying in one country  or another, such a big number of emotions appear that it charges me for a long time.

J: When do you plan to come to Belarus with solo concerts?

AR: I am ready, with pleasure (laughs). In fact, I am ready to come to every town where I am waited for! I also have an idea to do concerts with children’s orchestras to support talented young people and children.

J: Your parents are musicians, and classical ones. Did they always accept your creativity seriously? How do you assess their role in making you into a musician?

AR: My parents always supported me and helped me with their  advice, and I’ve gotten a good musical education. In addition, I consider myself a musician first and foremost, and then a singer. Because I always play both classical and popular music – and my audience likes that. Sometimes I have fully classical concerts.

J: Today it’s possible to become a star at a very young age. What do you think about popular musicians of your generation? About Justin Bieber, for example. Do you like this kind of music?
AR: But that’s very good when such young people can discover and present their talent correctly, when their whole life is still ahead of them. In addition, they can become a great example for people of their age and younger generations. It’s sad when the popularity comes in old age, or doesn’t come at all, while a person is still alive. I listen to a lot of music – it’s my profession.
J: Do you have a “lady of your heart”? (old-fashioned expression) What kind of girl can conquer you?
AR: Now my heart belongs completely to the music. And I can like absolutely any girl. I do not care if she is a blonde, a brunette or a redhead. The most important thing is that her character combines both patience and diligence. I have a lot of work, I’m constantly on the go, and not every girl likes that. Also, I like it when a girl is not only thinking about herself, but also about what I have eaten and if I am dressed warmly.
J: Does your first love know that you have dedicated your most beautiful songs to her?
AR: I have dedicated only one song to her – and it’s “Fairytale”. Well, of course, she knows it, at least from the media.
J:  What is love for you, and how does that feeling change from woman to woman? 
AR: I associate love with the weather. Everything is similar to love in it.
The sun – it’s good, but the rain is also necessary, because of it everything new is born. The feeling does not vary from woman to woman, it changes with age.
J: Who among famous European musicians have you not only played with, but are also your lifetime friends?
AR: I tour all over Europe, so I meet a lot of people. Because of constant travel, artists find it hard to be friends for real. I can call some people you know  friends and acquaintances:  Alexander Tikhanovich, Philip Kirkorov, Ani Lorak, Andrei Malakhov,Loreen, a lot of Eurovision artists from different years.
J:  As an experiment you starred in the movie “Yohan”. Did you like it? And what else would you like to try yourself in?
AR: I’m absolutely ready to consider different scenarios and roles, the main thing is – they have to be distinctive. It’s interesting to transform!
J:  Who would you become if you were not an artist?

AR: I like to communicate with people, so I could be a psychologist. I even tried to pursue an education in that. And also I could be a lawyer. For some reason, from childhood I was drawn to this sphere. But being a member of a family of musicians I was obliged to become a musician!
J: What was the most absurd or ridiculous gossip about you? How do you feel about them?
AR: Almost every day I hear a lot of rumors about me. The Internet is generally littered with all sorts of silly headlines. Most of all I don’t like gossip about my work or private life. It is so easy to follow the news on the official sources of an artist, such as Facebook, I have a Russian website, and Twitter. Although rumors have always existed, and there is no escaping it, so I try to keep a calm attitude towards them, with a smile, or philosophically.

One thought on “Interview with Alexander Rybak in Belorussian women’s magazine “Zhensky journal””

  1. This was a very interesting inetrview,The questions ansewered a lot of the ones i would dream of asking him 🙂 Just reading this withought knowing who is talking i can tell it’s Alexander Rybak :-)) Reading this made me happy :DD -lietuvaitė-

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