Alexander Rybak / Interview - Det må jeg gjøre før jeg dør (I have to do before I die)

Uploaded by TheKatalinaKO on 20.02.2011

Do you like changes?
Yes, absolutely. I think we humans are created in a way that we constantly need changes.
And it's really a bit strange to think about since you want to find a partner for life.
In that way we should not like changes.
No? But are you afraid of change, or are you seeking change?
I'm in the middle of a lot of changes all the time, both inside me and the outside,
so there is no point in seeking them, but I'm not afraid of them either.
How was it to move from the Soviet Union and come to Norway?
Do you remember anything from before you came to Norway?
Yes. We were a family, who lived in a very, very small apartment in Minsk.
It was still under the Soviet Union period.
And we even had to share the apartment with another family, a cop's family.
And I thought that was how just how it should be. So I got used to it.
Everything was arranged. It was not very strict.
My parents were strict with me when I was practicing. When I pratice, I pratice.
And it was often an hour, every day, and for a 5-year-old it was very tiring.
I thought that everyone else does it too. This is how it is when you're little, right?
If your parents are running around in the garden in a kangaroo costume, you think everyone else does it too.
It was not you who decided that you should play?
No, I really wanted. Wanted to try, but then I realized later that it was a trap.
It was boring shit, but I'm very glad that they did not stop forcing me.
But they did it with love. There are probably far stricter parents then they were.
But would you say to parents that if they see that their children have a talent
"force them to pratice" or should they do as they please?
I think that if you want to see the talent in a child, you have to push them a little bit
to reveal something, and you will then see the talent or not.
What is the problem when it comes to violin, is that it takes 4-5 years before you really can see if someone has a talent.
It is perhaps someone who... We have something called Suzuki School. Have you heard of it?
Suzuki School is something very, very Norwegian actually. There are very many who embrace the method.
The teacher stands and playing in front of the students and then the students do the same as the teacher.
You begin with just taken up the violin, and so do the students.
But it's not tailor made for each and one. There is a large group...
What was I talking about again?
Suzuki School.
Yes, the Suzuki School. But what I had, was that people tailor made it just for me.
On Suzuki School a lot of people immediately will be concider as talented,
but when they go deeper in to it after 3-4 years, it becomes difficult.
They have learned everything very quickly, and they are very good in it, but they learned everything wrong.
Then they have to spend the next 4 years to undo all the errors.
I began very slowly, and they did not know if I was talented until after 3-4 years.
But why did you start playing?
It was because my dad also played.
So he wanted you to play?
Yes. But I think they found out I was musical. I think I made my first song when I was 3 years.
I did not write it down, but I recorded it on tape. I think I still have it home somewhere.
Would you say that the first 5-6 years of your life was a happy time?
Yes, but we always look back and say oh! That were the good times .
The trick is really to enjoy the present, as if it were the past. And I try to do all the time.
I would say that in my whole life I have been happy without knowing it.
It is very important to just say to yourself that... "do you realize how lucky you are right now? "
"Are you aware of how good the food tasted?" "Are you aware of how much you'll miss this tropical vacation?"
It is very typical when you are used to go on tropical vacations every year,
and when you go to a new place, you think "it was so much cooler last year."
And then a few years later, you think back on this vacation, and think "it was cool."
But do you think that you had done the same, if you had not had the upbringing that you had in the Soviet Union?
No, there are so many factors that infact your life. I think that a tiny change in the childhood, could have changed my whole life.
And fortunately that change didn't happen.
What did you think when you heard that you should move to Norway?
I just joined my mom I'm on a train, and suddenly I was surrounded by beautiful mountains and stuff.
I am very happy for that.
Did not you know that there would be major changes in your life?
I was looking forward to visit my dad. I thought that we only was going to visit him.
For he really came here illegally, and for Norway, it was no big deal, but for Belarus,
the KGB there, they look for him everywhere in Norway.
And it was a rich family that hid him. Now it would be no problems, but then it was a real drama in Belasrus.
I do not know what had happened to him if they had found him. I am very happy that he was so brave.
So for 2-3 years, when I was little, he lived in Norway and saved up money so my mom and I could come.
I'm forever grateful to him. What he has done.
What is the first thing you remember from Norway?
The first thing I remember is in fact a limousine.
A limousine?
Yes. It was one of daddy's buddies in Norway. He got friends right away.
He is very social. He got good contacts at once, and it was someone who fixed a limousine to us.
I did not understand it. I was just sick in this big, long sausage. I thought - why can't we run in a regular car?
But it's a little fuss when I think back on it, and it was so cool to go by boat.
We didn't have that in Belarus. The boat to Nesodden.
And then Melodi Grand Prix happened?
Yes, that was some years later.
That was some years later. But then your life changed. The it must have turned completely.
How was it?
To be honest, I do not look at the Grand Price as something that changed my life completely .
I have always been in the center point, been an only child and always played in front of many people.
The only thing is that the Grand Prix changed the lives of many around me.
Whether they wanted it or not, for better or for worse.
Some housewives got an illusion that there was a good son in law out there.
Some kid gangs got an excuse to have someone to bully, as long as they did not need to see him in the eye while they did it.
Some young girls got a new idol. Some musicians were a little envious.
Other musicians began to invite me to play with them.
That's what's fun, to change other people's lives, especially if it is positive.
Most people will probably think that your life was totally changed, but now you say no.
Yes, because I concern a lot more of what is happening inside of me, than what surrounds me.
I will not go too deep into it, but of course there are many more events that occurred in 2009 than in 2008 for me.
But I got the same hospitality that I have always experienced, wherever I have come.
I just like to communicate with people.
And of course the Eurovision Song Contest gave me a huge chance to blow up the communication scale,
and just getting to know hundreds of people every day.
But of course, I have experienced so much since the Grand Prix, so it is unfair to say that it hasn't changed my life.
Of course it has, but it has not changed me as a person.
Do you have other dreams for the future today than you had before the Grand Prix?
Yes, the biggest dream is fulfilled. I think there are many who would like to be known first and foremost,
and there are many who have realized that all it takes is to run naked on Karl Johan street and upload it on YT, and one is known.
But I did it the hard way. I practiced 4 hours each day, while the other children were playing.
I was interested in many things. While many others were keen to express their views and make themselves understood,
I tried to listen to many others, and check out what was it that people really wanted out there in the world.
What did they really need? Did they need passion, love, a little hate, maybe a little revenge?
What is it that makes people go on?
Just before the Grand Prix, I had a desperate dream or wish to get over this poor girl,
who I constantly sent letters to, and was constantly down on my knees for.
And never really dared to say that I regretted, until it was too late, right?
So after 4-5 years I just had to get it out of my head.
When I wrote it to her, which really was not the first, I also won the Kjempesjansen with a song about the same girl.
But I felt to trivialize it.
You hear the text of the Fairytale that it is somehow just like that, okey so it was in a way.
I would not write a song about that she is a goddess and all that.
I just wanted to tell about life as it is.
The fact that a few years ago I had a girlfriend and I were kind of in love.
Well okay then, I was deeply in love, and we were best friends and that was then, but it was true.
I tried to make the most banal, the most simple, the most ingenious text about it. I hope I did success.
There are many who misunderstand.
Since they can not write text like that, there are many who say that "no, he is not good in writing texts"
But I won, yes, and I won because of the story.
I could never have been so open on the stage if I didn't have a good text to sing.
But it must have been a tough period for you?
Yes, heartbreak for 5 years. It's quite absurd really.
And all the friends around me, they got over their girlfriends. They heading forward.
But I can not give up a human being so easy.
And it is was just when she was engaged and I wrote a song that made me win the Grand Prix,
it was such a great circle in it, and then I finally got peace in mind. And this was the thing that worked for me.
It was really a sad situation that was turned into something positive.
Yes, and that's someting good too, and I have said it several times, that I have used Fairytale
as an example that you can get something good out of something that is bad.
Are you done with it now, do you think?
Yes, yes, but I'm not finished with trying to make myself understood, and try to understand another girl.
Actually, it takes a lifetime to understand just one girl.
So it's really quite ridiculous that you get the urge to run from one to another.
It is really really wrong. A boy's dream, it's often to seduce a lot of girls.
At the same time my biggest dream is to have a girl that I can look back on most of my life with.
That when I'm 70 years old, I do not need to gather 40 women around a table to reminisce about my life.
I would love to have one companion. But these two dreams crash course so insane with each other.
You can not have both lifes. And it makes me completely crazy.
It is very difficult. It's probably not a surprise for people to see that for me it is love that controls my dreams.
But of course there is something called a career too. And I don't think only about me.
What's good to know is that no matter how it goes in my lovelife, I have a life that is complete,
and a life that also might mean something for other people.
And then it's okay to concern about my career, and what can I add.
It's nice to be in such shows as "Let's dance", but that's just something I do for myself, right?
I want to do my own projects, and invite other artists to play with me in order to reach a new group,
reaching a new audience, or maybe make a new genre more well known.
Like classical music... I play the classical violin, and it is very difficult to get people to listen to classical music.
And people say that I have helped classical music with the Fairytale, it's not true.
It's okay that there are many boys who have started playing the violin since I was in the Grand Prix, but they will just play Fairytale.
They still think that classical music is very boring. And that is a problem.
And I think that in order to reach out, to get people to like classical music,
classic violin and stuff, it doesn't help to play mix of pop and classical.
It doesn't help to have punk hairstyle and play classical violin.
One must simply make it the way it's intended.
Dress in that penguin suit and play classical, but you have to do so damn good that the kids like it.
It's just one way to get people to like a genre, and it is to show the genre and not be afraid...
christian popmusic is christian pop music, you do not have to say that you are awesome and a sagger and stuff like that .
You dont need to defend your genre.
You just have to be very proud of it, and then think the audiences will come eventually.
You are in many ways a little different than many other young people. At least I think so.
Well, firstly it's very nice that you call me young. That's very good.
You're a young boy.
But do you feel that you have been a little different throughout your childhood?
Yes, both positively and negatively. I have been different than others, both in good and bad.
Among other things, I have been very demanding of attention.
And it's not popular in Norway at all.
And it should not be popular anywhere else either, because too much attention can hurt you.
And luckly I had both a family and a whole class bunch... what's it called?... school class,
who got me down on the ground again, when I was a little cooky.
And I am very glad, because I do not think that I had been ok being a real prima donna.
It's more then enough just being the one I am.
Now I have a question that I expect people think they know the answer too already,
but I ask it anyway, and see what you answere to it. What is the happiest day of your life so far?
Oh! I would really like to have a clever answer on that one.
I know that there are many happy days, but I think it's the day I realized that I won.
I do not remember when it was actually, but it was on the least lucrative place ever.
It was a rowboat, which transported me to a festival in Norway last year.
And there and then, of all things, I realized... Wow! I've won the world's largest music competition.
Yes. It was not on a private jet or...
And it was not when it really happened?
But how was that day, when suddenly...
No, then I was at work, although I did not get paid. But I was at work on 16 May.
So even when I won, it was... I knew that whoever won had to scream
and shout and be very happy and jump around... but I was happy.
I was really at 5 speed and I had to even turn on the 6 speed. I would not disappoint the people. It was a TV show.
But how did it feel that summer you were sitting in the rowboat, and suddenly felt... what kind of feeling was it?
It was like... when I felt... it was almost like to be a dad in a way.
Yes, and you know how that is?
No, but it's the closest I've come to be a daddy, and I felt on my body that I have won the Grand Prix,
and then it was something that changed the focus of my life.
And then I changed focus from dreaming on realize myself and what I was good at.
To that I now was a grown up, and I can begin to help other talents.
Everything happened on that trip. I began to plan my life and began to think.
It was like my second life that began and it was sunny day, and I was half a sleep all the time, and I thought that now I'll begin.
The first thing I did was to show the great talent of Didrik Solli-Tangen to Per, Per Sunde.
Because I was absolutely convinced that Didrik was going to win next year. And he did.
And we both are opera lovers, and alredt on that boat trip, I looked forward to present Didrik to Per Sundnes.
And on my Christmas tour, it was very important to invite young guest artists at each local place.
So I have started, I'm already thinking about other instead of me now.
But I also realize that I am a product, and I'm completely comfortable with it,
so I still need to occasionally make some headlines about girls and stuff,
so that housewives can get something to shake their head about And think "Yeah, that Rybak" ,
and boys gangs in turn can get someone to bully.
One must keep the world spinning around in a way.
If you could be another, who will you be then?
If you could swap with someone? And you are allowed to choose anyone.
If I'd had someone else's life, I will either be someone who is all that I am are plus a bit upgraded.
If I'm looking forward to becoming even more popular, I can instantly find out what it is to be Jude Law for example.
Or I could wish for something that is completely opposite of me, a shoemaker or something like that,
who has lived a very quiet life, his whole life and had the same girlfriend since he was 15 years.
I do not know. Maybe a shoemaker version of Jude Law.
A shoemaker who looks like Jude Law. That's okay. I'm generally fond of Jude Law.
What do you think is the best choice you've made in life? If you think back and say: "Yes, that decision was the one"
The best choice I made was to decide once and for all that I was going to be my own boss when it comes to my career.
That I do not have to work for a management, but that I can hire a manager who can work for me and protect my interests.
I do not think Norway is a country that is suitable for such agencies.
It is much easier to be an artist and know what you want, and then hire people around you.
I think I had earned much more on... The only thing I regret is that I either had
a management from abroad, or been a little harsher on the ones I had.
Because you always think you're bad if you are hard on anyone, but one should not confuse it with being fair.
And I would recommend every artist to be aware of the contract they are signing.
And when I see on X-factor that the winner of the X-factor gets a contract and just have to sign it, I think, oih!
Then I don't want to win X-factor. You just have to be careful,
and it is very important to know those who want to have a deal with you.
In your case it was a little different, because I knew you.
But else I... even when it comes to individual interviews, I'll just meet people before I say "yes, we can make that interview."
For it may be that I did not conect at all with that person.
And in terms of a two-year long collaboration, of course, one must first get to know the pople before signing anything.
Are you very careful?
I'm careful with my choices, but I'm not so careful being informative and being honest.
I think it's very, very important for people to have a good life together with each other,
whether it's career or love or anything in everyday life, one must be very clear about what they want.
I think that people in Norway in particular, is very fond of over romantisize it all,
by being mysterious and speak as little as possible and hope that you have the telepathy.
Like the the girl who suddenly after 3 months says "didn't you see that I was completely depressed?"
Yes, but I asked what it was, and I asked you 10 times and you said "no, nothing."
See what I mean? We should be informative.
There are also many in the industry who expect that the artists know about things...
You should always inform everyone about everything.
One must not be afraid to be too common place. It is not possible.
The problem arises when you have not been informative enough.
When you do not have said allthe time what you really think and feel, and at least expecting.
I do not have the right to be grumpy afterwards of something, if I didn't said what I want.
I can not expect you to read my thoughts.
Mind reader no, you are right.
And especially in Norway there are many who hope and believe that there are many mindreaders,
but you have to make yourself understood, and try to understand others.
What would you do differently if you had been able to turn back time?
What would you have corrected, or what would you do differently?
Oh! No, I have no answer to that. Sorry. I think that everything has been so right in my life.
I do not like to call it fate, but hindsight, it's such a long word that I can't even say it properly.
It's a very nice word, that one always finds one or another context when you look back in time, and thinking
Ah... of course I had to be in pain that day, since it led up to this.
I don't regret anything, but sometimes I regret that I didn't pay enough attention when I went through bad times.
Because if I had, then I would understood why I have it well now. Do you understan what I mean?
What are you most afraid of? Are you afraid of anything at all?
I am afraid of not having a "Red thread" in my life. I am afraid of not having enough close friends.
Or rather, one can say that I try to take good care of the friends I have.
I have found out that you can not live many different lives simultaneosly. It's very common to separate people into two parts.
I would say that there are those who like to live in the moment and not think about the future at all,
and then there are those who are very conscious about the future and put their emotions aside to get a full life
and to have a life others from the outside can say: "Yes this is the right thing, this is well done by him"
I don't know yet which of these lives I live.
As a fellow human, I would say that to think a bit about the future too, is probably the best.
To live only in the moment, is very selfish. It's just to make sure you yourself feel good all the time.
To fall in love, and once you are not in love anymore then… phh. That is to live in the moment. I would rather live a little in the future too.
What is the most important in your life?
Right now?
Is it money, career, family?
Yes, money is important, haha. No the most important thing for me now, is to put everything in perspective
and to feel that I am not an animal, but a human being and appreciate the smaller feelings that animals never are able to feel.
For example, a dog gets sad only when it's VERY sad, and happy when it's VERY happy. Otherwise it's just empty and running around.
We are fond of dogs, but they are mostly empty inside when they are not very happy or sad.
Since I am a human being, I am able to enjoy those tiny good feelings you can find if you search for them.
Like if you eat a good sandwich or watch a good movie.
It's very typical Russian of me to be very emotional and everything should be almost like Italian.
I have chosen to rather pay much attention to the small feelings.
To enjoy the moment?
I live in the present, but in a smart way if I can say so.
I want to appreciate the moments I have, but it's not like I am only thinking about what I want right now.
Like: "I don't want to work now, I live in the moment and want to sunbathe instead".
That's to live in the moment as some people usually practice it. It's better to work hard to find something good in every situation.
Do you think it is a life after this one?
Or do you think everything is over?
Well, it has to be someone who continue to live after I am dead.
What do you think happen to you, then? Do you think there are something more, or is it just the end?
I find it hard to believe that all the feelings I have, is actually only nerve connections. It feels like it's something more, too.
We always say that the feelings are in our hearts. Thats where we feel it when it hurts or we are very happy.
Or when we are happy, we feel it in the entire body, while sad feelings are here, in the heart.
So I would believe that there are something here that ascend upwards... or down, who knows.
It is really difficult to tell if there excist a heaven or hell or anything.
What do you want to be remembered for?
It's not so important for me to be remembered. I actually hope I don't take up too much space in people who are not so close to me.
Right now, I am an entertainer, and I love to entertain people, so the more audience I have the better.
But anymore than that… in hundred years...
What do you want people to say? Alexander, he was…
I really don't know.
Alexander was a great artist or a nice man or…
If I had been a scientist or a philosopher I would have wanted that people spoke about me in 200 years.
But I feel that I am only a very good entertainer right now.
Do you think people should follow their dreams?
Yes, absolutely. Both small and large dreams. Everybody has to work if they want to make their dreams come true.
I don't mean that people should work the entire life to realize their dreams.
It is important to listen to your feelings, too, and to work for those projects that are inspired from something good inside you.
Not only work for something that other people think would suit you, and do it without understanding why, really.
It should always be your feelings wich trigger your actions. I am a big admirer of Arne Næss, and have read a lot of his books.
I got very happy when he focused on emotions. He said that it's pretty unfair what people are remembered for.
I also get frustrated if people say about a person that he never made it far in his life.
Maybe some had very "green fingers" or some who was extremely good with dogs
and loved it and had the happiest life ever because he loved dogs and the dogs loved him.
But if he never got a famous businessman and earned billions, as you are supposed to do,
it's easy to say that he never made anything important in life.
Maybe he really was the happiest person ever, who knows.
It is in the funerals you finally got to hear all about what a person you have been, which is too late, really.
As a birthday present for a girl I love, I actually wrote a obituary to her… even though it's probably 60-70 years until she doesn't live anymore.
I wanted to write all the good things about her, so she could know what I would write on her grave in 80 years.
Many people wait too long to say what they think about others.
Yes, absolutely. Sometimes you should wait about saying something if you don't mean it well, but yes,
often we wait too long to praise another person and tell how much we love them.
I am fighting for those small feelings and to be calm and balanced. I have to fight because I still have this young blood inside me.
I sometimes want to fall madly in love, or suddenly I want to do something completely different like
becoming a laywer and forget everything about the violin.
Then I have to pull myself together and be satisfied with what I've got, for God's sake.
Could you have done something completely else? Would you dare to turn your life upside down?
It's not a question of courage, it's about to be stupid enough to try to do something completely else.
There are lots of people who are thinking about doing this and that, but they don't dare.
It has nothing to do whether you dare or not, the easiest thing is to quit your studies,
quit your medicin studies and start playing football instead and follow your dreams.
It can be made good movies about that, but it doesn't work in real life.
Lots of young people think like that.
Yes, but they don't make anything in life, like we say. They will have difficulties with their careers,
but maybe it works well for them, at least for a while, and they make some of their wishes come true.
There are no exact answers for that, but I would have been very careful with jumping from one thing to another.
What I do like is to play and do different things within the profession I have, and I have a very various profession.
Since I am a musician and entertainer, I have the oppurtunity to cooperate with whoever I want, as long as they want to themselves.
It is difficult to smile because I have bit myself in my mouth.
The last year, I have made eight different music videos with totally different approaches.
I have cooporated with rappers and different dancers.
My hero from Russia, Yagudin, who is a world champion in figure skating, he wanted to dance to Fairytale.
That was very cool for me.
I have met Andrew Lloyd-Webber who wanted me in a musical in London, but my management said no without my knowledge.
I participated in some rap-songs together with Wyclef Jean. I have done so much different.
You don't have to be rich and famous.
No, and it's not necessary to change profession to be rich in experiences.
Maybe it's easy for us to say, because we have professions where we can do almost anything.
I am thinking about students who might have studied the same subjects for four-five years.
Maybe there are something which is a bit too difficult, and then they give up and start with something else.
Then it will be hard to get a good career.
Are you able to cope with obstacles?
Yes, sometimes I even search for obstacles, to not get too rehearsed and too safe.
Many youngsters dream to experience the same as you, to be very famous and everybody want to talk to you.
They will definitvly not achieve that dream by talking badly about me.
How is it? Is this the happiness in life?
The most exciting for me was to be on my way and heading forward.
To feel the nerves and excitement and have no clue about how things are.
That's why I never will participate in ESC as an artist one more time. The most fun about ESC was all the new things.
"Ahh, is this how I hear the sound in my ear, will we have these on stage?
Cool!! What is behind me now? Oh, are you going to show me on that big screen?"
That's what is fun. It would not be fun to come there again as an artist and say:
"Hear, I have done this before, now let's do it my way this time" .
New experiences and the way against the goal.
Yes, yes.