Caught by Rybak’s net
Alexander Rybak plans to create a girl-band to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest
Belarusian women who boast pleasant voices would be pleased to know that singer, Alexander Rybak, plans to create a girl-band to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest. We’ve talked to the artiste to learn more about his idea, and also about the song which the future band will perform.
It’s just been a dream so far, but I believe it can come true. If I fail to succeed this year, I’ll then develop my idea in 2015. Representing Norway, I won ‘Eurovision’; afterwards, I wished to do something for my second homeland: Belarus. I’m now planning to prepare a band to perform at the major European Song Contest.
What this new band would look like?
This would be similar to ‘Buranovskie Babushki’, but all its members would be young. At present, Slavonic musicians often choose to move away from their cultural traditions — imitating Western trends. In turn, I’d love to demonstrate Belarusians’ uniqueness. The song would rely on folklore music and modern rhythms.
Why are you attracted by a band rather than a solo artiste? Moreover, why are you turning to girls?
I see Belarus as a land where people are ready to support each other. The band members would symbolise human connections. My choice of a girl-band is grounded in the fact that very beautiful ladies live in Belarus.
Shall their beauty be strengthened by bright make-up and short skirts?
No short skirts would be accepted. They’ll probably perform in folk costumes, to ensure that audiences look into their eyes rather than their bodies. When ‘telling’ the song story, these girls would need to be extremely sincere.
Representing Norway, I won ‘Eurovision’; afterwards, I wished to do something for my second homeland: Belarus. I’m now planning to prepare a band to perform at the major European song contest.
You also often mention your work with children…
After ‘Eurovision’, artistes are often invited to take part in diverse projects — especially those attracting young musicians. In the past, I was embarrassed when I had to pass by children who came specially to see me and were waiting for me before the concert. At present, I’m trying to devote more attention to these young people. In Norway, I attended 40 children’s orchestras. We spent several days with boys and girls — rehearsing and then jointly performing. I’d love to realise a similar project in Belarus; visiting small and large cities.
What are you working on now?
I’m preparing a children’s musical — ‘Troll’. It will be initially staged in Norwegian, and then in English and other languages. I’ve also composed a song for the ‘How to Train Your Dragon-2’ cartoon (released by American DreamWorks Animation). Interestingly, I sent my composition to the studio just two months before the premiere — relying on no luck. I received no news for two weeks but did not lose heart as I believed that luck would come next time. However, I suddenly received a call informing me that my song had been accepted. As a result, my composition has become part of the soundtrack for the cartoon all over the globe (not only in its Norwegian version). In addition, DreamWorks Animation provided me with exclusive material which I later used in my video for the song. It’s a fantasy work which is the best so far in my career.
This shows that we need to believe that dreams can come true
Yes… and this refers not only to music. Before winning ‘Eurovision’, I took my songs to many radio stations, but was told each time that they failed to meet their format. Even now (when the contest is in the past), I’m happy when any of my songs joins the hit-parade. Interestingly, radio stations sometimes refuse to accept my compositions, but ask when I’ll compose something new. Openly speaking, such situations offend me. Generally speaking, artistes need to have strong nerves to work in showbiz.
At present, Slavonic musicians often choose to move away from their cultural traditions — imitating Western trends. In turn, I’d love to demonstrate Belarusians’ uniqueness. The song would rely on folklore music and modern rhythms.
What should be done when stations fail to accept songs?
This is not a major problem now — as the Internet is developing. I personally have thousands of network subscribers who follow my artistry. It means someone needs my work.
Has Eurovision turned your life upside down?
My first year after the contest was not easy — primarily, due to the differences of culture in Europe. I was once asked to perform at Alexandra Pakhmutova’s birthday party. I came to the concert wearing a simple white shirt. On seeing me, the directors were surprised, saying, “Sasha, it’s not the best way to be dressed. Look at Kirkorov. You need to look like him.” After the show, I renewed my costumes but, on coming to Sweden, I was told, “Sasha, dear, you look strange!” I have another example — In Eastern Europe, artistes prefer limousines or other cars to travel while, in Western Europe, celebrities might travel by metro. In Kiev, I entered the underground and people were truly surprised to see me there.
What is people’s reaction when they meet you in public transport?
It’s incredible. On seeing me on the red carpet, people wish to interview me. In turn, they are afraid of a hidden camera and are truly suspicious when meeting me in the metro.
Do you use your popularity?
It has happened once… when I wanted to buy a sofa. The model I was interested in was sold out and I was needed to wait for five-six weeks. I then replied, “You’ll be sorry. ‘Eurovision’ participants will soon be coming to visit me and you’d have a chance to enjoy good advertising.” The problem was immediately solved.
I have never used my popularity in other situations. I was already popular in Scandinavia before winning ‘Eurovision’, and I then promised to myself to never remind people of who I am. Even when we go to a club with my friends, we stand in a queue like ordinary visitors.