Alexander Rybak is an acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician. Born in Belarus, Rybak relocated to Norway in the 1990s. Now in the USA, the artist takes his unique past and multicultural experiences as influences into his vivacious musical releases. He is best known for his breakout hit "Fairytale" that won the 2009 Eurovision contest. As a multifaceted artist, Rybak also adds film composer to his talents, in addition to his work as a thrilling pop music writer.
Alexander Rybak's latest single "1000 Views" is a feel-good soaring pop anthem. The song is the first of the year following his release of "Memories" in 2022.
In conversation with Earmilk, Alexander Rybak tells us all about his new single, storied past and his dream collaborators.
Hi Alexander, tell the Earmilk readers how your musical journey began?
Well, I could mention something about the first time I saw the great violinist Jasha Heifetz on TV, or how I fell in love with Michael Jackson or his moves, but honestly it was all thanks to my parents who introduced me to music at the age of 3. They actually helped me to write my first song that year, and soon after I started violin lessons.
Your new single "1000 Views" is an effervescent pop song. Can you tell us more about the thematic inspiration behind the track?
This song was a product of meeting my new talented friends in the US. From influencers (Lika O) to figure skaters (my amazing friend Johnny Weir) realized how much talent there is in this country! And I wanted to celebrate them with this song about views. I know a 1000 is not that many, but definitely a first milestone for all of us!
Was there a specific sound you were looking to achieve with the new release?
No, I never think of a “template”. I just do music, knowing I have the best fans in the world who will support any genre I choose next. They love diversity, and so do I! But one thing I knew right away; this song needed the magic of saxophone virtuoso Grace Kelly, and I’m so happy she said yes to be a part of this release!
You were born in Belarus, grew up in Norway and now live in the U.S. How have these places influenced the music you create and your journey as an artist?
Norway is to blame for my smile and my ever-optimistic nature. Belarus is full of nostalgia and my love for minor chords comes from there. While the USA is just grand and full of hope, which is wonderful for music.
Congratulations on winning the Eurovision contest in 2009. Can you tell me more about that experience and how it changed your life?
It has made all my coming projects so much easier to reach! It’s almost unfair how more people listen to you once you have some success to show to! However, as a person who loves to study people, it was quite difficult to become someone who everyone studies. That’s why I moved to America to study film music; to start a new chapter!
You recently began working in film composition. Can you tell us more about that? How is it different from making pop music records?
Instead of the music being about me, now it is about telling a story together! I love it! And the best thing I know is to meet producers, directors and other storytellers who I also can become buddies with! And I love when a director says he needs my mix of Norwegian fiddle and orchestra music.
If you could collaborate with anyone in the world musically, who would that be and why?
Probably Hans Zimmer, just because he is Mister Diversity himself. (Let's not forget he was behind the hit "Video Killed The Radio Star" before he became a film composer). I would looove to play violin at one of his projects!
What's next for Alexander Rybak?
Los Angeles. Movies. Magic. Life.
Connect with Alexander Rybak: Instagram