What did Eurovision Star competitor, renowned YouTuber, social media sensation and aspiring film composer Alexander Rybak decide to do soon after he graduated from the prestigious Columbia College film composition program? Someone as active and passionate as he could do nothing but get back to work, creating a bonafide celebratory pop banger and music video titled “1000 Views”
Born in Belarus, Rybak has always had an ear for making music in his own unique way. Both Rybak’s parents were surrounded by music growing up, largely influencing Rybak’s passion for learning violin, and piano, as well as how to write and sing music. After moving to Norway in the early 1990s, Rybak continued to perfect his craft in both piano and violin, playing in different shows and concerts in any way he could. Rybak then later attended Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo, Norway starting at the age of 10!
Rybak is -among many things- a true lover and champion of the pop genre, and the way he buzzes with energy on every viral video he comes up with is nothing short of infectious. “1000 Views” is meant to capture that cloud-9 feeling of seeing yourself gain traction in the early days of your career. For someone as successful as he is (His views are in the tens of millions at times) I think the title alone really speaks volumes about his character, as you’re about to find out in this interview. I think the song also serves as an insightful point of connection between him and the audience, where we get to vicariously live or at least have a share in his excitement, as the video so perfectly conveys.
SOME OF YOUR VIDEOS HAVE TENS OF MILLIONS OF VIEWS. WHY CHOOSE THE ‘1000’ NUMBER SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS SONG?
Ever since my DreamWorks song “Into My Fantasy”, a lot of my music has switched from being about me to being more about everybody else. I wanted “1000 Views” to describe the feeling we get when we reach our first milestone. It’s about celebrating the small victories!
YOU’RE VERY MUCH INTO POP MUSIC AND YOU’RE VERY VOCAL ABOUT IT. WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT THAT PARTICULAR GENRE?
I love how it is easily accessible, and often speaks to so many people! Although I must say, I prefer pop music that has been made with love and care. There has been a trend lately that everyone tends to copy the same genre, I really hope we’ll get out of this trend soon.
HAVE YOU TRIED EXPLORING OTHER GENRES? HOW DID IT GO? AFTER ALL, ‘1000 VIEWS’ CERTAINLY HAS A FUNKY NU-DISCO VIBE TO IT THAT I THINK IT’S JUST AMAZING.
Yes, one can say it’s a spiritual successor to “Magic” which I did in 2020.
But as a classical violinist, I love each and every genre there is. And most of my fans have learned to expect a new style of music every year. But my violin is what binds all the genres, that’s my “sound”!
THERE WERE A LOT OF MOVING PARTS TO THIS EXTREMELY FUN MUSIC VIDEO. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO SET THE WHOLE THING UP?
Thank you! Cinematographer Brendan Boyle and I started working on it weeks before shooting. He is extremely talented and ambitious, and both of us have an eye for detail. Actually, we spent 4 days of shooting all around Los Angeles!
DO YOU THINK A FOLLOW-UP SONG/VIDEO (SUCH AS 1.00.000 VIEWS?) WOULD BE IN ORDER?
Haha maybe on TikTok!
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR DREAMS OF BEING A MUSIC COMPOSER FOR FILMS. WHERE DOES THIS DESIRE COME FROM?
It comes from a desire to create stories with other people, not just for myself! And I have been doing orchestral music all my life. Once I became famous in all of Europe with pop music, my musical palette became somewhat limited. Therefore I just went outside my comfort zone and started studying at Columbia College. (Which was ranked the number 1 school for composers once I graduated. Just saying, lol)
Now I just hope to meet an indie director who I click with, somebody I understand with my whole soul, and vice versa!
WHO WOULD YOU CITE AS YOUR FAVORITE COMPOSERS OF ALL TIME?
Rachmaninov, Tsjaikowsky; and, of course, John Williams! 🙂 All the great romantics.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE FILM SCORE?
That’s always a difficult question. If it is about masterful music and memorable themes that make me feel like a child again, I would say Jurassic Park!
But as a score accompanying a film, it would probably be The Matrix. It’s just mind-blowing how well that hybrid synth/orchestra music describes all those matrix codes and the world we see!
YOU HAVE A HUGE ONLINE PRESENCE AND IT’S ALL HELPED BUILD YOUR CAREER. WHICH PLATFORM WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN THE MOST IMPORTANT OR HAS CONTRIBUTED THE MOST TO GROWING YOUR AUDIENCE AND REACH?
I would say YouTube. Even though TikTok has helped me gain a ton of new fans, it’s mostly about repeating trends. But with YouTube one can express your individuality with longer videos. And as a storyteller that’s important to me.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT ALEXANDER RYBAK WHEN HE’S NOT RECORDING, CREATING CONTENT OR JUST BEING “PUBLIC”. WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO?
I tend to overthink everything and everyone. The best thing I know is to experience something that gets me away from my mind. Like video games, watching a great movie in my Dolby Atmos studio, or even better, riding crazy rides at Six Flags!
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