Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Translation of Salem's interview on SVT's "Gomorron Sverige"

I thought you'd like to read this excellent translation (by Eva Jonson, a good friend of this blog!) of Salem's interview when he appeared on "Gomorron Sverige" on Monday 15th March.

The interview provides a very interesting insight into Salem's views about appearing in Melodifestivalen....

Interviewer (Mikael Leijnegard): Hi Salem!

Salem: Hi, g’day, good morning!

M: No one took great notice when Salem Al Fakir as a teenager toured in Russia as a violinist and was celebrated as a wonder child wherever he went. Here, he later became famous as a pop-singer, you might say, and has in that way over the years proved that whether the auditorium is nobby or folksy, he hits it big! Second place in Melodifestivalen!

S: Right!

M: That’s a success, wouldn’t you say?

S: Yeah, it was quite nice ... Success? Oh yes, a fantastic success! From my point of view; unbelievable success.

M: So, congratulations!

S: Thanks, thanks a lot. It was quite fun, actually.

M: The way you were leading during this dramatic voting procedure; that lead just got bigger and bigger as the international jury points were handed out. We have some pics of this ... Were you starting to think about victory?

S: Not at all, as a matter of fact. I handle things with calm. And I had a feeling the jury would choose me as their winner.

M: Is that so?

S: I have a thing with juries ... and it has always been that way, the times I have ended up in these kinds of situations the jury tends to like ... so yeah, at that point I felt that ’yeah, maybe this could go somewhere’. But then again I felt and I knew that Anna would carry this thing, via ... You know, all this has become such an extended process – I’m in it for the first time, so I haven’t seen what it’s been like before, but now I really got to ... And you know, people make up their minds long in advance, you notice that.

M: You think so? Why?

S: Absolutely, I think so. We are being fed with ... it’s all so very surveiled. And it’s all about this thing during these weeks, the big folk festival. So I believe people are living inside it, thinking about it and have sorted things out quite early on. So I think ... go on.

M: But after all the viewers’ votes, all except the last and biggest mass, had been given out you were still in the lead – quite a big lead.

S: Right.

M: So it wasn’t only the jury that liked you.

S: Exactly, and that was so cool, it was fantastic. For me this is all incredibly exciting! I have a Facebook page, a fan page, which grew by over 5,000 persons in one day. So I have seen the amount of people who support me and who have liked what I do, and have given me so many kind words ... so absolutely, the people wanted me to be there as well! And that makes me very happy.

M: I met Bert Karlsson (Swedish schlager mogul, my comment) right after the final, and he said at once: ’Salem should have won!’ And that says something about this song that maybe, at first listen, was a bit ’special’ in this context ... how popular and block-busting it can become. How does that feel?

S: It feels great. I look at all this as an experiment, in the way that ... I believe that it’s the ones that make music, those who are in my position ... that is to some extent where you can show what people DO want. There has been a bit of a bias there, well, not a bias but at least another angle; that you ’should give the people what they want’. But now, all of a sudden, one can prove that maybe I can give them something they maybe didn’t know they wanted! It works that way, too! And I find that quite interesting, because as long as you have trust in people’s prudence – and not the other way around – I think you can do all sorts of things, and make your music just the way you want it, and still get some people to listen to it. I think it’s all very, very exciting.

M: We have to listen to the song .. Remind ourselves.

S: Yes, you are very welcome to do so.

M: How did you make this song? How ... what inspired you?

S: Inspired? Well ... this one was actually written on a guitar, a three-stringed guitar, so things always spring out of other, different stuff ... [Salem watching tv] Wow, it’s really good-looking with the ... this is fun, I haven’t seen this before!

M: You haven’t?

S: Well, I have seen it from the first time, but not yet from this Saturday.

M: It’s really nice. Good TV!

S: Good that it worked out so well. ..... This one is actually the first song I wrote for my new album. Now I find it more interesting, because it was the first song I wrote for that one, so there is a whole story to look at ... and to listen to. You will get more answers then.

M: It’s exciting that this one – the first track – has become such a ... I mean, you will make money on this song!

S: Well, that’s ... yes. That is how I live. Others live differently. I always have to think very far ahead, too. I might make money on a song now, but that’s because right now things are going well. In half a year, suddenly nothing’s happening. So you always have to think a lot further ahead.

M: Speaking of which; how do you follow up on this enormous attention that Melodifestivalen means? And the fact that you went as far as second place in the final?

S: I don’t have to follow up on anything just for the sake of it. I’ve had a life before Melodifestivalen, a life that has been very good and heading upwards somewhere. This has absolutely been a ’broadening’ thing for me, to be able to reach out to the same people as before but even wider and at the same time bigger. So I really don’t have to do more than play on! And then it’s up to them to come and watch me If you put it that way. So, I don’t really have to do anything more, because what I do there is just me. And I was invited as just myself. So I don’t feel any demands, and I find that rather comfortable. I can continue doing what I should do ...

M: That sounds unbelievably nice.

S: Yes, absolutely. ... Why make things difficult, I think?

M: Certainly. But there are many who have a big entourage just standing there waiting, ’now we’re going on a PR venture’ ...

S: [somewhat confused, not answering the question?:)] Mhm. Yes, definitely.

M: So, when are you heading out on a tour in Russia with the violin, then?

S: Well, this is how it was ... I started touring at 13 years old, around that time it became a bit more professional, and then I ended up in Russia just twice ... so there were no massive touring in Russia, just to clear this up! So I don’t think I’ll be going there, especially not with my violin, maybe I’ll go there playing something else, in that case.

M: I’m sure you’ll have good chances of doing that after this, since Melodifestivalen is gigantic in Russia. So, congrats, and have fun on your tour and playing. See you around.

S: Thank you very much. Yes, absolutely.

Thanks again Eva for the translation. And thanks for the mention on Facebook too. Just one thing though, I'm from Scotland, not England :) but I guess I never mentioned that before !!

It looks as if Salem really enjoyed his Melodifestivalen experience. In my view, he has achieved what he set out to do - to reach a wider audience on his own terms, without compromising his musical talent or artistic credibility. Well done Salem!


kevin (ru) said...

Hi from Russia, that's was fun to read this :-)

Eva said...

Thanks, happy to have been able to help :) I have put up a forum called 'blogs' (Bloggar) on the Facebook page now, and of course you are first in line.

Eva said...

There is also a forum called "In English" on the Facebook page now!!/topic.php?uid=50286022803&topic=13418

EuropeCrazy said...

Hi Eva!

I just wanted you to know that I really appreciate what you and Madelene are doing on Facebook - I'm really enjoying the forums and (of course) I have to thank you for mentioning Planet really made my day!

Kevin - I like to include as many translations on the site because I know that Salem has many fans who don't speak/understand Swedish so I'm glad you liked this. Eva, you did a great job!

Eva said...

Thanks again, Laura! Of course you should be mentioned there, you run the best Salem blog by far! I'm happy to help out where I can, and translations could be a bit of "my thing". When I find the time, that is ... see you around.