Icakuriren - Darin: "I was afraid of the headlines"

The new snow, is like a duvet inviting, across the courtyard. Darin Zanyar shivers bravely in jeans and thin sneakers outside the record label while the photographer prepares the camera. The designer jacket is purchased at Rodeo Drive and not adapted for Nordic december.
But a warm, soft and rare stylish scarf is around his neck.
- It was a fan who made this knitwear for me.

The follow-up question is given. What is the strange gift he received from a fan? Darin smiles his patented, shy smile and the frozen cheeks gets some new color for a second.
- The weirdest...yes...

You should understand that. Sweden's greatest pop star, "girl idol" since 2004, probably got some one or two spectacular things in his mailbox over the years. As well as his extremely sensitive modesty forbids him to tell about this in public. Instead, he finds himself quickly.
- There is a Japanese girl who constantly sends towels. They are small, fluffy and are made of a material that impossibility can attract moisture. You can't use them!

Inside the warmth in the record company, Darin rather tells about how surprised he was over the success of this year's Så mycket bättre on TV4.
- I was in the United States and wrote songs, so I was away when the first two episodes aired. When I came home I began to understand how big this is was. The songs just climbed up, and everyone talked about the program! I think it is because we artists clicked so well with each other, all of us.

When this was written, Så mycket bättre interpretations have taken seven of ten places on the iTunes list of most downloaded songs. Darin at #1 with Magnus Uggla's - Astrologen and third with Olle Ljungström's - En apa som liknar dig. It is also the song that is closest to him.
- It is a song I listened to when it was released, because my sister listened to Olle a lot. I turned it into an up-tempo song, but if you listen carefully, it's a pretty deep text. I like the contrast. And Olle's story, about his trip to Afghanistan, was probably the one that touched me the most. It was strong.

The contrasts are what made this season. Both have roots in pop, but otherwise the differences could hardly seem larger than those between Darin and the illness and heroin addiction noticed Olle Ljungström. The cute flirt between Darin and Maja Ivarsson follows the same pattern. Many also became touched as usual. The wary Darin told about his parents' background and their long flight from Kurdistan to Sweden.

Both mom, Ashti and dad, Shwan, grew up in a small mountain village with a few hundred people outside the town of Halabja in the Iraqi part of Kurdistan. The village is known for its beautiful surroundings, for its pomegranates, figs and clear water sources. Darin's grandfather opened the first school in the village in the 50's. Both parents trained as a teacher, became engaged 1980 and moved into the city of Halabja.

But Shwan was soon called up to fight in Saddam Hussein's war against Iran and was sent to a training camp in southern Iraq. During a furlough, he chose to flee and was eventually reunited with his wife in Teheran. A one year later they, found themselves in Sweden. In 1988, the youngest child Darin wasn't even a one year old, when they saw on TV how Halabja was bombed with nerve gas. Up to 7000 people died, in their former hometown.

- It wasnt with purpose to talk about mom and dad in Så mycket bättre, says Darin. It just happened. But my parents' story is very close to me. The question of freedom was always alive when I was growing up. I was 4 years old when we traveled to Kurdistan for the first time. You could not fly directly at the time, so we drove with a car from Turkey. I remember how unpleasant it was at the border. Soldiers stood with weapons and had captured refugees who attempted to cross the border. I sat in the car and shook.

But the reunion was beautiful. Especially between the mother and her sister, who hadn't seen each other in ten years.
- The trip was a great experience, although I was so little. And since everyone all spoke Kurdish, I thought everyone I met were relatives. I remember there was a shop next to grandma's house, so I just went in every morning and picked candy to me.

In 2006 Darin was appointed to the kurd of the year, in Sweden. Two years later, he sang at a memorial ceremony for the victims of Halabja, and received afterwards his life's most important fan letter. The Kurdish government in Iraq and its president thanked him for his efforts and wrote that they were proud of his success.

The autumn and winter was littered by scandals surrounding and successes of anti-immigrant forces. What does he feel about it?
- It's so sad. I hope that people know who they support and vote for. I hadn't been here unless my parents got the chance they got. We human beings are more similar than we think, regardless of where we come from.

What other values did you take with you away from home?
- That I should follow my dream. Artist is far from a safe career, but my family has always supported me.

Are you close to your big sister too?
- Yes, she is like an extra mother. Always calls and ask "Are you taking care of your self?" or "Do you sleep well?". She is proud of me. We are quite similar in appearance, but have different interests.

Purposiveness, is it also about heirloom?
- It's me in myself. I want to do things well and I never lean back. Although the private can be just the opposite. I don't usually clean at home...

Darin's first memory in life is a toy synth that he got when he was two years old and couldn't stop playing on it. As a four year old, he was glued to MTV and danced to songs by Madonna, Whitney Houston and especially to the big idol Michael Jackson. One evening in 2004, the16-year-old Darin sat down front of a computer at home in his boy room with mum and dad in Råcksta outside Stockholm.

The Tv was on, and the commercials caught his attention. A new talent show called Idol would start. Darin were amazed (happy) by the clips that was shown from the American version. He looked up the website and signed up himself, right away. When it was time for the audition, his dad Shwan drove him there, at three o'clock in the evening so that he would be the first person in line.
The rest of the night, he sat on a blanket on the ground with a bunch of other expectant youth. They sang together and supported each other. Darin went on, easy in each part. He went to the finals with a big record share of the vote - 78 percent. But the winner became Daniel Lindström. Darin was at first devastated. But the day after, the record company Sony BMG called him and offered a contract. He has five albums, so far. Four of them have been no. 1.

Among Darin's many super hits, you may have to mention Step Up, Money For Nothing and Nobody Knows. He has received many awards like, a Grammy, Rockbjörn and wrote together with Tony Nilsson the song Can't Stop Love for the wedding of the Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.

The new album will be released on January 30th and Darin writes nowadays all the songs himself. Among the producers, there are world names like RedOne and Max Martin.

- I was in the United States and wrote about 25 songs in just two months. It just floated in, so incredibly good. I think I have found a cool and a new sound. I have also focused heavily on the lyrics. Many are very detailed, like my own stories. But I can't reveal more then that, right now...

So, what's your most personal line of text so far?
- On the last album there is a song called I'll Be Alright. I sing that I will be okay, but I know it's going to hurt like hell, when she leaves me. It's about unrequited love.

However, you are careful with your private life?
- Yes. When I broke through, people wanted to have so much of me the whole time. It led me, to shut me more and more, because I was so afraid that there would be headlines. But in recent years I find that I have opened myself more again.

You are 25 years old now. How does it feel?
- Haha. It's a awesome age. I have always thought that you are an adult at 25. If this is how it feels to be an adult then it is good!

Did you have a heavy period about two years ago, right?
- Yes. I had missed so much in the early years as an artist. I had people who took care of everything for me. I felt that I needed to catch up, grow up and take control of my own life. So I fired my management and became, my own. For this new album, I have travelled around on my own, booked producer and put together my own deals. It has been tough, but good.

You're known for working incredibly hard. What do you do when you want to pamper yourself?
- Travelling, quite spontaneously. I often take the car and drive down through Europe without planning where I should drive to. I might end up in Spain, at the end. I stop at everything, from cheap motels to luxury hotels. I just take the day as it comes.

After the autumn with highly toil, travel and a hysterical media coverage awaits a quiet period for Darin before his new album will be released, at the end of January.
- My parents will be traveling with my kusiners parents. I could go with them, but it's just a bunch of old people ... This is probably the first time I think it feels good with snow, cold and a lot of cozy lighting. And I'll buy a pair of Long Johns (underwear).

Name: Darin Zanyar.
Age: 25.
Occupation: Artist and songwriter. Up-to-date with new album "Exit" which is out on January 30th.
Lives: in an apartment in Stockholm.
Family: Mom, dad and older sister Rosa (who is studying economics at Uppsala University).
Likes to eat: Italian. Carpaccio and pasta.
Reads: Too much Facebook and Twitter.

2004: I have always been extremely focused. In the beginning I had hard time to take setbacks, but now I have realized that you can't always be on top.

2010: Me and my sister are very close and she would like to keep an eye on me. She is studying to be an economist in Uppsala - but I handle my own money myself, haha.

2012: A picture of me and Jim Beanz (see picture above) in the studio in Philadelphia. He is one of the world's top producers and has worked with people like Britney Spears and Shakira.

Translated by darinnewz.se