Efter Tio with Darin: "F Your Love"

Last monday, Darin was a guest in the tv show Efter Tio, where he had a long conversation with the host, Malou. We managed to make a full translation of the interview and here it goes for you.

Welcome, Darin!
- Thank you very much!

What does your name mean?
- My name actually means "precious present". I've checked that.

You've talked about your context before, in Så Mycket Bättre. But you feel like a Swede, am I right? Because you were born here.
- I feel Swedish, but at the same time I feel Kurdish too. So I'd say both. But yes, I feel Swedish.

In what way does the Kurdish influence your life?
- It's hard to say in what way I feel Kurdish, but I speak Kurdish fluently.

Do you do that at home?
- I mostly speak Swedish with my parents. Sometimes we mix too, Swedish and Kurdish.

What do you like about the Kurdish culture?
- First of all I like the humor. People like to joke a lot. And laugh.. And they also like music very much. But you like that in Sweden as well. So I guess I've got that from both the cultures.

Kurdish people have had a hard time for many years, and maybe the humor is important to have, so they can survive?
- I think so. The kurds have been through a lot. And because it looks the way it does over there, of course I feel for Kurdistan.

Now we will watch some clips from when you were in Idol, and you are going to tell us how you felt when you stepped into the judge's room and were going to sing for them. (the clips are shown)
You said you were thinking about that one time that was shown in one of the clips that we just saw, every time you get into this house.
- Yes, every time I get here I think of when I sang "Beautiful". It was in the room right beside this one.

What made that time so special? - After that night, I broke through for real. It was hard to understand, I tried to take it in, but... I remember that I was going to school the day after, as usual. I went to a gymnasium then. I passed Pressbyrån (a Swedish store) and saw myself on the placards. So of course things changed, and people came up to me and stuff.

In school then, how was it to come back there?
- Everyone just ran outside to see me. We were only two classes because it was a pretty new gymnasium. Then I lived in Råcksta in Vällingby, and went to Lilla Akademin at Odenplan, which is a music school.

They must have been proud of you at school. It is very hard music discipline there.
- Yes, really. There were classical music when I went there, not very much pop. So I didn't know how the teachers were going to react because classical music is quite different from pop music.

It feels like you are very humble. Is there any big difference between the guy before and the one who's sitting here right now? Have you handled the famousness or have you changed?
- I still feel the same. It has happened incredibly much since then, it's been 9 years. I've been through so much but still I feel like that person, but older of course. Which feels very good, I wouldn't want to have it any other way.

And you still hang out with your old friends. You have kept that old life. It has been important to you.
It's been important and it has also felt natural for me. I'm that kind of person that goes by feeling, and what feels right. My gut feeling has helped me.

You have always been able to sing, and we will watch some old and very cute clips from before.(the clips are shown)
Cute guy! (they laugh) So that's what you did all the time?

- Yes, I always wanted sing and perform, and they were going to film it. My parents thought it was fun which has helped me pretty much. It's so good to have that kind of support and I can imagine that not everyone that wants to work with music has that support. Because it's not a 9 to 5 job, it's not a job that you always may make a living from.

Your parents were very young when they got you, how old were they then?
- They weren't that young when they got me, but they were when they came to Sweden. They were younger than I am now, around 20 or something.

Where did your parents live before they fled to Sweden?
- They are from Halabja originally, then they moved to Slemani, that is situated in the Northern part of Iraq, by the border between Iraq and Iran. Then they fled to Iran.

Your father was called to be in the army.
- Yes, he had to join the army and fight for Saddam Hussein's party. But he decided to runaway from the war.

By then your parents had already met?
- Exactly, they were married then. My father fled to Iran first, and after a year my mother came there too. Then there is so much that happened during their journey, and now I explain pretty fast. It's so sick for me to hear these stories, I was born and grown up here, so it feels so unreal...
My father was so lucky, because he found out the day after he had ran that everyone in his force, all of his friends, had died.

Where did your parents find each other?
- In Teheran. Then they decided to move from there. First to Greece, Bulgaria, East-Berlin and then they came to Stockholm after all.

Why did they choose Sweden?
- They had heard that it was good here. They didn't know how long the war was going to last but they thought that it would end sooner than it did. They had planned that they were going to go back to Kurdistan. But they couldn't go back because things had turned out the way they had. It was dangerous for them to go back and they couldn't keep in touch with their families. My mother got back in touch with hers after 10 years.

What happened when she talked to them again?
- I was actually with her at that time. I was around 3-4 years old then but I remember everything. It was so powerful, it's kinda hard to forget. The first one she met was my aunt, her big sister. She was like an extra mother who took care of all the siblings. We came to her house and she stood by the window, dishing. She saw my mother, me and my sister. But she had never met us two, she had just heard that my mother had two children. She comes out of the house, looks like she has seen a ghost and drops the plate. My mother rans to her and they start to cry... It was incredibly powerful.

Did your mother change after this? Did she felt more.. complete?
Yes, it felt like that.

And you also got new relatives.
- Yes. I didn't quite understand what it was. Kurdistan... You don't get that there are different countries when you're 3 years old. I thought that everyone over there was related because all the kurds I had met in Sweden were my relatives. I remember that I went into a candy store and just took candy, believing that the owners were my relatives. They were nice and didn't say anything at first, but after a week they told my uncle that his nephew was stealing candy...

Your relatives follow you and what's going on with you, I guess you're like a representative for your family.
- Yes. And in Kurdistan they know pretty well how it goes for me, which is very nice. I did two big interviews over there, for their two biggest TV channels.

I wonder how it feels like for your parents when they get to Arlanda with their luggage and then they see you there.
- They are very proud of me. I wouldn't have been the person I am today without their support. My sister too, the whole family... It has meant a lot to me. Of course it feels a bit unreal for them. They came here without anything and didn't know what was going to happen. I think it's amazing that they have created their life here.

What have they worked with?
- They've been both teachers from the beginning. Then my father has been a chauffeur and my mother is still a teacher, of language.

Then it has been important to her that you speak Swedish.
- And kurdish. Both. I learned English early as well. I have relatives in San Diego so I've been there quite a lot when I was little. Which also has helped my songwriting.

Almost every year after Idol you have released an album that went straight to the top of the charts.
- Yes. The funniest thing was the first year when I released 2 albums, in one year. That was pretty unusual. I released the first album in February 2005, two months after the show. Then I went into the studio and wrote many songs during the spring and summer. I felt that I had to release that material. I talked to the record label and they were like "this is not going to work out, you've just released one album, you can't release another one right after!". I just wanted to get the material out and I wondered why I couldn't do that. It is good music, and then it's gonna work out. I'm glad that I did what my gut feeling said, because that album sold twice as much as the first one. After that I got pretty full scope, sort of what I have from the beginning. I've always had good people around me, good management and had a good team at the record label. That's also an important thing since I was so young when I started.

Your lyrics are kind of diary notes. The song that you are about to perform is about love, or maybe more unhappy love. Have you been dumped, is that what it is about?
- Not dumped, but... you take each other for granted sometimes. And that's exactly what it is about. In this lyrics I want payback, because I have been so hurt. I sing that the tears down come down my eyes, so I have to make you understand how it feels.. Tears steaming down your face, kind of.

This album is very personal.
- Yes, much more personal than my previous albums. There have been songs before that I may have wanted to focus on the lyrics more. But on this album, almost every song has been personal. But it felt kind of natural when I sat down and wrote. It sort of felt like therapy, when I could get out all those feelings.

You've said that you feel more safe on stage, that you can get out all those feelings.
- Exactly. Some might think that it's like you're putting on a uniform. But to me it's reversed. I feel more myself when I'm on stage. I've heard that people say that I may be like a different person on stage, but I just feel like I let loose of everything.

So how does it feel to sit here?
- It's fun. It feels very comfortable. I like that I got to come here after all, I've been following your interviews since I was younger, so...

Before we end, how is the love going?
- (laughs) Well... There might be something, but it’s very new so we will see how it goes.

That’s not the love that you're going to sing about...
- No, it's not the "F Your Love" kind of love.. I hope.

You can watch the full show right below. If you want to see Darin's acoustic performance of F Your Love only, just go straight to minute 20:33.


Translated by Nathalie Pentler.