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Alaba interview

'Only those who dream big see the grand perspective'

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The interview that David Alaba gave to the Bayern Magazine was no ordinary interview. The location alone was unusual: a Munich recording studio. This is where Alaba pursues his hobby of making music. The Austria international raps and sings, following in the tradition of his family. His father George has had chart hits as a DJ and rapper, while his sister Rose May was part of a reality TV band and has since embarked on a solo career. The siblings released a brief duet on Instagram. fcbayern.com has taken some extracts from the interview:

David, when did you start making music?
Alaba: “I’ve always been drawn to football first and foremost but I come from a very musical family. When you come home and dad’s making music, sister’s making music and my mum is also very musical – you can’t escape it.”

Do you play an instrument?
Alaba: “I had piano lessons when I was younger, and then I learned the guitar. At home I also have a mixing desk that I like playing around on. It’s great fun making music myself. And music has always been a very good counterbalance to football for me. It allows me to switch off and relax.”

How nervous were you when you stepped up to the microphone in a studio for the first time?
Alaba: “I’ve often watched my sister when she’s sung in the studio. When I did it for the first time myself, it was certainly weird. I also find it strange hearing my own voice. It’s the same when I listen to interviews I’ve done. I always think to myself: what sort of voice do I have?! (laughs) But it’s better now.”

But are you pleased with the result of your work in the studio?
Alaba: “It’s clear I’m not the best singer and don’t have the best voice, but you can work a bit of magic in a studio (grins towards his producers). I’m pleased with what comes out at the end.”

On Instagram you posted a video in which you’re singing with your sister. Can we expect more of that?
Alaba: “There’s nothing planned. We just did that for ourselves. I’m not planning to release any of my songs at the moment. I just make music for myself, my family and my friends.”

What do your father and sister think about your music?
Alaba: “My sister likes it a lot. My dad’s very critical. He says it’s not bad but I’m better on the pitch (laughs).”

Is music also a connection to your family for you?
Alaba: “Music is a big thing in our family. I also have a feeling and an ear for it. It’s something we share in common.”

How has the distance changed your relationship with your family?
Alaba: “We’ve always had a very close relationship and done everything together. Particularly when I first came to Munich, I really felt the support of my family and came to appreciate it. My parents have yet to miss a single home game.”

You became familiar with the youth centre at Säbener Straße during that time. Recently you visited the new FC Bayern Campus: how was that?
Alaba: “They’re worlds apart. It’s unbelievable what they’ve built there. The campus is huge and the young players have everything they need to be able to fulfil their dream: training pitches, a stadium, a massive gym, a physio department, a lounge where they can chill, play pool and play on the games console.”

There was also a Q&A session with you. What did the current crop of talent want to know from you?
Alaba: “All sorts of things. My journey to becoming a professional, what it was like leaving home… questions that I would’ve also asked at the age of 14 or 15. Unfortunately I had to admit I wasn’t the best pupil. (grins)”

Was there anything that you particularly wanted to share with them?
Alaba: “That they should never lose sight of their goals. That they should try to give their best every day. That there’ll always be setbacks on the way but you can always pick yourself up. That they should dream big. Only those who dream big see the grand perspective.”

Do you care so much about the young players because you had an older mentor in the form of Franck Ribéry when you broke into the team?
Alaba: “I was very lucky to come into an established team in 2010 where everyone cared about young players being developed and challenged. Basti Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez, Philipp Lahm as well as Franck are up there with the most important people in my career. He tried to help me from day one. Now he’s 34 years old and still bubbling with ambition. He’s still hungry and wants to keep developing and leave his mark on the game. But Franck isn’t just a role model, we’ve also become very good friends.”

What does Franck say about your songs?
Alaba: “He really likes them! He pretty much only listens to French hip-hop but he likes my songs too.”

On the officlal FC Bayern Apple Music profile you'll find playlists from the players and see what hits are played in the record champions' dressing room. David Alaba has also put together his personal favourites for you. Have a listen!

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