Interview with Martin Stenmarck

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A good day starts with a good coffee, he says. Martin Stenmarck is here with “The Girls” but we are sorry to say ‘He just got married’. The Swedish singer had time to give us an interview during his stay at Playitas Resort.

How did you start singing?

I started as a young kid, as a 3 or 4 years old. It has always been around in my family. It just ended up with me doing what I loved as a child. My grandfather was a great singer, was always a singer, so compared being a singer or not with being a doctor but with a doctor for the soul. I loved that. It’s a fine thing to be an artist in our family, so I started as a kid.

Singer, composer, producer? How do you see your future?

In my future, as a singer, a composer and producer I believe that I will keep on doing this for the rest of my life. I want to keep on doing it until the day I leave this earth to the next level. And the great thing is, as a singer, you change, the only you get you can’t do the things you did when you were 20. We talked about this morning when you turn about 50, 60 some things start to change at your throat, because of the cords get harder, so you really need to keep them going. But as a composer you can still write songs until the day you die. You don’t have to have the lyrics and the melodies in your head. And as a producer, I haven’t produced anything on my own yet. I want things to move fast, I’m a bit impatient with the producer thing, but I have a lot of ideas. That’s how it’s going to be probably for the rest of my life. So composing absolutely, producing maybe not and singing as long as I can, that’s the future.

Your next record /project?

Now I am working on a solo show project and I’m just in the middle of it. The theme is: I grew up in a big family, I have a lot brothers and sisters, and actually I have 11 brothers and sisters. And that’s not very common in Sweden. It’s stories about growing up in a big family with a lot of crazy stuff going on. I played some of the records to some music stations and they feel like this is going to be a new era in my career. And it feels really good to be in the process right now. But at the same time I travelled to other countries. During this time as well and I recorded a lot with musicians all around the world. I’ve been to the States and Dominican Republic for the Latin thing. Probably I’m going to Zimbabwe, just to record other kind of music. So I have two projects rolling. But the world music thing will take a couple of years, but it’s a process.

How hard is to be famous? Relationship with Press, TV…

The thing is I live in a very good country in that perspective. Sweden is really nice to their famous people, it’s quite easy, and I can take the subway and stuff like that. Of course, If I go to an amusement park with my kids on a Saturday when there’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of people taking pictures and writing autographs and stuff like that, that’s more like: if you want to keep your privacy and keep your focus on the kids, especially. But the thing with being famous is there’s nothing good with it, except for people come to you and see your gigs and buy your records. But otherwise it’s nothing I recommend. The best thing, in a perfect world, people would come and visit your shows and buy your CD’s and no one would recognize you. Press it’s always the same questions. I married my girlfriend after 20 years; no it’s not that interesting anymore.

How important is for you the Eurovision singing contest?

Well the Eurovision was something very fun. It wasn’t something important for me it’s a huge thing in Sweden. We call it the melody festival, the pre competition before you enter the competition. The winner of melody festival can compete in the Eurovision. And in Sweden it’s a huge thing. I have attended 3 times and I won one time so that’s why I ended up with the Eurovision. It was fun, but it has almost nothing to do with my career. So it was more like a spectacle. I went to Kiev, ended up on the 19 th place. I put some money on a booker thing, I put myself as #1, Greece is #2 and Malta is #3. Greece won and Malta came in on number 2 and I ended up at 19. But it’s not important, it was fun.

How important are sports to you?

Sports is a good thing to do,  as an artist you need to have the energy and the strength to carry on during an entire show. And I work quite hard when I’m on the stage. For me it’s like 90 minutes it’s like a Body Combat thing. So for me it’s rally really good to be in a good condition. And I love being outside, doing the mountain biking. And when I’m on tour it’s really easy to bring the running shoes, so I can train wherever I go. And that’s a good thing. So it’s a good thing for me to do it on the show. I don’t do it to look good, I do it to feel good, and that’s the most important thing.

The girls… Tell us what you are doing at Playitas

We are trying to find out a new concept, we think there is a lot of training camps and travels in Sweden. It’s getting bigger and bigger, we like that but we want to put a little extra touch on it. That’s why all the leaders have a love for music and are very good at singing or playing a guitar, they’ve been in the music and producing stuff. So, all our leaders are musicians or singers or producers. And that put’s something extra because every night we can talk about that, we can talk about music, we can play a lot of music, so I think we’re adding something extra for the girls that we bring. So this is like a tryout where we see if the leaders manage to play during the night times and the leading the classes through the day time. So it’s going to be really nice to talk to the girls after this week and see what they think about it.

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What kind of remarks do you have about Playitas?

Playitas is a great place it’s when it comes to sports, it has everything. If that is your focus it is absolutely perfect. The best thing in Playitas for me is the staff working here. Because everyone that I met during this 3 or 4 days is really willing to help and really concerned about what we think about the stay. That is the heart and soul of Playitas, you guys working here. I’ve been here in two different travels and this time I think the food is even better, there’s an energy here that I like, so love to the place. The healthy food concept is perfect and the girls really like it.

Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Do you manage your accounts?

Time to time I do that. I have people helping me out with starting up big events like if there are TV shows or tours or if I have a release of a new album, then the record company or the management need to put out some new information. But I think for me its ups and downs.

Sometimes I’m really onto it, almost every day. And sometimes it takes a week, or two, that’s not very good. But I run them on my own, especially Facebook and Instagram and I think twitter is just connected to one of the others. I’m somewhere in the middle, I’m not really good at it and not really bad at it. But it’s okay some of my posts on Facebook reach 1 million people. It’s agreat thing the social media you need to manage that and I should learn more. I need to be better.

If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

Someone told me many, many years ago, maybe 25 years, that I am.. he called me the lone wolf, I think that’s something.. I believe in dreams and things that you see in dreams. And I imagine myself as a wolf many times and seen a lot of wolves. So I would be a wolf. I can be a team player when I need to because music is all about keeping a group together and creating something together, but a wolf can also be that strong that he can manage on his own. So that’s me, I’m a wolf, in a good way, a nice wolf.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

It happens stuff to me all the time, when I’m on tour there is always something going on. But for me personally a couple of weeks ago I just got married that was fun; it was one of the best parties I ever had. I can’t tell you the funny things that we laugh about in the tour bus. I can’t tell you. That’s not a good thing, to laugh at someone’s side.

How do you spend your free time?

I don’t have that much free time, I have three kids and I always work on Fridays, Saturdays and the evenings so maybe I have a couple of hours every day Monday to Friday, but then I do sports, I see my friends, almost everyone has regular work. Like common people. So I have to meet them at Lunch, that’s how I do my social thing. Sports.. but I write music and then I just try to spend as much time as possible with my kids. Twelve, Ten and Four years old. So there is a lot of fun going on.

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Quick ones

Favorite place to live?

I love Sweden.

Most beautiful city you have visited?

Probably Venice or Barcelona but my favorite city is Rio de Janeiro.

What’s your favorite meal?

My favorite meal is lobster. I could eat that for the rest of my life.

What’s your favorite music?

If I could only choose one then it’s probably rock music, like Bruce Springsteen, U2 and a lot of Swedish artists.

Åsa Lundström interview

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Photo: Ginés Díaz

We caught up with Åsa Lundström who is actually at Playitas Resort. Hours of training and 2015 Orca photoshoot form part of her day-to-day activities. She is working really hard and keeping a cool head as she prepares for the new incoming season. The battle is on! 

Why do you start in triathlon?

I can’t really say why, it was more a coincidence. I moved to Denmark to study medicine and the guy I started studying with was also Swedish and a triathlete. He convinced me to go running or swimming and also meant that I would like triathlon. I wasn’t sure about it because it might be too hard and I´m not a good swimmer. But he helped me to learn the basics of freestyle swimming and then I tried my first triathlon in 2009. And I was really hooked.

Did you practice any sports before?

I’ve always been active. I played soccer, did cross country skiing and alpine skiing as well as all kind of different sports. I also used to teach classes in the gym. But to be honest, I was always active but nothing concerning the three different disciplines of triathlon.

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Photo: Kilian Kreb

What do you think is your secret of success?

I think there are few thinks that should be part of the recipe for success. One, and maybe the most important thing, is to have a passion for what you do. If you don’t like training and the things you do you won’t last for the amount of time that is needed to build a strong athlete. The second ingredient is persistence: making overtime experience and muscle memory will help a lot.

Are you studying?

No, I’m studying part-time only.

Working?

No. Well, working on the bike (laughing).

And training…are you doing anything else?

I just quit doing teaching classes because I was travelling too much. Right know it’s divided into 95% triathlon and only 5% medical school.

How many days do you travel to a race in advance?

It really depends where the race takes place. If there is a time difference I want to travel there as many days in advance as there the time difference is. For example, Melbourne has a time difference of nine hours that means I want to be in Melbourne at least nine days before the race.

You are a Swedish, living in Denmark but your second home is Playitas. Is that right?

Yes, when I’m walking from my room to the Swimming pool or to the Gym I meet a lot of people that I know or that know me. It’s more than at home when I’m walking through the streets. So maybe this here should be called my first home (laughing).

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Photo: Playitas Resort -Hall of Fame-

Do you have some tips for training?

A general tip could be to get as much variation as possible in the training. Don’t do only four hour rides or long rides, don’t run the same loop or the same distance all the time and don’t be used to swim always the same session. Try to do as much variation as possible! Everything from few 20 seconds sprints to half an hour runs in your race pace to stimulate the muscles as much as possible!

You finished on the 2nd position at the Ironman in Klagenfurt in 2013. What can you tell us about the race?

It was really a good race for me; I was feeling that I had a good day. Of course, since I am staying so often Playitas, I like the hilly biking a lot. The conditions were also perfect in Austria and I felt really strong. It was the race where I set my best personal time and also the Swedish time record for the Ironman distance.

What would you like to do when you finish your triathlon career?

I want to be a doctor (laughing). This is a dream I’ve always had. Even though, it’s been on hold for a while, it’s still my dream that I want to accomplish. This is one of my main goals!

What kind of remarks do you have about Playitas?

One of the things I can say about Playitas that hopefully most of the people already know is that Playitas is a really good place to train for. It´s so accessible from Europe; the time difference is small and the weather is quite stable. But people who are come to Playitas should also know that you don’t come to this island because it’s very pretty. You come here because it makes you strong and it really does! The atmosphere I experience when I walk through the Plaza Rambla is really familiar. It’s like a family atmosphere which makes you feel like home even when you are far away.

Short questions:

What is your favourite meal?

It’s probably steak from my dad’s hunting because I know where it comes from.

What is your favourite place to live?

For training it could be anywhere. I am Swedish and I’ve been living in Denmark for 7 years. Right know I miss Sweden that’s why I would have to say Sweden. But it’s definitely not the perfect place to train.

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Photo: Playitas Resort

How many hours do you train in a week?

If I am at Playitas or have big training weeks I train up to 35 hours. When I am at home it’s more around 20 or 25 hours. After an Ironman it’s two hours (laughing).

Swimming, biking or running?

As long as I‘m in good company it really doesn’t matter!

How many hours do you sleep?

I try to sleep never less than 8.5 hours.

How many bikes do you have?

(Thinking and counting) Right know…5 or 6. I’m not quite sure.

What is your favourite distance?

Ironman Distance

Photos:

Gines Díaz 

Kilian Kreb 

Playitas Resort  

Ruffie Training: un entrenamiento desconocido y divertido

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El Ruffie Training es un deporte que nació en Suecia de la mano de Usama Aziz y Musse Hasselval. El entrenamiento consiste en sacar ese “tigre” que cada uno tenemos dentro y te obliga a trabajar muy duro con y contra tu compañero de entrenamiento. Se basa mucho en el contacto físico pero por supuesto sin ningún tipo de violencia.

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En Playitas Resort hemos incorporado esta modalidad desde hace poco tiempo que causa furor en otros países y que lleva a los participantes a esforzarse y al mismo tiempo a divertirse ya que aunque no hay puntuación, si que tiene ese “puntito” de competencia y de intentar hacerlo más y mejor que tu compañero.

La semana pasada asistimos a una de esas clases de “Ruffie” y quedamos encantados y disfrutamos mucho viéndolo en directo. Tal fue la expectación que se fue uniendo gente en el exterior del MC1 (Multi Court número 1) para ver qué era lo que estaba pasando y seguir a las cuatro parejas más los dos monitores que participaron en ella.

Los diferentes ejercicios que se pueden practicar en una clase de “Ruffie” van desde un primer calentamiento individual al que se va incorporando tu compañero para pasar a hacer abdominales colgados de él/ella; subirte encima como si la persona que te sostiene fuera “mamá mono” y tú su hijo para acabar meciéndote. Cada cierto tiempo se cambian y tú participas como mamá y también como hijo. Otro ejercicio es conseguir arrastrar a tu compañero a lo que él/ella, debe oponer la máxima resistencia. Se le añaden flexiones, más abdominales y otros ejercicios como sostener una pierna de tu compañero y dar saltos a la “pata coja”.6

 

Desde aquí te animamos a que si tienes oportunidad, lo pruebes y estamos seguros que con tan sólo una clase, quedarás totalmente enganchado a esta práctica. En Playitas Resort, tenemos Ruffie Training dos veces a la semana para nuestros clientes. ¿Te animas? 😉