Zebra trousers, a black and white shirt, zebra gloves and that zebra head-shaped mask that hides his face. That’s what Vadim Petrov looks like when he turns into Brighton’s very own piano playing zebra.
Nodding his, or had we better say its, head eagerly every time someone makes a donation for his zebra baby and flapping his ears gratefully, he pretends to be a zebra pretty well. We met him in the Pavilion Gardens yesterday and quickly had him stop playing for five short questions!
How have you become Brighton’s piano playing zebra?
I was busking before as well as a pianist without the zebra costume and people would just pass by and not really pay attention. I found it very difficult to play in crowded busy places, so I thought that I needed something eye catching, something that will grab people’s attention and make them stop. Then I started looking at different costumes and I randomly found that zebra mask and it just made sense because the piano is black and white and a zebra is black and white as well. And of course, you can find lots of things that match the look, like this zebra mat, gloves…
On your sign there, you say that you are saving for a zebra baby?
Yeah, a few years ago, I was saving for my wedding, then I was saving for my honeymoon and now it’s time to save for a zebra baby. I have been busking as a zebra for three years now, so every year I have had something different to save for.
Where do you originally come from?
I am originally from Latvia but I have been in Brighton for eight years now. I came here for my studies, a songwriting degree.
Why did you decide to stay here after your degree?
It is a unique place, very arty, very open-minded… and it’s great for busking as well! So, I just decided to stay.
What do you do when you are not busking?
I am a full-time musician. I do piano lessons in the evenings.
If you don’t believe zebras can play the piano, check out our video!