An unusual melody resembling a Celtic or Australian tribal music echoes through Brighton’s East Street. A short look around and you can see where the unusual music is coming from. Sitting on a cahorn, a young man with long dark hair blows into a huge black didgeridoo before changing back to playing the delicate violin he holds in his left hand.
People in Brighton might be used to many different sorts of buskers with their guitars, their vocals or their pianos, but with his large set-up and his alternative tribal music, Vojtech Janda, aka Vojta, has almost everyone passing by stop and watch him.
It’s been roughly a week since Vojta has come back to Brighton, ready to start his tour around the UK where he will be playing on different alternative music festivals throughout summer, such as the Seed Festival or the Green Gathering.
Originally from the Czech Republic, the young man is one of those musicians who travel the world in order to gather inspiration. He especially spends a lot of time in New Zealand where he found his way into music roughly three years ago.
“I was working as a builder back home in Czech and one day, I just realized that I wanted to do something different. Meet different people, go to different countries… So, I booked a flight and went to New Zealand”, Vojta remembers.
But changing country while doing the same job wasn’t enough for the builder who had been attracted to music ever since he learned how to play the violin when he was a kid. “I have always felt really relaxed and connected when I play music”, he says.
“And when I was working, I always had that feeling inside me that something needed to change. I didn’t want to work just to earn money. I just wanted to do what I loved!”
The one experience that had him quit all his jobs and change his life wasn’t long in coming! “I came to a festival called Luminate, a big alternative music and spiritual music festival in New Zealand, and that completely changed my life! I met a band called Mad Hallelujah Tribe and their music was just great and I started playing with them.”
Having quit his job, the young musician says that for him, there was no way back to his old life at this point. He knew that he would have to have faith and this faith got rewarded. Having learned how to play the didgeridoo when he was on the road with the Mad Hallelujah Tribe, he started touring as a solo artist two years ago, going back and forth between New Zealand and Europe.
Having learned how to play the didgeridoo when he was on the road with the Mad Hallelujah Tribe, he started performing as a solo artist two years ago. Ever since, he has been either busking or playing at different festivals, trying to keep a good balance in between them.
“Busking brings life to the streets and I really like it. I have met some amazing people in the streets when I was doing it. And then on the festivals, there always is a different crowd, different people, a different energy. I am really glad that it is so varied”, Vojta explains.
Going to wherever “the flow takes him”, he has visited numerous countries. Denmark, Switzerland, France, Romania, Australia, the US… but most of the time he goes back and forth between New Zealand and the UK.
“When I change countries, I usually just fly with the instruments. I have a van with a speaker over in New Zealand and I have a van and speaker here. So, in both countries, I have stuff and a van to travel and live in. That makes things easier.” That’s how Vojta describes his half here, half there living situation.
Although he enjoys what he does, the musician is sure that the kind of life he is leading at the moment won’t be forever! “I would love to settle down a little bit because traveling all the time takes a lot of energy. There will always be some kind of traveling involved with my music, but I would like to try to make a home somewhere. Growing my own organic food, having a healthy lifestyle, having a fixed place where I can go back to after a month of touring around.”
Which country he will choose for his home, the musician doesn’t know yet. “We’ll see what the spirit brings”, he says with a smile. But for the moment, he will stay in Brighton for a few weeks before starting his festival tour around the UK.