Hii everyone! How the title already says, I will tell about the life of the street musician Jakub Ondra. But at first I’ll tell you how I met him. I was actually just walking in Zurich with my sister and i heard someone singing and a bunch of people standing in a half circle. So I went closer to see who was singing. After he finished the song that he was performing, he started talking to his public which not every street musician does and said what he’s going to perform next and the story of the song is. The story was really interesting and i had to hear the song. That was actually the last song he performed there. After the performance, i went to him and started talking to him. So I came up with the idea to do a post about him. I was actually really nervous because i never done that before. So when I told him my idea he was really happy and he agrees with my idea. So I helped him to pack his stuff and we went together to McDonalds to have a coffee and talk.
All started when Jakub was a little child. He had a grandfather who was a hunter. They used to go to the forests to take care of animals and his grandfather always played the harmonica at the campfire and it was so much. After his grandfather died, he wanted to keep that legacy in his family because nobody was a musician. His father was a doctor and his mother sold plan tickets and his brother was a technical type. He always loves to do music and was always interested in new songs. And eventually he started to sing in a choir in a church because his mother signed him up. When he was 15 he started to play the guitar. With 17 he needed some money for a cinema ticket and his friend started to challenging him that he never would play at the subway to earn some money and that he doesn’t has the balls to. So, he wanted to show his friend that he was wrong and went to a nice spot to play.
He was shaking so bad and he was really nervous. However, he did it. And that was actually the first time he did street music. And at the end he earned enough money for a cinema ticket. So, he builds up from there he went more on the streets to make money and after a while he was kind of addicted to it that he decided to be a street musician and quit the studies.
His parents didn’t agree at first with his idea the keep this way of living. They wanted him to go to university and learn a profession with a safe future. Which is also funny because every time he goes back to Prague he asks his friends if there is any interesting classes and he just visits the classes. For example: he had to pay his first taxes because he had the first official income. So, he took some tax law lessons at his friend’s university. Kids, even a street musician has to study. He also does self studying all the time while he is traveling from one place to an other places. He told me that he probably just going to do it the opposite way. He is going to study when he is 40 because he really likes to study. Now he wants to do more adventures stuff. Even thought the decision to quit his studies was something really weird and radical he thinks it is kinda on the same level as the professions of his families.
He started traveling when he was 18. The hardest part of living as a street musician is the police he says. Because there are often shop owners that don’t wish you well. They don’t want you to be there and steal the clients of them. So they are really often angry and call the police. And the police cannot do anything else then enforce the law and the law says that you cannot do street music. He doesn’t blame it on the police. He blames it on the lawmakers, city council and all those people who are making the rules. He thinks it is more because the shop owners that it is not allowed to do street music. When you think about it, he made around 300 Swiss franks in a really short time and the money could go to the shops, but it also depends on the country, for example in Switzerland he doesn’t see any problems.
That wasn’t all he told me, I will do an other post about a story he told me and more about his music. We talked pretty long and after the nice talk with him, we went to find a new spot for his next performance. It is actually a really adventurous and risky way of living. We went to a quite street where not a lot of people were and he had to hide all the money he made at the last show so the police doesn’t see how much he made. After that, we walked around and looked for a new spot. He always looks for the most crowded places and spots where are next to shopping places.
I want to thank Jakub Ondra for working with me on that post and a thanks to all of you for reading it. If you don’t want to miss the second post which is also about his new album, subscribe my blog with your email:)