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On singing in a band, health, and caring assistents

Fast confession - Adam Vojtěch: they no longer call me Ken

David Budai
25.Aug 2019
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7 minutes to read

Adam Vojtěch became famous in the SuperStar singing competition, he was nineteen years old. But in the end he did not become a professional singer. He studied law, worked at the Ministry of Finance, was elected as a deputy and became the youngest Minister of Health in history at the age of 31. In an interview with LP Life, he revealed that despite his extreme workload, he did not give up on music. He recently bought a new piano and sings with his band at balls or weddings. And from time to time he also sings to his partner.

The durability of health ministers is about a year or two. You want to be a record holder?

I wouldn't say that. Rather, it is about having to finish the things you started working on. And the law adoption process takes quite a long time, so it is not good for ministers to change frequently.

You studied law. Have you ever wanted to be a lawyer or a judge? And do you miss reading court files?

I wanted to be a lawyer, and for some time I was, but circumstances meant that life had evolved in a different direction. I am founded in such a way that I do not entirely plan where will be in ten years, because life brings a lot of change. The switch sometimes moves in a different direction than one expected. I wasn't expecting to be at the ministry when I was in college.

And do you ever regret going to politics? You'd have a quieter life…

Sometimes I get a little… quite unhappy if some things don't work out. But I do not regret it, it is something I “took” with a certain vision, and anyone who gets such a chance should take advantage of it. I think that politics is an ungrateful area, you are under pressure, not everyone likes it, they face different attacks. But it is a service of the state and I take it like that.

Vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m
Vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m, Praha 9

Are you a perfectionist at work?

I am a perfectionist in the sense that I want things to be as they should be. I want us to do the agenda properly in the resort and to get the whole team involved. I'm not a stickler, but I want things not to be poorly done.

Do you walk around the ministry and turn off the lights?

When there are lights around my office, I turn off the light, not leaving it on. It is perhaps a bit from the Ministry of Finance, where I worked with Prime Minister Babiš (Andrej Babiš was then the Minister of Finance and in interviews said that after the others in the building he turned off lights, note red.). It's probably some responsibility that the house is paid from state money. It's not an obsession, I'm just trying to make the ministry run properly. And it's not just light, we've for instance canceled the paper documents for the board meeting. They are small sums, but pennies matter.

You are young, you have avoided socialist education. What is it like to communicate with fellow ministers who are one or two generations older and raised at a completely different time?

I do not notice a fundamental difference, it varies by person. But in some ways I'm more idealist than some colleagues. This is a good and a bad quality. Youth has the advantage of not being burdened with the past and looking at things in a different way.

Is it true that you don't like to remember your participation in SuperStar?

I wouldn't say I hate to remember. It was a life experience. I have been making music since I was six, from the age of seven. I attended elementary art school, composed songs, played piano, played with the band. So when this competition turned out, and it was a new format then, it was an interesting opportunity for people like me, so I applied. My dream was then to record my own record, and I finally managed to do that.

On the other hand, I was already aware that it was not my career - a direction I would like to take. I still want music as a hobby. And compared to other colleagues who went the same way but left school, started making music, and finally it didn't work out well with all of them, I decided to finish high school, go to university and keep the music as a hobby.

Weren't you singing some doctors' ball?

Yeah, yeah. (laughs) I still have a band, and just recently I was singing at a wedding that happened to be medical, so the young doctors came at me right away. (laughs) And it was fine, no one was bothered by me being a minister, it was nice.

It's an outlet, a way to relax. When I sing or play the piano, I don't think of anything else. That's the advantage of music that gets you into another world, because in that normal life in your head there are still some thoughts, and that's pretty burdensome.

Do you tour clubs with the band?

Irregularly. There are more singers in the band and we take turns because I don't have so much time. But once a month, two… It's balls, parties, and events. But we are all amateurs in the group, we have a different job. We do it because we enjoy it.

Do you still have time to compose music?

I recently bought a piano in Prague because I only had it in Budějovice, and I missed it here. So I play when I come home tonight. I try to fold something, but there is not much time. When you write a song, you need to work on it for hours, and it is not possible at the moment.

What else do you do besides music? So when you “get away” from work…

I recently started running. I enrolled in a charity run, so I had to train a little to do it. Then I ran four kilometers in the heat, and I was quite amazed. And so it got me. Otherwise I sometimes play badminton, I enjoy walking in the countryside or going somewhere to see a castle or chateau, I like that. In short, a normal day off like anyone else.

How do you care for your health? What would doctors not praise you for?

I sleep too little, that's probably the worst. Usually four and a half or five hours. But that’s how it is in this position.

What about food? Do you eat regularly or do you make baguettes between meetings?

Sometimes it doesn't work out, but I have great assistants who take good care of me. They prepare me breakfast, some fruit, then lunch…

Prodej exkluzivního domu, Praha-východ
Prodej exkluzivního domu, Praha-východ, Okolí Prahy

They tap their watches and say, Minister, lunch time…

(laughs) It's important because I wouldn't remember it myself. So in this respect I try, although not every day it works. Sometimes the agenda goes over lunch. Drivers know that energy muesli bars that I love should be prepared in the car. That's the last resort. I don't smoke, I almost don't drink alcohol. So except for that sleep…

Have you gained weight?

Sometimes I gain weight, sometimes I lose weight, but I stay around the same weight. I recently visited a university on one of the trips and they measured my internal fat. And it turned out pretty well.

Are you a gentleman?

I try to be, I think my parents raised me properly.

I also ask because you recently rated politicians by appearance, which was not fair. Do you regret it today?

That was the beginning and I remember it well, it was a beginner's mistake. It was the first visit to Mr. Soukup, at that time I was angry at him that he prepared it, I did not expect it. I regretted it and I was sorry. One gradually gains some media experience in this function and better estimates it.

And I thought the show business made you a little tougher.

That was something a little different. Plus, I wasn't such a big star. Politics is based on what you say, and journalists are very happy to take advantage of any little thing you step beside.

As a minister you have gained power, while you are young and handsome. This is the ideal combination for many women. Do you get marriage offers?

I wouldn't say that. But sometimes when I go to an event or walk down the street, they want to take a picture with me. And I have no problem with it, on the contrary I like to take pictures with them.

And have you noticed any higher attention of women? By seeing a lot…

Not really.

I recently read speculations that you asked your partner Olga to marry you. Is it true, or will you make it right?

(laughs) I don't want to say anything about that now.

How do you spend your free time together?

There is not much at that time, it is the cost of such a life. On my normal working day, when I get up at five and return late in the evening, my partner and I see each other less. When I can, I try to make it up to her at the weekend.

I see you don't want to talk too much about this. Tell us at least how long you've been together and how you met.

We have been together for about seven years and we met at one ball where I sang with the band.

And who charmed whom? In the quick confession you mentioned that you were an introvert, and at that time you were not in politics.

It is true. (laughs) It was an evolution of events, it was not a question of one meeting, the situation gradually developed.

Do you sing her love songs?

If I play the piano at home, she appreciates it. (laughs) And when I play with the band somewhere, she comes to see me and supports me.

What besides politics can make you most angry?

I'm not a man who gets mad, I take things calmly. Life is the way everyone makes it. I do not like lamenting how bad everything is, nor do I understand people who write hates on Facebook and swear there. I've never been like that before. Rather, I get pissed off by some media distortion of things that do not correspond to reality. Which is a bit linked to politics. But even politics doesn't make me angry, rather frustrating me when things don't go as I would have imagined.

Where will you spend this year's holiday?

I will have my first vacation since Christmas. (laughs) My friends from high school are going to Portugal, there we rent a car and we go by the coast, that's fine. And then I'm planning a second vacation, probably by car to Austria to the lakes. So nothing fundamentally exotic.

Friendships from youth usually last for years. But is there something you disagree about? Maybe in politics?

These closest friends do not change. I'm not saying we don't discuss some of the things they perceive differently. Sometimes I try to illuminate them, but even that sometimes makes no sense. It is good that they separate the personal and working life. I too try to approach it like that, it is a sign of true friendship.

What makes you laugh the most?

My dog makes me laugh. When I come home and he jumps on me, it will lift my spirits. I even read some surveys that people who have a dog live longer and have a better psyche.

Thank you very much for the interview.

Fast confession:

When was the last time you were vaccinated?

It's been a while since I got vaccinated against meningococcus, so a few months back.

Is infidelity or political betrayal worse?

Depending on how you look at it. Both are to some extent infidelity, but in general infidelity in personal life is worse, because ultimately personal life persists, the political one is only temporary.

Do you ever sing in the shower?

Quite happily, when a person is in a good mood or has a song stuck in his head, so he hums it.

You used to be nicknamed Ken. Does anyone still address you today?

No no. That was the nickname when I was in the competition, but that has been some 15 years, it was a media story. But since then, a lot of things have changed.

Who is your biggest idol?

I would not say I have an idol, but certainly one has his role models, especially in parents and people who are close. I have one quote that I try to base my work on, and that is JF Kennedy, who said, "Don't ask what your country can do for, ask what you can do for your country." That’s what I base my work on.

Can you turn off your cell phone as Minister?

Not much, because you are very online and still get emails or messages. Mostly I turn it off or down for the night when I go to sleep. But then I get up again at five in the morning and there is usually some news.

What can't be bought for money?

Health, love and some good relationships. Money is a good thing to have a certain living comfort, but it does not guarantee that you will be absolutely happy.

When was the last time you shouted at your subordinates and for what?

I try not to shout too much, rather I am urgent. But sometimes things don't go as I imagined, so I try to put pressure on my subordinates. But I don't remember anything specific now.

Characterize Czechs in three words.

Czechs are improvisers, they can adapt to things well, but on the other hand they are sometimes a bit too pessimistic.

What does Adam Vojtěch dream of?

At the moment I have been having more short-term dreams. I would have liked to complete the work I have begun because we are in the middle of the parliamentary term. So to stay here for a while. Otherwise, the dream is to be happy, healthy and well-being.

How can you charm a woman?

It was hard to say, I was always more introverted, I was not the kind who could be interesting by any activity. So rather, I was the kind who needed to talk to the woman a little more and convince her.
The interviewee asks the editor:

Are you happy?

Yes I am, thank you.
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