VIP QUARANTINE: Musician Jordan Haj: The darling of the nation must refrain from any strong opinions in public
Although he's Czech through and through, he can't also his exotic genes either. Musician, actor and director Jordan Haj has shone in the show Your Face Sounds Familiar, and thanks to that even those who hadn't had a clue about his existence are aware of him now. In addition to being an extremely talented singer, he is also a long-time partner of Emma Smetana, with whom he has a daughter Lennon Marlene and a second child on the way. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, he talked to LP-Life.com over the phone, among other things also about the virus and its consequences.
The public has now become more aware of you thanks to the show Your Face Sounds Familiar. What impression did the show leave in you?
I accepted the offer mainly because I knew that I could professionally and personally rely on the people behind the show. I gained new friends and perhaps even new skills from that experience. I proved to myself that if I really get involved and dive into something with maximum consistency, it shows in the results too. It was a three-month long hard work; the only thing that bothered me about it were my own limits. By which I mean the ability to coordinate my movement, singing and acting in a very short time span, and also maintain some inner peace. I hope there was an improvement with each episode.
How has the coronavirus affected you?
The coronavirus deprived me of about 60 concerts with Captain Demo and around 20 with my wife's band. It's not ideal from the financial point of view, but from the artistic point of view, of course, it's even worse. On top of that, I originally planned to start performing solo this year, with my own band, which unfortunately also has to be postponed and I regret that as well. We all miss performing live terribly. But I realize it's more important that we're all healthy, including the elderly in our families, who fortunately have so far avoided the disease. Emma and I both get tested quite often, I took tests on the Face every few days, she couldn't avoid it when she went to host the gala broadcast in Bratislava or during the filming of a series for Netflix. Luckily, the filmmakers, despite the great complications and at the price of considerable measures and Covid-19 prevention costs, do continue shooting.
What about you and traveling in the coronavirus era - you have a family abroad, are you in touch?
The last time we went to Israel was last May was when we supported Lake Malawi, we shot a clip for a song with which they represented the Czech Republic at Eurovision. If I had known what was coming this year and that I probably wouldn't be able to go there again this year and maybe even next year, I would have stayed there for at least a month and visited all my relatives, which is otherwise not realistic during a week-long visit. So at least we're texting and calling now, but of course it can't replace seeing each other in real life.
It is said often that Czechs are a bit racist. Have you ever experience it?
I have no experience with anyone having a problem with my origins. But that doesn't mean that I would consider the Czechs to be a nation that is somehow significantly open to cultures other than their own.
What do you consider to be typically Czech in you and what, on the contrary, did you inherit from your father? How do you perceive Bohemia from the point of view of a mixed person.
My humor is typically Czech, nothing is sacred to it. And I'm a typical Israeli in some of my expressiveness and natural affection for people. From the point of view of a mixed person, I think that there are still too little of those mixed Czechs among us, and that's a pity. But it's changing, though, Emma and I are working hard on it. We'll give birth to our second mixed person in a few months. (laughs)
What about you and Emma? You've been together for a long time and you're still not married. Will we see it happen one day?
There isn't much of a reason for that. Soon, we'll be celebrating thirteen years together, and without wanting to jinx it, we think that we cannot be happier. Any change would therefore be for the worse. The only reason could be that one day our children would tell us that they'd like to see the wedding. That it would mean something to them. We will definitely be happy to accommodate them in that moment. But I think our kids will be hippies just like us.
Please tell us something about fatherhood. In what direction do you lead your daughter's upbringing? How did she make you laugh lately?
She makes me laugh all the time, most of all people. There is not much to talk about when it comes to her upbringing, we just make sure that we don't spoil her and at the same time we don't restrict her inner freedom more than necessary. So far, she has overy few responsibilities in life - to get up for kindergarten, get dressed, brush her teeth, put on her shoes, comb her hair, eat the food we cook for her, greet the neighbor and or a stranger who smiles at her on the street, not to be greedy, to ask for everything nicely, to thank nicely for everything as well, be able to explain why she wants or doesn't want something and accept it when we say no. Just small things, but we stick to it diligently. And I think so far, so good. She just makes us happy.
What can you tell me about your work? What are you working on, what can we see and hear from you?
Few days ago I released a new single called A Perfect President, at the moment they are already playing it on several radio stations, which makes me very happy. The video clip was directed by Emma following my idea and it's about how we are all trapped and confused in the middle of an avalanche of conflicting information and pressures from all sides, because of which only few of us can think about ourselves with any stability, or realize who we really are. I myself have not yet decided whether I am a complete nobody or, figuratively speaking, a perfect adept for the president. And this inner lability is, I think, one of the characteristics of us millennials.
It will be Christmas soon, do you like it? How do you participate in it, how do you celebrate it?
For the last four years, I came to like it quite a lot, because I experience it through the eyes of our Lennon. We cook for our whole family, there are almost fifteen of us at the table, Emma and I think of our dads, who unfortunately are no longer with us, everyone is loud, Lennon reigns over it all, kids' movies are on the TV one after another, it doesn't snow behind the windows because of the global warming, but at least it smells nice everywhere.
You and Emma are often perceived as "conceited" in public. Why is that? Do you know about it? Are you sorry to see it or you don't care?
Not everyone can like you and that's okay. And also no one can really control their media image anyway. Yes, whoever wants to be the darling of a nation must refrain from any significant opinions in public, but what do people like in such a person then? They project into them what they want. Without knowing who that person really is. That probably wouldn't be worth it to us, and in certain situations we wouldn't be able to smile and keep quiet anyway. (laughs)