Busker begins NZ odyssey with no cent to name

22:01, Dec 19 2013
Southland Times photo
Jesse Brand is travelling NZ with his music.

Amodern-day minstrel will start a six-month musical journey in Southland this weekend.

Folk-ish musician Jesse Brand will hitchhike and busk his way from the most southern lighthouse to the most northern, from the longest day to the shortest day, beginning with absolutely nothing. He will begin his tour at Waipapa Point tomorrow, with not a cent to his name.

Brand planned to use his music to make money, catch rides and secure accommodation throughout the country, posting regular videos of his journey online.

The videos were designed to inspire others to travel and follow their dreams, to go for "whatever their soul wants", Brand said.

Originally from Halifax, Canada, the musician has lived in New Zealand for almost seven years.

He moved to New Zealand intending to busk across the nation, as he had done previously in Australia, but life had other ideas, he said.


It was not until about three months ago that he revisited his idea to trek musically across the country.

He decided to base the trip around the summer and winter solstice, as he had always been interested in the "changing of the earth's rhythms".

The musician plans to reach Cape Reinga on the shortest day next year.

Despite the hazards of travelling penniless, relying on the generosity of strangers, Brand was not worried about anything going wrong along the way.

"I believe that nothing ever really goes wrong as long as you learn from it. I believe it will be a steep learning curve sometimes, but I'm excited about that."

The amazing opportunities which arose from meeting new people and spontaneously sharing stories could not be replicated by planned travel, he said.

Southlanders can keep update with Brand's travels, view his videos or check out his album, Soul for the Folk, Folk for the Soul, at jessebrand.tv.

He will also be playing an Invercargill show at the Tuatara on Sunday.


The Southland Times