Na Slovensku aj po anglicky: John Boyd

Text Jeremy Hill

John Boyd’s life is a reflection of his remarkable journey of self-discovery and impact. Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, he moved to Slovakia over three decades ago. His early years in the populous housing district of Castlemount were marked by the challenges of gang warfare, instilling in him a sense of resilience.

Challenges and Lessons

His family faced its own difficulties, with his parents separating when he was just four. This early experience taught him the importance of gratitude and shaped his outlook on life.

John’s childhood aspirations were diverse. He was drawn to music from a young age, initially encountering the piano at 13 and later picking up the guitar. Academically gifted, he excelled in school, garnering top marks.

A significant turning point occurred when he was offered an apprenticeship as a draftsman by the shipbuilders in Glasgow. While he pursued this technical path, he also delved deep into philosophy and religion, a reflection of his multifaceted interests.

A Fateful Encounter and a Move to Slovakia

The journey to Slovakia was a pivotal chapter. It began with an invitation to an environmental camp in Germany, which led him to meet his first wife, a Slovak. They settled in Slovakia in the midst of significant political upheaval in 1989.

John’s initial foray into Slovakia involved teaching English, a role he embraced with vigor. His dedication to mastering the English language led him to become a self-taught expert. His contributions extended beyond language, as he also ventured into activism, particularly in the environmental sphere.

The Voice and a New Chapter in Music Education

In 2019, John took an unexpected turn by auditioning for “The Voice Slovakia.” This experience introduced him to a vibrant community of young artists, inspiring him to delve deeper into music education. He subsequently established “Music Hubs Slovakia” and the “School of Music.”

As an educator, he imparts his passion for music to students of all ages, from singing to guitar and ukulele. His multifaceted career also included journalism, with the creation of the news website “The Daily.SK.”

Cultural Integration and Contributions

Throughout his journey, John has navigated the complexities of cultural integration. While he acknowledges feeling like an outsider at times, he takes pride in his contributions to Slovak society. His impact spans from founding language schools to establishing online news platforms, enriching the lives of many, both local and foreign.

Despite his deep connection to Slovakia, John maintains a holiday home in Scotland, reflecting his enduring ties to his homeland. He contemplates the future with a sense of contentment, knowing he has shaped his path in his own unique way.

Ultimately, John Boyd’s story is a reflection of the power of individual agency and the profound impact one person can have on a community. His legacy is woven into the fabric of Slovakia, a tribute to the transformative journey of a man who dared to venture beyond borders.

Thank you to my guest John Boyd. You can find his music online at: You can sign up for one of his music courses at: and

Theme song: Cristian Estrella – 25 cóndores índigos rumbo a Marte (intro version) . You can find Cristian’s work online at:

Na Slovensku aj po anglicky is the podcast of Jeremy Hill who in 2020, eleven years after he arrived in Slovakia, came up with the idea for the show. In it, he shares interesting and important stories, mostly from the perspective of migrants living in Slovakia.

The podcast is financialy supported by [fjúžn]/Nadácia Milana Šimečku

Thank you also to ⁠⁠⁠Kult Minor⁠⁠⁠.

Realized with the financial support of the Fund for the Support of the Culture of National Minorities

Realizované s finančnou podporou Fondu na podporu kultúry národnostných menšín

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