After picking up a love of France from her grandfather, who worked as a miner there, Iva Fruehlingova moved to Paris at just 14 to try her luck in the world of modelling. Success - and big contracts - followed, before Iva, who is now 21, decided to try something else she'd always wanted to do: singing. Her first CD, mostly in French but with one song in Czech, has made the charts in France and Belgium, and has recently been released here in the Czech Republic. It's called "Litvinov", after her home town in north Bohemia. Iva Fruehlingova told her story to Radio Prague.
"I'd always wanted to go to France, and I went to live there when I was 14. I had loved music since I was a child, so in France I started a band; we played in bars and practised in cellars. I gave our CD to anybody who would listen, including the guys who are now my producers. They called me a week later and said let's try and work together."
"It was very hard being a young Czech girl alone in France. I was a long way from my mum, from my friends. Many times I wanted to go home, but now I'm very glad I stayed because France is a beautiful country. I love it just as much as I love the Czech Republic. At the moment, my album has just come out here so I'm moving between Paris and here."
"I can't forget where I come from, that's why I called the album Litvinov. That's why I did one song in Czech as well - I just can't forget my roots. But at the same time I didn't know when I recorded it that the CD would also be released here, or that I'd be promoting it here."
"As soon as I can quit modelling I will! It's just a way of making money, a way of paying the rent, which in France is very high! But if my music career takes off - and I really hope it does - I'll give up modelling."
If you would like to find out more about Iva Fruehlingova and her album "Litvinov" go to www.iva-online.net (in French)
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