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Beyond the Plastic: An Interview with the First Czech Barbie, Lolo ta Bella

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Photographer:  Veronika Vlková / HMU: Lenka Jelénková

How hard was it to overcome those experiences? Did you have people around you to support you and help you through those tough times?

It was hard, mainly because I had to constantly worry that every time I came to school it would be the last time. The children were very cruel and, frequently I felt that my life was on the line, such as when I was being thrown down the stairs over and over or when I was assaulted by a group of kids. My parents were very supportive and tried their best to prevent it. Unfortunately, it was impossible to fight this, and the only solace we had is knowing that it would end someday. Because of everything that happened, I learned that the worst thing in the world is feeling powerless in any situation.

At what age did you start singing? After a break due to your studies, you are slowly returning to your music career. Who would be the ideal music artist you would want to work with and why?

I started singing at the age of seven when I won my first singing competition. Since then, I started to perform publicly more frequently. I have always liked symphonic metal and, above all, its main representative – the group Nightwish. Their music always brings me to my knees. I also like Miley Cyrus as a performer, although she sings a different genre, because she comes across very cool and fearless; she creates songs people love. I’d love to work with these performers one day.

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Photographer:  Veronika Vlková / HMU: Lenka Jelénková

Since your childhood, you have performed in several music videos, commercials, plays, and tv series. What project that you have worked on was your favorite and why?

My fondest memories are from the time I was taken under the wings of the couple Diana and Juraj Jakubisko, especially when I got to perform live from Bratislava’s National Theatre on Slovak TV 1. And also from the time I won the international singing competition “Zelený Slavík”, which is the children’s equivalent of the Czech National Singing Awards. Another award I won was the “Zlatý Slavík” or the Golden Nut Award for the most successful children of the Czech Republic.

Your vocal range is over three octaves, and you sound incredible. How extensive is the training that you have been going through to reach that vocal range?

I’ve always had a strong vocal range, but of course with training, I have strengthened my voice more. I studied opera and classical singing under opera singer Leo Mariana Vodička for several years. Then I transitioned into pop singing under Professor Renáta Podlipská and eventually tapped into other genres with opera singer Peter Opava. Thanks to this, I can now sing almost any genre and I don’t have to depend solely on one genre. When I was growing up, singing lessons were particularly challenging, especially when I had to combine them with school and other extracurricular activities. I practiced singing about 6 times a week, 3 of which were under professional guidance. Despite my young age, I was expected to be extremely professional. I always took home 5 new, unknown songs that took up ten pages or more in different languages – English, Russian, Italian, which I had to study perfectly by the next session. I remember not having the time to work on them until the night before due to my packed schedule, but the professor always praised me the next day, thinking I must have put so much time into it. Luckily, I was saved by my good memory and my ability to be a quick learner, which I now use extensively even in my studies.

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