Printed 26.03.2023 23:13
Singer Vera Bila was born May 22, 1954 in Rokycany in the Gina family of musicians. At the age of 15 she started living with her husband Frantisek, with whom she adopted a son, Frantisek, ten years later. She began her singing career at family celebrations, weddings and parties with the dulcimer music of her father, Karol Gina. today she appears with her own band, Kale, in concerts all over Europe, and North America as well.
Vera Bila called attention to herself and her band in 1995, when her album Rom pop was released with the substantial production assistance of singer Zuzana Navarova, and on which her group Kale introduced it's own songs. For many people at the time, the then forty-year-old singer from Rokycany was a real discovery, in spite of the fact that she had been singing since childhood.
In 1998 Vera Bila and Kale released their second album, Kale kalore, and sold out dozens of concerts around Europe. In France she is revered, in Canada she was supposedly offered resident status and in the U.S. she was the star of a festival of Romani music from all over the world.
"When God didn't give me children, he replaced it with something else," says Vera Bila.
It could be said that she's a star, but Vera Bila has remained herself - success hasn't changed her in the slightest. She continues to live in a small, modestly furnished flat in Rokycany, and she continues to repeat to every journalist that she's still an ordinary woman. A there is even a film about the ordinary life of this extraordinary singer and woman, Cernobila v barve (Black And White In Colour), which took director Mira Erdevicki almost a year to make and which premiered in the spring of 1999.
In the film, just as in all her interviews, Vera Bila says that she herself has never encountered any racism in the Czech Republic and that she would never leave the country. "I would never go anywhere else. You have to work everywhere. Life isn't a bed of roses anywhere. Not even in Canada. The majority of those who left returned home in the end. If they had had it good over there, they never would have done that. I was born in Rokycany and I want to die here as well. My family is here. Even though living here is sometimes not easy. My husband and son are unemployed and I have to support the family, pay the rent and other bills," said Vera Bila in an interview for Zemske noviny (Zemske noviny, September 12, 1998)
Actually, finances almost became the singer's downfall... Vera Bila was accused of illegally receiving state support, though she was later acquitted of the charges.
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