MOST 19-year-olds dream of pop superstardom.
But for former Holy Cross college student Frankee Connolly, those dreams could soon become reality.
Frankee is one half of Mini Viva, whose debut single, Left My Heart in Tokyo, will be released on September 7.
And with the powerhouses of manager Simon Fuller and producers Xenomania behind them, success looks assured for Frankee and bandmate Britt Love.
Xenomania are the production geniuses behind Girls Aloud’s constant stream of top 10 hits, and have also worked with Kylie Minogue, Sugababes and the Pet Shop Boys.
Simon Fuller is the head honcho of 19 Entertainment, and became one of the most powerful figures in the music industry, thanks in part to his management of the Spice Girls during the 1990s.
Frankee, who lives in Whitefield, said: “As a little girl I wanted to be a pop star, but I never thought it would actually happen.”
She started a girl band “for fun” with two friends while studying business management at Holy Cross, and they received an invitation to attend auditions for a new girl group via MySpace.
But she had to make a tough decision when the selectors told her she had to ditch her bandmates.
“They basically said, ‘We want you but not them’,” she said. “It was pretty brutal. But the other girls were fine about it — they told me to go for it and I’m really glad I took the chance.”
The shadowy svengalis behind the auditions turned out to be pop maestros Xenomania working under a pseudonym, and Frankee says their first visit to the company’s headquarters was an overwhelming experience.
Luckily she “hit it off straight away” with Britt, and last year the duo were formed into Mini Viva.
“It’s pop with an edge — it’s not cheesy like it used to be in the 1990s,” she said.
“I’m so happy to be in the position I’m in.”
l—Left My Heart in Tokyo by Mini Viva is released on September 7.