The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.
Front and Center – She Rocks Awards: The Command Sisters
“Sometimes U.S., Sometimes Canada” …according to their Twitter bio, this is where you can catch The Command Sisters –– also known as Charlotte and Sarah –– who are delivering their polished harmonies and expert songwriting to new listeners and established fans alike.
Defined as “country with soul” and “edgy/indie country-pop,” these veteran performers are turning heads and ears everywhere they go. Hailing from the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, they have already caught the attention of a Nashville audience, earning them a publishing and production deal with renowned producer/songwriter David Mallory.
When these young women aren’t busy gracing stages across both countries, they’re recording new music to be released in the coming months. After submitting their song “Take Me Home,” The Command Sisters were chosen by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest to perform at the 2014 NAMM Show in Los Angeles, and will also be making a stop as guest performers at the WiMN’s second annual She Rocks Awards on January 24th, 2014.
WiMN: What brought you to singing and writing songs at such a young age?
SC: My sister and I were overheard showing our great-grandma a song we were singing at a Christmas concert and that person asked us to sing at her Women’s Conference. At that show someone else asked us to their event and it kept going and going.
CC: For as long as I can remember I drew a lot, wrote stories, poetry and plays. I was very creative from a young age and so I guess it just naturally transitioned itself into another outlet that I could express myself.
WiMN: Who are some of your favorite artists you’ve had an opportunity to share the stage with? What did you love about them?
SC: We have played with so many great artists that inspire but one of our faves is a Swedish band called Baskery! They are three sisters that are so unique and interesting. Honestly, just awesome – they even run a banjo thru an electric amp with cool effects.
CC: Being around the CCMA’s the last two years and sharing the stage with other songwriters is really inspiring and interesting for me.
WiMN: What are some of the differences between writing material on your own and venturing into co-writing material with outside writers?
SC: I like writing on my own because it’s so personal and original but co-writing is cool because you get different perspectives and personalities.
CC: When you write on your own, it’s a lot more personal and internal; you are able to reflect upon yourself and your feelings and use them to create. Co-writing is cool too, but it’s a different energy altogether because of their personal experiences and styles.
WiMN: Do you have a mentor or an idol songwriter or artist that you aspire to be like?
SC: I love certain guitar players – Joe Bonamassa, Vai and Brad Paisley.
CC: I don’t have a mentor but I admire songwriters like Ed Sheeran, Bon Iver and Taylor Swift.
WiMN: Tell us a bit about the song “Take Me Home” that won the John Lennon Songwriting contest. How did it come to be?
SC: I’ll let my sister tell you about it since she wrote it.
CS: We had just returned from a lot of traveling and I realized that I wanted to write a song that conveyed how much I love my home. What better way to learn how much you love something than when you are in its absence? That is what this song is about; somebody who goes away and realizes how much they truly love and miss their home.
WiMN: Do you ever have difficulty separating your family relationship with one another from your working relationship?
SC: It’s all the same. Even if we don’t agree, we always get done what needs to get done.. music first.
CC: We’ve done it for so long that we are pretty comfortable with it. We are family first and musicians second, but it all works together. It’s very natural and not a very complicated thing.
WiMN: Who are you excited about seeing at this years’ She Rocks Awards and why?
SC: We are just so grateful to be asked to perform there but I will say that every time I mention Sheila E, everybody gets very excited!
CC: Everybody!! I’m just excited to be there and to hear about their musical accomplishments.
WIMN: What’s one of your favorite songs to perform live, and why?
SC: My fave song of ours to perform live is “Limousine” because my sister wrote such brilliant and fun lyrics and I really like the melody.
CC: My favorite is “Limousine” too. Weird. It’s very poppy with some rapping and the lyrics are quite comical too. The melody is fun and I like to see the audience’s reaction to it.
WiMN: What is your dream performance?
SC: I think it would be really cool to put on our own show with our own band and creative input to make it really spectacular, and of course, sell the show out. 🙂
CS: When I was younger I really wanted to play the Teen Choice Awards, but now that I am older, how about Madison Square Garden? Realistically, I would like to headline at our local Jubilee Auditorium and sell out the 3,000 seats.
WiMN: Where do you draw your song ideas and inspirations?
SC: It depends. I have to write about something personal.
CC: From everywhere!! Lots of melodies come out of nowhere, and words seem to come with the melodies that don’t necessarily have any attachment to any personal experiences I’ve had. And sometimes I just write about Sarah’s life. 😉
WiMN: What are some differences between the two of you, that you think are helpful to your artistry?
SC: Charlotte is like this poet genius and can write about anything. I LOVE soloing/melody and different instruments. She’s shyer than me. I think we compliment each other because we are sort of opposites.
CC: I concur with Sarah. 🙂
WiMN: What’s in store for The Command Sisters in 2014?
SC: I am excited about finally releasing our new music and getting it to radio. We can’t wait to share our creative vision with everyone.
CC: I am excited to travel and see where our journey takes us. Every year there seems to be new and interesting adventures. We will be at Sundance again this year, and of course I’m stoked about our shows in LA. We will be heading out on a radio tour and have some festival shows across Canada this summer!