The Sledge Grits Are About to Be Your New Fave Sister Band
When it comes to knowing what “sisterhood” means, The Sledge Grits girls have got things handled. The pop quartet including siblings Keiko (guitarist/songwriter, 22), Ella (bassist, 20), Mimi (lead vocals, 17) and bo-Pah (drummer, 14), write and compose their own killer pop music and keep those sisterly vibes strong at the same time.
Their new single “Forever” is an earworm bound to wiggle its way into your head — and probably stay up in there. And it’s a major contender for underground song of the summer if you’re an indie babe.
“Forever has a lot of energy, and it’s fun to sing along to,” Keiko tells Galore. “It’s all about having a good time and nights you don’t want to end — that’s what summer should be about!”
The four sisters are all kinds of different when it comes to their fashion faves — just peep the video — but they pull it all together with their cute-slash-weird nicknames for each other, sisterly secrets, and of course their name “Sledge” which ties them all together like, forever, obviously.
Check the video for “Forever” here, and then peep the cutest sisterly Q&A of all time below.
As kids, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Keiko: I wanted to be a pediatric surgeon! I love kids and I always wanted to be a doctor. If I wasn’t a musician, I think I would be a psychiatrist.
Ella: I wanted to be in the Navy! My grandfather was a career Navy man and I always looked up to him. I always thought I’d go to the Navy academy out of high school.
Mimi: I wanted to be a veterinarian, dentist, a receptionist, a fashion designer, and an equestrian rider.
bo-Pah: Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a drummer.
What was your favorite outfit as a kid and what does it say about who you are now?
Keiko: Anything preppy. I loved to wear school uniforms. I definitely got that from being so obsessed with Harry Potter and seeing the uniforms they wore in the films.
Ella: My favorite thing to wear was this little light blue dress with sheer sleeves. It was pretty cute except for the fact that Big Bird was emblazoned across the front of it. I loved it so much I wore it to kindergarten for a month straight and took my school photos in it. I guess I’ve always been stubborn and strong willed! I just hope I now put that part of me in a more constructive direction.
Mimi: I really liked wearing a lot of knee highs, baseball caps, and a lot of pink. My style still has a sporty/girly mix to it.
bo-Pah: The only thing I wore were tutus, crowns, silly glasses and wings strapped on my back.
You’re shopping with your sister, and she tries on something heinous. What do you say?
Keiko: I don’t think I need to say anything, ha ha. If I don’t like an outfit, it usually shows on my face!
Ella: I try not to be too harsh. I’d say something like “It’s cute but I think we can do better!” And then give a different option.
Mimi: I always try to be honest when I really don’t like something, but I try my hardest to say it in a nice way.
bo-Pah: I would never want my sister to think I liked something on her that I didn’t, so I would probably be honest!
If we went through your iPhone photo library, what would we find? What are the majority of the photos of?
Keiko: I have tons of photos of scrapbooking ideas, photos of my family, and sadly lots of selfies. We also just went to Disneyland, so I have about 400 photos from our trip!
Ella: I take A LOT of screenshots. Most of my photo album consists of memes I’ll probably never look at again but they were funny at the moment — so I felt like I NEEDED to save them.
Do you have any sisterly secrets that you’ve sworn to never tell?
Keiko: I try really hard to keep secrets if someone trusts me with one. Unless it’s a serious emergency, I try to keep my lips sealed.
Ella: Ummm yeah! And I’m definitely not going to tell them here!!! I am really good at keeping secrets. It’s one of my skills.
Mimi: If I did, would I tell you?
What’s the worst present you’ve ever gotten from each other?
Ella: We used to do this thing on birthdays where we would make a tunnel, and you would have to crawl to the back of it to get your presents. But we would not only have presents, we would have random stuff in there too, so they would go back and think they were coming back with a gift and it would be some weird item. I think my contribution to Mimi’s gift tunnel one year was a box of oatmeal packets. She wasn’t amused.
Mimi: Keiko put coal in my stocking one year at Christmas.
bo-Pah: I’ve happened to love every gift everyone has ever given me but I’m my own worst critic and after a while of making/buying a gift for someone I freak out and think they won’t like it!
What is the lamest/weirdest/funniest nickname you have for each other?
Keiko: The girls all call me “Robin” from “Teen Titans Go.” I’d like to say I’m nothing like the character…
Ella: I call Mimi “String Bean” because she is so tiny!
If The Sledge Grits were running for President what would your slogan be?
Keiko: “Music that unifies!”
Ella: I’m bad at thinking up clever one liners! Probably something super cheesy like “4 hearts, 4 minds, 1 vision for America.” Don’t judge me! It’s terrible!
Mimi: “No We Can’t!”
bo-Pah: “The other options suck, so vote for us”
Did any of you have a most embarrassing celebrity crush when you were growing up?
Keiko: My first celebrity crush was Daniel Radcliffe from “Harry Potter.” I had tons of celeb crushes as a teenager. I don’t want to name them though because if I ever met any of them, that would be embarrassing.
Ella: I think my first was Nick Jonas (whose wasn’t? Hahaha) but seeing how much he’s glowed-up now that’s not really an embarrassment!
bo-Pah: When I was younger I had no celebrity crushes, in fact I thought having a celebrity crush was stupid, but I grew out of that…
Tell us something interesting about the way/process that you create music. Do you fight when you’re writing music (in a fun, sisterly way)?
Keiko: When we are first learning or implementing a song into our set, it sounds like cats screaming while banging pots and pans. It’s definitely fun, but sometimes a stressful process! It’s a long road, but then when the song comes together it is such a great feeling!
Ella: We fight like any other siblings. Mimi, bo-Pah and I like to band together to mess with Keiko when we think she’s being too uptight about practice. We always call Keiko Robin, from “Teen Titans Go,” during band practice when she’s trying to keep us focused. Anyone who watches that show will understand why that annoys her!
Mimi: We used to switch instruments at the end of the set on the last song, even though we didn’t know how to play them!
bo-Pah: We like to tease Keiko about being bossy… she once make a whole long list of band rules to follow, that list didn’t last very long.
If you could dress one of your sisters how you wanted or give her a makeover, which sister would you pick and how would you dress her?
Keiko: I would dress Mimi in something very hardcore and rock n’ roll. She’s all about pink and doesn’t care for black, so I think it would be funny to do heavy makeup, rockstar hair and dress her in all black.
Ella: I would want to do Keiko’s makeup. I oftentimes wear a lot more makeup than her, and a lot more dramatic. I seriously want to see her in like a warm, smoky, glittery cut crease.
Mimi: I would pick Ella and I would change her clothes to make her dress girly and flowery. I would dye her hair light pink! I’ve always wanted light pink hair!
bo-Pah: I would pick Mimi! I would cut her hair shorter and dye it a lighter brown shade — she would look really cute in a long maxi dress and some pink heels.
Pick one of your sisters, and tell us what theme song you would pick for her if she was a movie.
Keiko: I would pick “When Will My Life Begin” for Mimi — she loves the movie “Tangled.” She thinks she’s a Disney princess so her movie would probably be something animated and magical. I think it’s a good song for her because is 17, and on the brink of figuring out who she is going to be.
Ella: I would pick the “Imperial March” from “Star Wars” for bo-Pah because her goal in life is basically to be a Sith Lord.
Mimi: I would pick bo-Pah, and I would choose the song “Hand Clap” from Fitz and the Tantrums.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Keiko: Sisterhood is having a best friend that you know you’ll have for the rest of your life. It’s a friend connected by blood. You work through your problems and you grow up together. It’s an amazing thing.
Ella: Sisterhood is an unshakeable bond strengthened by shared life experiences. It means never having to go a day in your life without having a friend. You will truly never find a better friend in the world than a sister — I’m lucky enough to have three. Family is forever and I’m so glad that we’re all as close as we are.
Mimi: Sisterhood means loving each other unconditionally, standing up for each other and being there for them.
bo-Pah: Sisterhood means always looking out for each other, telling each other everything, and [being] best friends.
What does creating music alongside your sisters feel like? Why is it important/fun/weird/hard?
Keiko: We all have so much fun together. It can be hard sometimes, because even though we are close, we are all individuals and sometimes we can’t agree! But I think that as sisters we were raised to work through our differences and so we try to work through things the best we can and respect each others opinion.
Ella: When you are making something that’s as personal as a song, you want to all be of one mind, and all have the same vision. As sisters we all understand each other. It makes everything very easy.
What songs do you think of when you think of a “song of the summer”? Any particular types of songs?
Keiko: I love “California Girls” by Katy Perry. “Get The Party Started” by Pink “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars.
Ella: Any song that has a laid back fun loving vibe reminds me of a song of the summer. That’s what summer is about!
Mimi: I think of fun songs with a lot of energy in them. I think “Cheap Thrills” and “Panda” last year were big summer songs!
bo-Pah: “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson, “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE and “Pity Party” by Melanie Martinez are some great ones.
Do you think “Forever” could be a good “Song of the Summer?”
Ella: “Forever” is about taking every moment to enjoy yourself, letting go and having fun! That’s what everyone wants to do during summer.
Mimi: It’s a song about having fun and being crazy — a perfect summer song.
bo-Pah: It’s fun, upbeat and relatable! Some nights you just want to last forever!
For More on The Sledge Grits Band:
Photos by Gia Azevedo