Sister Spotlight: Prinnie Stevens
Prinnie Stevens rose to national stardom on the inaugural season of The Voice Australia where she wowed audiences with her high-energy performances. Since then, she has cemented herself as one of Australia’s most in-demand triple-threats. A regular leading lady on the Australian musical theatre main stage, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves marks Prinnie’s Little Red debut.
Tell us about your earliest memory of the Sister Act films:
I was absolutely obsessed as a teenager with the entire Sister Act franchise. I grew up in a Catholic household and went to a Catholic school. So I knew all too well what it’s like to be in a choir. I was the only brown girl in sight! So I was always wanting to switch up the versions of the hymns, but it was never received well! Once I was in high school – still Catholic – I found a great group of friends and we started an acapella group. We sang everything the way we wanted! It was life-changing for me. We went to see Sister Act 2 as a group and it absolutely BLEW MY MIND! It spoke to me on so many levels – it was my life on film!
2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the original Sister Act film. In your opinion, what makes the franchise so timeless?
As a teenager, it moved and inspired me so much. The movie deals with so many issues that we can all relate to. I think the best part, in both movies, is that it features so many amazing characters within the choir that everyone can find someone to relate to. For me, I struggled for a long time with being a front woman. So the young boy in the choir who sings “Oh Happy Day” really spoke to me. Growing up in Island culture, we as women are told to be humble and unseen. My career choice went against all that I was taught, but my love for music always drove me to do better and shine brighter. Now you can’t shut me up!
Sister Act is widely credited with helping usher in a new era of gospel music, with strong hip-hop and R&B influences. How has this genre influenced your own musical journey?
I grew up singing in church and had an obsession with R&B Soul from a really young age. Sister Act brought those two things together. Deciding to do secular music over gospel is looked upon as sinful, so the fact that the movie celebrated being able to do both was an absolute godsend (pun intended!) Seeing this movie and others similar gave me the confidence to move forward within my R&B hip hop genre and not shy away from what I really wanted to do.
What is your favourite song from the franchise and why?
My favourite song from the franchise would have to be “Joyful, Joyful” – it is just such an uplifting song. If you’ve had a bad day, turn this song on and it will change your entire mood! That’s the beauty of gospel – it’s so uplifting and can change your mood instantly. Gospel music is my go-to morning wake up music! Always!
What does ‘Sisterhood’ mean to you?
Well, being that I am the only girl in my family with two brothers, I don’t have any ‘real’ sisters, so sisterhood for me has always been about my female cousins and my closest girlfriends. I have an amazing group of besties that also share the love of music with me. I can’t wait to continue that with the cast of Sisters, and collect some more Sisters!
Who’s a ‘Sister’ within your own life who’s had a profound impact?
My best friend Mahalia is the closest thing I have to a sister. We literally talk through all things in life, including our kids, husbands and, more importantly, recipes! She is the first person I call in the best and worst moments of my life. I wouldn’t trade her for the world! It’s so special to have someone who understands the musical ride along with motherhood, and what it’s like to be a boss lady within the music industry.
In ‘The Gospel According to Prinnie’, what would be your message?
My message in life is all about female empowerment. I don’t have sisters, but I do have two beautiful daughters. I try to lead by example and empower them both to be unapologetically them! Work hard, put everything into what you do, surround yourself with good people and always follow your heart. I look back at the young girl I was, and I found it hard to raise my head and be proud of who I was. It has taken me a long time to find the confidence and power to be the strong woman I am. I want to give my girls the freedom and permission to skip that stage… and go straight to the self love!
What can audiences expect from Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves?
Audiences can expect to be moved in a way that they never have before. The power of four strong women, standing within their own power but also building and pushing each other to be better will be so dynamic that audiences will be absolutely blown away!
Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves premieres at Brisbane Powerhouse on 17 February. See here for information and tickets.
[Image description: a divine diva dressed in white halo-like hat and a white top with exaggerated billowy sleeves stands inside a church, arms outstretched. She stares down the barrel of the camera oozing quiet confidence.]