Sister Spotlight: Alisha Todd
Alisha Todd is a pop and soul singer whose musical passion and talent spans songwriting, production and performance. After attaining a university degree in contemporary music and spending years as an international traveller and solo singer-songwriter, Alisha has been gracing the Australian original music scene in her indie-pop project GENIIE BOY and latin-soul-groove band Volcanic Lovers. Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves marks Alisha’s Little Red debut.
Tell us about your earliest memory of the Sister Act films:
I remember watching both the movies as a child, but for sure the second film resonated with me, as a young girl who only ever wanted to sing and do nothing else. As a kid, singing was an escape for me from a tumultuous home life, so I really resonated with Lauryn Hill’s back story.
2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the original Sister Act film. In your opinion, what makes the franchise so timeless?
I think what makes the Sister Act movies so timeless is at the heart of what brings all the characters together – the music and the endless passion to better a community and help a friend out. I love that both movies have such a variety of characters from different cultures, yet the music cuts through and brings everyone together and gives everyone a platform to be seen and heard.
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 love how BIG gospel music sounds. The harmonies and richness of the voices, the gospel voicings on the piano, all the unique elements together – it really elevates the listener, regardless of whether you are religious or not. Watching these films, I really felt what music should feel like when it moves you and that for sure has stayed at the heart of why and how I perform.
What is your favourite song from the franchise and why?
“Joyful, Joyful” at the end of Sister Act 2 is my favourite! Lauryn Hill opening the song with her stunning voice, the hip hop influences mixed with the gospel vocal arrangements, the choreography and the storyline make this a pretty emotional and happy end to the movie.
What does ‘Sisterhood’ mean to you?
When I hear ‘Sisterhood’ I think of an unconditionally loving support network of sisters – ladies you can laugh, cry and celebrate with, through the good times and the bad.
Who’s a ‘Sister’ within your own life who’s had a profound impact?
A sister in my life, well maybe she’s more like a second mother, is a wonderful woman called Alane Millions. She took me in as a teenager and taught me how to look inwards, which gave me the tools to always strive to be the best version of myself. She showed me unconditional love so that I had space to be who I needed to be and this is something I try to replicate in my friendships.
In ‘The Gospel According to Alisha’, what would be your message?
Life is a journey that’s meant to be shared. Find your people, love them, make memories with them, be there for them and expect nothing of them.
What can audiences expect from Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves?
If it’s anything like any other Little Red show, I suspect you’ll probably shed a tear or two, laugh so much you can skip abs tomorrow and leave feeling like you’re gonna go make a girl band with your besties.
Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves premieres at Brisbane Powerhouse on 17 February. See here for information and tickets.
[Image description: a young woman with dark brown bob stands inside a modern church dressed in an elaborate white ruffled gown and white choker. Her hands are raised to her chest in prayer and she smiles sweetly at the camera.]