Young Native-heritage band members are Girls Raised in the Sun

October 31, 2011

Young Native-heritage band members are Girls Raised in the Sun

Here at Tanka we know we have a very diverse audience that we connect with via Facebook, Twitter and MySpace every day -- some of which are musicians. We thought it would be great to periodically highlight our fans in music. If you would like to be featured, or would like to suggest someone we should feature, please email

The Sledge Grits (Girls Raised In The Sun) Band from Los Angeles, CA, consists of young sisters ranging in ages from 9 years old to 16. Their family heritage hails from Cherokee and Apache tribes. They have performed all over the US and have been featured on the CBS Early Show, opened for acts such as Ludacris and have been showcased at the National Association of Music Merchants.

We decided to ask the band some questions about being in the music business and being performers.

TB: Please give a short background/profile your band.

GRITS: We have been performers all our lives. Always involved in talent shows, dance recitals and elaborate productions put on for family and friends. We picked up instruments about four years ago. I (Keiko), Kariel and Mimi all started on the guitar. We needed a "metronome" to practice to so bo-Pah [youngest sister] kept time for us on the bottom of a gumbo pot and a drummer was born!

Mimi became the singer, Kariel gravitated to the bass and I stayed with the guitar. (bo-Pah grew into a full kit at five years old and retired the gumbo pot although it does make a showing every now and again when Daddy has his Zydeco CDs on).

We live in California now but were raised in Florida. Our name of the band reflects their roots. Grits... a southern comfort food... also stands for Girls Raised In The South. In our case, however, we are Girls Raised In The Sun. We have been through a lot in our short lives. Our Daddy has MS and that has been a hard struggle for us. Music has helped us through so much and we think that's what people see when we perform. Our passion...

TB: Who/what influences your music?

GRITS: We are influenced by so many different artists, Adele, Heart, Paramore, Pink, Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Aerosmith. So many different artists!

TB: How would you describe your music/sound?

GRITS: We say we sound like Heart ... fronted by Mariah Carey.

TB: How often do you practice and perform?

GRITS: We try to practice daily, either individually or as a band.

TB: What is the craziest thing a fan did at one of your concerts?

GRITS: Recently, a fan gave Mimi a strand of amazing African pearls. We have also autographed some really interesting things, like arms, shirts, shoes, etc.

TB: How do you stay connected to your community?

GRITS: We work closely with different organizations, such as the Kierrah Foundation, an organization that helps foster children age out of foster homes. We are always involved in some fundraising project for the community.

TB: How are you using social media to gain exposure?

GRITS: We use Facebook to promote shows on The Sledge Grits Band and stay in touch with our fans and friends. Youtube is used to get our music out there.

The band's YouTube is: bluewendybear

Mimi has pages of her own at: Official Mimi Sledge

bo-Pah's page can be found at: The bo-Pah Sheaux

We Twitter a bit, but we really want to get on there more often and spread our Twitter wings: Sledge Grits Band Twitter

TB: What are your goals for your musical career?

GRITS: We want to travel the world, play on all the major stages, and just be able to reach every household through radio and TV. We want to do it ALL!!

TB: What funny or interesting routines do you go through before going on stage?

GRITS: We do a "GOOOOOO SLEDGE GIRLS!!!" cheer before we go on stage. We all put our hands on top of each other's in the center and count out loud. For some reason, our count is always off! We laugh and figure it out ... and it sets the stage for a great show!

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