Having performed hundreds of shows, including appearances at NAMM, on Canada's global TV, on FM94.9 San Diego, at various festivals, and all over the USA and western Canada, Sister Speak were nominated Best New Artist at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards. They were also named one of Music Connection Magazine's Hot 100 Unsigned Bands for 2011.
Led by singer/songwriter Sherri Anne and originally a duo with Samantha Cathcart, the group has collaborated with San Diego musicians Lisa Viegas (drums), Tolan Shaw, The Brothers Burns, Stephen Gentillalli, Swift Pony, and others. “The idea was a collaboration of musicians supporting the expression of the woman’s voice through music,” says Anne.
The full-length Rise Up For Love was released in March 2014. “Most of the songs on this album were written while I was recovering from a major injury,” says Anne. “I broke my pelvis and sacrum on my way to an event during SXSW in Austin in 2012. I went home to British Columbia, Canada to recover. For the first month, one of the only things I could do was play my guitar. So I did, every day, sometimes eight hours a day. I was going through some very intense life changes, heartbreak...it was these songs that helped me cope through it all.” Sister Speak won Best Pop at the 2017 San Diego Music Awards.
After the group opened for Air Supply in San Diego, Anne connected with producer Avli Avliav who was subbing as keys player for Air Supply that night. This led to the making a folk-electronic inspired EP, recorded at Avli’s studio in Los Angeles, with the first single "The Stand," released in April 2017, along with a music video filmed abroad during global travels.
“The Stand” was written on a rooftop in Mexico in the wake of a tropical storm during Sister Speak’s first international tour. “The song is filled with an insurmountable flood of emotion about what had happened to so many of the earth’s most gorgeous places” says Sherri Anne. “Mostly a result of imperialism and aggressive religious pursuits.”
For the video, Sherri Anne traveled to Peru and Bolivia with a film crew for two weeks, capturing footage at Machu Picchu, Cusco, Puno and other sacred sites. It was a daunting, bold and spiritual journey that reflected the pure conviction of the song. A call to be courageous and vulnerable in this highly complex socio-political atmosphere.
They spent late July and early August 2018 touring Germany, including stints in Cologne, Falkenberg, Leipzig, and Berlin.
As of 2021, the band's lineup featured Anne with San Diego bassist Jacob Miranda Jr (since 2013), guitarist and vocalist Sarven Manguiat (from 2016 onward), and drummer Stephen Haaker (recruited in 2017). In addition, "Percussionist Kimo Shim plays with us for larger productions," says Anne.
Their April 2022 album Love For All features guest musicians Bonnie Brooksbank (Marina), Aaron Durr, and San Diego hip-hop duo the Brothers Burns. Because band members are based in San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and sometimes Canada, "A lot of the album prep was done in both San Diego and British Columbia," says frontwoman Sherri Anne. "After intense rehearsal in San Diego, the band recorded the heart of the record in a seven day stint of studio sessions at Perfect Sound Studios in Los Angeles."
The album's first single, an alt/reggae track called "Run Away," addresses the geographical challenges. "It was written about trying to figure out where to live, it mentions San Diego in the first verse. It talks about the beauty of California and not wanting to leave...having spent the past ten years between California and B.C. Canada, it has been a struggle to figure out where to settle."
The tracks "Crush" and "Lose Control" ("The song touches on the need for change within society and ourselves") feature Gary Clark Jr. band keyboardist Jon Deas, recorded remotely from Austin. "Jon and I connected after a Gary Clark Jr show at the Santa Barbara Bowl," says Sherri Anne. "We talked about the idea of the musical vortex, that moment when you are completely in the music, and if that doesn't happen at some point in the show you might not be doing it for the right reasons. We stayed in touch and he recorded tasteful keys." Guest violinist Bonnie Brooksbank tracked all the violin on the record in Los Angeles. Brooksbank has shared the stage with such performers as Ariana Grande, Manchester Orchestra and Miley Cyrus. Aaron Durr tracked keys for all the other tracks remotely from northern California.