We write lyrics to help people forget about their worries and just dance

By Tatiana Parkhomova

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Identical twins Polly and Sophie from the epic duo My Bad Sister have been raving around Europe for a few years, and they have no plans to stop. After teaming up with their little sister, DJ Minki, they are preparing more fiery live performances and dance music that is sure to make everyone ‘Rave Till Morning.’ Sophie is here to talk about their music, the free party movement, and future projects.

Can you share a bit about your journey into music? What initially inspired both of you to pursue music together, and how did My Bad Sister come into existence?

Music and dancing have been a part of our lives since the beginning. Our mum is a dance teacher, and our grandad used to play the piano every time we stayed with him while our grandma would watch. He used to write songs for us, teach us to play the piano and the ukulele, and record mixtapes to give to other family members. Our other grandma, who sadly died before we were born, was also a professional singer. So, I guess you could say it is in our DNA.

Your performances are known for their high energy and captivating style. Are there new elements in choreography, visuals, or music that you’re excited to explore in future performances or releases?

We are Pisces, so we get bored easily. We constantly look for ways to develop our show and create a new sound. That’s why we call our sound punk pop, because we can explore any genre we like. The common theme is that we are punk, which we think is an attitude, not a style of music.

Could you shed some light on your creative process? How do you typically move from creating music to crafting a live show that combines music and choreography?

Polly usually takes control visually, such as choreo, show direction, costumes, video styling, and concepts. Whereas I like to focus more on the music side of things, like final mixes, communicating with various music producers, finding beats, and coordinating with our label manager. Luckily, we tend to agree on most things, which helps! 

As creative partners and sisters, how do you navigate your collaborative process? How do your family dynamics influence creative decisions within My Bad Sister?

Being identical twins has its ups and downs. The good thing is that we have the same taste and generally like the same ideas, concepts, and styles. But the flip side is that we are so close that sometimes we don’t hold back, and it can get pretty intense in the studio or before a show if we disagree. Now that we don’t live together, it helps, and it’s always better to have a mediator (like our little sister DJ Minki) or label manager to help us work through discrepancies!

What are the primary influences that have shaped your sound? Additionally, what continues to inspire and influence the direction of your music?

My sister and I have always loved the rave scene, specifically the rig culture and free party scene that started in the UK. So, I guess that’s been our main influence. Going to free parties all over Europe to dance in front of stacks to techno and Drum’n’Bass always felt like home.

Our mum was a dance teacher who always bought the latest dance CD compilations and took speakers to village halls to do children’s parties, play games, and teach disco routines. We have had this since we were about four years old, and it gave us the love of loud, pumping music and dancing with people. So, I guess it was only natural that when we grew up, we hit the rave!

What are your thoughts on the state of rave culture in the UK? Do you see any changes, such as commercialisation, regulation, or community dynamics, impacting the movement?

Change is inevitable, and just like any movement, things evolve. What we love about the UK rave scene, in particular, is that it is political in its nature — free parties are freedom to do as you please, but this doesn’t mean you can harm people or be disrespectful. Politically that’s enough for us, I don’t want to hear about voting or ‘safe spaces’ it’s a fucking rave, people come to dance! 

The unwritten rule is PLUR: peace, love, unity, and respect. Some people don’t seem to get this concept, but those people are not real ravers.

Your music video for ‘My Face’ criticised Britain’s Covid-19 policies. How do you view music’s role in expressing societal or political commentary? Do you perceive yourselves as activists through your music?

Sometimes, we write lyrics to uplift and help people forget about their worries and just dance; other times, we write lyrics to get things off our chest. ‘My Face’ was an opportunity for us to speak our truth and express ourselves in the way we do best. We never want to alienate people, but we also don’t care too much about what other people think. If speaking your truth loud and proud is activism, then I guess we are activists.

Looking ahead, what can fans expect regarding upcoming projects or collaborations from My Bad Sister? Are there any exciting ventures or collaborations you’d like to share with your audience?

Yes, we have three single releases coming out early this year that are sure to get people dancing! Also, this year, we are planning to release MBS Vol.2 (our third studio album). We are also starting a new punk band project, with me on bass and Polly on vocals. So, watch out for that. Gig-wise, we are thrilled to be back at the Shindig Festival this year and have booked a tour in France for May or June. But we are currently adding more dates to our calendar, so look out for us coming to a rave near you!

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