Until three beautiful, intelligent girls sat down in front of me and started jubilantly answering any question that was thrown at them, I had not really heard of The McClain Sisters.  But when they got up to leave the interview, I felt like I knew them better than most.

Having just heard them sing ‘Rise’ – the song from the new movie, Chimpanzee – that morning at the Disney Worldwide Conservation Awards, I knew their talent.  And after 20 minutes of listening to them talk, joke and discuss things among them selves, I knew their strength of sisterhood too.

China (13) – you may know her as the star of Disney Channel’s ANT Farm – Lauryn (15) and Sierra (18) are sisters first, family members second, singers third and Christians through it all.  Their grounded spirit, enthusiasm and appreciation for being asked to write and sing, ‘Rise’ in Disneynature’s Chimpanzee opening April 20, 2012, was apparent and resonated with us all.  They credit their parents with keeping them in check and quickly pointed out that the beautiful song they wrote was a family affair.

As the three laughed and talked and shared their favorite things about working with each other, I started to miss my three girls.  I imagined them in 10 years when they were about the same age of these girls and hoped that they would think it was fantastic to share a room but not so great to share clothes!

When you go see Chimpanzee, make sure you pay attention when the song ‘Rise’ comes on at the end. The words are powerful, important and beautiful.  Three sisters, united together, used Oscar the Chimpanzee as their inspiration when they sat down with their family and produced a hit. I can not wait to hear more about The McClain Sisters and where they go next!

Here is the wonderful video of the song!

Below I have highlighted some of my favorite questions from the interview.  I’ve left it kind of choppy and with interrupted sentences to give you an idea of how much fun it was to listen to them talk!


WOMAN:  So, how did you find inspirations when you watched the movie to write the songs, and what were scenes that inspired you the most? 

SIERRA:  Uh, definitely the ones with Oscar.



SIERRA: You know, when, hopefully, everybody saw the movie, but when he lost his mom.  And probably when — a lot of the battle scenes too because it’s a very inspirational record, and it’s uplifting, you know, and it’s spiritual and that was a big thing for the movie, you know, how they all had to stick together if they wanted to survive, you know, they had to be together, you know, and the lyrics was, “Together —

SISTER: Together we’ll rise.  Yeah.

SIERRA:  And together we’ll rise, you’re right, so —

SISTER: So it’s mostly about unity.  The unity in the movie was just really amazing, ’cause they couldn’t really do anything without each other, and they were never far away from each other, and that was really good.  But our main — our main point was Oscar.

WOMAN: Have you ever been in a situation where you really feel like you had to like, band together and fight as sisters?

SIERRA:  Oh, yes.  We definitely have.

SISTER:  Many times.

SIERRA: We definitely have.  Um.  You know.  Especially with China’s been kind of like a breakout Disney star and we’re all proud of her.

But you know it comes — there’s some ups and there’s some downs that have come with that.  So we’ve definitely had to have our sister moments.


SIERRA: We sit in the room and —

SISTER: Just kind of talk.

SIERRA: Just talk, and, you know, we’ve definitely had those moments, yes.

WOMAN: How do you guys stay grounded?  Um, as sisters and as a family?

SIERRA: Our parents.

SISTER: Our parents.  Yeah.

SISTER: We have really good parents.

SISTER: From the very beginning, they always taught us to always stay humble and you know, always remember what you were taught and always have faith in what you believe in —

WOMAN: With your experience been with the song, “Rise,” and this whole chimpanzee experience, if there’s one key message that you’d like to portray to young children under the age of, you know, say, fifth grade and under, what would that be?

SIERRA: Well, I have three — two sisters and a brother, so I would definitely tell them to stick close and to love each other, and to always be there for each other, because you know our mom always taught us, my dad too, but my mom definitely taught us is that, you know, friends, they come and go sometimes, but your sisters are gonna be — always be there for you.  No matter what.

SISTER : [We have a] bunch of brothers.

SIERRA: Yeah.  My mom had two brothers.  And she was really close to her brothers, and she always taught us to be close, and that’s how we are still. So, definitely that.

SISTER: Just stay close, and always just remember to love each other, and have — have fun with each other, ’cause it’s really great to —

SIERRA: You gotta enjoy that time.  You know. They’re your siblings.  You do everything together.  So, you know —

SIERRA: And we’re Christians.  So —

SIERRA: We have that foundation as well.

SISTER: Yes.  That’s a big part of our parents and the Lord —

SIERRA: Yeah, how we live life and things like that, so — yeah —

WOMAN:  I guess I want to know like, what surprised you or what did you learn, or what is the most important thing you’ve learned, taking away this experience from the film? 

SISTER: We learned a lot.

SIERRA:  Well, of course, you know, we know it’s important to stick together, but, um, to see a different — a totally different species, you know —

SISTER: Sticking together?

SIERRA: Exactly, and working together to just obtain one goal, which, was, you know, most of the time, it was to survive in this movie, and I feel like we’re kinda this way.  You know, I really don’t know what I would do without those two, so, definitely, just to stick close, like I can’t even stress that enough.  You know.  Just to — you know, with your family, you know, it’s important to have that strong foundation, you know, with every family member.  So, me and my — we’re all like that.  And we kinda show it in the music, you know.  We write and we produce, and, you know, we sing, all together, so, definitely, just to stick close, and that unity part… is really big, for me.

SISTER: Same here.

SISTER: Everything she just said!


It was a true pleasure to meet such wonderful young ladies!  And the song ‘Rise’ is certainly a great showcase of their amazing talents!  Be sure to go see Chimpanzee opening week!  As part of the See Chimpanzee, Save Chimpanzee effort, Disneynature will donate a portion of every ticket sold to the Jane Goodall Institute!

Read my review of Chimpanzee – a Movie with Heart that opens April 20, 2012.

**I traveled with a group of bloggers as a mostly compensated trip for these events.  My writings and opinions are mine.  Please see my Disclosure Page for more information. Affiliate links may be included in this post.**