Hey TWIST readers,
We recently chatted with singing and songwriting sisters, Ali and Christina Christensen! You might remember them from America's Got Talent, where they shared their story about living with cyctic fibrosis. Dr. Susanna McColley of the Children's Memorial Hospital was there with the girls tell us about cystic fibrosis. Be sure to click "Read more" for our exclusive interview with Ali, Christina, and Dr. McColley!
TWIST: How did you guys get your start in music? Ali: My mom's a singing teacher, so we've been around music our whole lives. We've had hundreds of students in and out of our house throughout the past years. Music just has always been a big part of our lives. It's just amazing that we have this opportunity to promote this song that we recently recorded called "Something About Me."
TWIST: Can you explain to TWIST readers who might not be familiar with cystic fibrosis what it is? Dr. McColley: Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. It affects about 30,000 people in the United States, and it's main symptoms are difficulty with digestion and gaining weight and symptoms in the lungs that come with having really thick, sticky mucus that builds up. That can cause infection and decline in lung function over time.
TWIST: How does having cystic fibrosis affect your everyday life? Christina: Having CF can affect my everyday life because it can be hard to get all my treatments in that I need. If I want to hang out with my friends, I know that I have to get my treatments, so it takes time out of my day and it kind of can get difficult, but it's worth it because then I can stay healthy.
TWIST: How about your music? Does it affect your singing at all? Ali: It does affect our singing voice, definitely. One thing about singing that we love is that it actually helps keep our lungs strong. While we're doing what we love, we're keeping ourselves healthy at the same time.
TWIST: Can you tell me about your song "Something About Me" and about the video you shot for it? Ali: We actually recorded the song a few months ago, and it's just a song telling people that no matter what troubles or difficulties they might face, there's something about them. There's something bigger to them than just the difficulties they face. We want to share that message and hope and inspiration to everyone who listens to it. It was a lot of fun because when we recorded it, we got to also record a music video, which also shows us in the recording process. It's been a lot of new experiences and a lot of fun.
TWIST: Who have been your biggest musical inspirations? Christina: My biggest musical inspiration is Justin Bieber because he started out as just a normal kid who wanted to make it big. He seems like a genuine person. I think he's awesome. Ali: I love Carrie Underwood. I think she's an amazing vocalist. Something that I like about her is that she seems pretty sweet. I've just loved following her journey after American Idol.
TWIST: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be? Ali: I know Christina's answer is definitely Justin Bieber. I would probably love to collaborate with Carrie Underwood. Maybe Selena Gomez for Christina, too. Christina loves Selena Gomez.
TWIST: What can TWIST readers do if they want to learn more about cystic fibrosis? Dr. McColley: I could recommend going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They have a website and there are also chapters all throughout the United States where people can get information and talk about symptoms, treatment, research, where you need to go if you want to get good care for cystic fibrosis, so I highly recommend that resource.
TWIST: Do you guys have a message for readers who may be overcoming obstacles in their lives like you guys have? Ali: I think our message is pretty much what the song is about, and that's just keeping your head high and never giving up. I think that's the most important thing that you can do. And just believe in yourself. We hope that all of the readers can listen to the song and feel uplifted. They can find the song at CFvoice.com.
TWIST: Do you have any upcoming projects TWIST readers should know about? Ali: We're actually releasing a five-song EP, and it will be on iTunes. We co-wrote all the songs and had an amazing time recording them in Nashville. They're just really good, uplifting, fun songs, so we hope everyone checks it out. Christina: We also have a YouTube channel coming out with all of our music videos that we filmed and all of our songs. It'll be fun.
TWIST: Thanks, guys! Ali, Christina, Dr. McColley: Thanks, TWIST!