Sisters LeMisha and Irish Grinstead hit their peak in the 90s with the R&B trio 702 with hits like “Where My Girls At?” and “Get It Together.” While being in a girl group is not foreign to them, a reality television experiment putting seven other women from other mega groups together to form a supergroup, record an album, and create a showstopping performance is.
But when Carlos King and his producers approached the sisters to participate in the new BET docuseries, BET Presents: The Encore, they jumped on board. Already having huge success with 702, one would wonder why take the risk. But the sisters say they had to show they “still have it.”
Irish’s primary focus for participating in the experiment was to prove herself as a vocalist. 702 is led by Meelah Williams, while the Grinstead singers sing background, but LeMisha has talent behind the scenes with penning songs and has also sung lead on occasion. Additionally, Irish felt it was finally time to step out of the shadow.
“I’ve always felt pressure myself,” Irish admits in a recent interview with Shadow and Act. “Meelah has a beautiful voice, Misha is gifted with her writing and her voice so I’m kind of used to it. It is a battle within yourself like, ‘Where do I fit in and how can I find my place?’ But, that’s when I trust God and I trust his decisions for me and in some kind of way, I will find my way through it.”
And pushing their way through it is the only option. Through 10 weeks, the ladies go through rigorous dance training, studio sessions, vocal lessons, and creative meetings to prep for the album and finale performance.
Of course, there were issues. Some of the women had reservations with others due to age differences. Others complained about who sang or danced better.
“The biggest challenge was trying to get everybody on one accord [regarding the vision for the group],” LeMisha says. For Irish, maturity, or lack thereof, was her biggest concern.
“There’s a total difference when you’re dealing with someone in their 20s versus someone who’s been there, done that, sold all these records, and they’re looking for something a little bit deeper,” she explains. “Versus somebody who just wants to go and twerk. The mentality is more so what I was concerned about.”
Despite the drama and hesitation along the way, the sisters say they bonded with most of the cast. In the end, though, LeMisha says she learned to be grateful for what she already has with 702.
“The grass isn’t always greener,” LeMisha states boldly.
Watch BET Presents: The Encore on BET every Wednesday at 10 p.m. EST. Check out the full interview below where the Grinstead sisters talk about drama in the house, who they clicked with, and what they hope their fans will learn from the show.