Krewella's Jahan Yousaf Talks EDM and Why Florida Kids Go So Crazy
Get Wet with sweat.
There is no effing way you haven't heard of Krewella by now.
The EDM trio's song "Alive" is inescapable. And even in March, the group's Jahan Yousaf, her sister Yasmine, and their homie Rain Man had Ultra Music Festival's beat freaks begging to "get wet!"
New Times caught up with Jahan to get the skinny on the new album, Get Wet; why Florida kids go so crazy; and whether Krewella is sick of hearing "Alive" already.
New Times: How does it feel to be walking around somewhere and hear your own song come on?
Jahan Yousaf: Oh, God, it's so funny. I was at dinner with Kris [Trindl] — Rain Man — the other member of our group. We were in Canada, so there was a bunch of radio records we haven't heard before sprinkled in with a couple of American records, and then all of a sudden "Alive" comes on and we had to get up.
Kris just gets so annoyed when he hears it now; it's so weird. He got so frustrated, he was like, "Guys, this is our cue to go, whenever you hear 'Alive' in a restaurant." It was in such a random area of Edmonton, Canada, we never expected it to play there. It's cool. We've only heard it on the radio a couple of times ourselves. Most of the time, whatever play it's getting, we hear about it from fans or our friends texting us and telling us about how they heard it on the radio or at a sports game.
At your show at Club Cinema in Pompano Beach last year, it was really crazy. I went to cover it, and so many people showed up at the door that they had to stop them from letting anyone else in or out. People were outside chanting. It was insane.
That's so cool. I love to hear that. That was such a crazy show. We heard a lot of weird stories afterward too. Florida is always one of those states, I've noticed, whenever we play there, out of all the states in the U.S., no matter where we go in Florida, kids go crazy. They get down to every type of music.
What do you think it is that makes your fans so loyal?
I think part of the loyalty comes from not only this love for our music or songs, but we have a theory with our group, we have a story behind us, we have personalities. We're not just a DJ. We provide more than just songs; we're performers. On our fall tour, we're doing a hybrid live-DJ show. We're not just behind the booth; we're actually going to come up from behind the booth and perform. We touch all different senses. It's not just music; it's visual, it's the content, the media, personality. I think it's that same feeling people get when they like a band, like an actual rock band or pop-punk band.
There's a lot of rock influence that shines through in your performances.
It's funny that you say that; it kind of just started happening. Our roots are in rock and metal. Yasmine and I grew up on pop-punk and indie rock and metal, like System of a Down, Bloc Party, Fall Out Boy. And Kris is a metal guy. When I met him, he was the lead guitarist in a metal band, and that really shows in his production too. New Krewella will involve him playing guitar. So you'll see that in the future.
Tell me more about the record. What inspired you?
We've been working on it for more than a year now. We've been touring on and off for years, so whenever we were off from touring, maybe three days, we'd go back to L.A. and hop in the studio. Yasmine and I are just really inspired by people we've met, experiences. We've been collaborating with other songwriters; we've learned a lot from developing our craft and writing.
You'll notice a difference from Play Hard, the EP we put out last year. And then as far as sound goes, Kris' production has just gotten so much more advanced too. It's hard. You're going to have dubstep, drum 'n' bass, but then we're going to have the progressive house, melodic, emotional songs too. We have a song for every emotion, every mood. Twelve tracks, and the title is Get Wet.
Sticking with the theme.
Exactly. As you see, at the end of our shows, we're soaked. The album goes pretty hard too. So you'll definitely be wet by the end of the album if you're working out to it or partying, whatever you might be doing, banging!
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