For Kris “Rain Man” Trindl, Jahan Yousaf and little sister Yasmine Yousaf, 6.8.10 was the iconic date that they decided to bet everything on the musical dreamscape of Krewella. The band Krewella was born in the trio’s hometown of Chicago, on the whiskey-slicked, Dorito-crusted floor of a high school party. Rain Man played in a metal band, Jahan soprano-ed in the school choir. Brought together in the crush of that night, their melodic gears clicked. The duo enlisted Jahan’s younger sister Yasmine as the second female vocalist to fill the Krewella roster, leading to the creation of one of the top acts in modern electronic dance music.
At first, all three members struggled to grapple with the evolving spirit of Krewella, balancing their musical careers with mainstream jobs and school, until finally immortalizing 6.8.10 with matching tattoos and throwing it all down on the turntable. With the release of their EP Play Hard in 2012, Rain Man and the Yousafs cashed in. The EP hit number one on Beatport. With this explosion in exposure, their fan base, now collectively referred to as the “Krew”, exponentially grew today consisting of thousands of devotees all over the world. Now Krewella music has 97,000 followers on Instagram and averages 2,000 new Twitter fans per week. They’ve got their own line of Krewella swag and are booked solid around the world.
Yasmine Yousaf answered BeatRoute’s call from the Krew Tour Bus whilst headed to Santa Cruz, CA. Shooting the shit with BeatRoute about the style of Krewella’s new album Get Wet, their dedicated fan base, her grunge rock influences and essentially how she’s just a chill 21-year-old, who has always found sanctuary when creating music.
“Thank you so much for speaking with me.” Yasmine begins, while fielding background interference of tour bus white noise and some input from her otherwise quiet sister Jahan. For such a hardcore dubstep DJ who considers a show a success provided the three have “sweat their lives out”, Yasmine is surprisingly mellow and relaxed, probably saving up for her performance later in the night, interviewing like we’re talking over a cup of coffee about the daily news.
It’s no mystery that Krewella fans are an outrageously dedicated army of EDM disciples. So what is the infectious element that the Krew have been able to tap? Yasmine pauses a minute before working through this, “There’s this quote, it’s the idea of making someone inhuman. There are two ways to do it, idolize them or ignore them and I think that’s what people do sometimes with their favourite artists, when really, I’m no better than anyone who listens to my music. We’re all just kids or teenagers or adults or whatever trying to find some peace and love through music. And I just feel like we [Krewella] want to give that message to people.”
It probably doesn’t hurt that the sisters are stone-foxes.
The Play Hard EP set the initial Krew tone: a party-focused, dance imbued hyper-driven good time. Now that the band has a broad base of listeners they saw their opportunity to get in deeper with their new album, knowing that musically the EP had to be cohesive.
“We kind of found what we really wanted to do, to make songs that were lyrically either provocative or evocative of emotions that are for when you’re sad, happy, when you’re in a dark place, when you’re just trying to have a fucking good night.”
At the same time the Krew were able to put more heart and guts into Get Wet, because they were confident that their listeners were ready to leap with them. “We have the mic now – it’s time to say something important,” Yasmine asserts genuinely.
So what kind of music influences the youngest Krewella member? “Honestly the new Avicii album, the Bloody Beetroots, Drake, The 1975. That actually gives you a good spectrum of my music tastes. I love rap, I love electronic obviously, some of my biggest influences though are grunge rock and pop punk. I’ve been a Nirvana fan since I can remember.”
Although Krewella maintain a hectic touring schedule, Yasmine is currently dating Leighton James, member from Canadian duo Adventure Club. The two connected through social media and bonded over their complimentary music styles. “Adventure Club sent us a rough piano sample that they put together and Jahan and I wrote a song over it. We all hopped into a studio together in Chicago and it was so much fun. I love that track.”
Yasmine’s favourite show so far aside from Chicago home shows was the Emmaboda Festival in Sweden. “It was nuts. No matter what we played everyone went crazy, they were so open-minded and it was cool because it was in Sweden. I didn’t even know we had fans there! That was insane.”
As an ending to what has been an easy-going and wonderful conversation, I ask her what her spirit animal is, Yasmine laughs, “Probably like the Cookie Monster because I like cookies and sugar.”
Get Wet with Krewella, Seven Lions and Candyland at Celebrities in Vancouver on October 2nd, 2013.
By Natasha PukaBC, British Columbia