Krewella's Yasmine Yousaf Admits to Being "Extremely" Wet
Krewella is an electro-house-dub-party-sex trio born from the windy streets of Chicago. And before PETA has a freak out, they don't kill puppies, but damn can they murder some beats.
Their Play Hard EP, released last summer, had them "Killin It" all over the country and 2012 charts. They recently moved to the sunny Los Angeles hills to record their debut full-length album.
Comprised of singer-songwriting sisters Yasmine and Jahan Yousaf, backed by boss-level producer Rain Man (known to his moms as Kris Trindl), this threesome made a name for themselves as raucous party ambassadors from the planet bass. But their real-life dynamic and genre palette is a lot deeper and more complex than fans might realize. We had a nice chat with Yasmine to get the real-real before they "get wet" at Club Cinema on Friday, January 25.
New Times: So how wet are you right now?
Yasmine Yousaf: Currently? Extremely. You probably can't even handle it.
What does "get wet" mean, for people who might not get it?
Well, we literally take that and put it toward everything possible in life. It could obviously mean something sexual. But it's also, when we're at our shows, we walk out of there sweaty as fuck. Like, there's no other way to describe what we are other than wet. We're drenched. And it kind of represents raging and just going fucking crazy and living passionately. Getting wet, jumping in. It's all about that.
"Going hard" is a big part of your personality as producers, DJs, and performers. How do you go hard? What are you drinking? What are you doing?
When it comes to partying, going hard is definitely whiskey for us. Once you throw whiskey in the mix, it's just over. As far as DJing goes, this is what someone said to me about a year and a half ago, a good friend Nick of ours, and it's kind of stuck with me.
We had a show at Avalon in LA before we had any real buzz about us. We were closing out for Bingo Players and the room was completely packed. Then we go on, and no one really knows who we are, but the room stays packed cause they're kind of curious, and the whole show, I was just like, "Y'know what, just fuck it, go fucking crazy and blow these people's minds." And by the end of the show, the whole room was dancing, we were completely sweaty. We could not even breathe, our hearts were beating so fast. I walked off after and Nick was just like, "Wow, I have to be honest with you. Some DJs get off and there's not one drop of sweat, they're just completely normal. But you guys can't even catch your breath right now. I have this new thing in my head, if you don't walk off the DJ set or performance and you're not sweating and your heart isn't beating, you didn't put your whole 100 percent heart into the performance. You didn't really give you audience everything you have." So that kind of stuck with me.
There are three of you up there going hard. What is the dynamic in the booth?
We go in with some sort of basis of what's going to happen, but once everything's live, it's all gone to shit. You have to basically do everything on the fly. We switch off doing everything we do. I have to say it's really nice to be DJing with two other people who have your back that you can just hop on top of the fucking table and be like, "Miami, what the fuck is up?!" We all just have a really fucking good time, get really sweaty, mix our songs and it's back and forth. Eventually, our live show is coming, which is going to be the singing and that's a whole 'nother story though.
How does the dynamic switch up when you're in the studio? How do you push each other to be as creative as possible?
Well, in a very generic sense, Chris is the producer, me and Jahan are the singer-songwriters. But it never really happens exactly like that. Chris will send us a beat, or we'll be in the studio, and we'll write something, me and Jahan, either separately or together. And we'll lay down vocals on the tracks and Chris will be like, "This fucking sucks, change this melody." And he's a really good third ear 'cause me and Jahan sometimes get stuck in a box and can't even help each other out. Then he comes in and really gives this new perspective.
Then, on the other hand, he'll send us a beat or we'll listen in the studio, and me and Jahan will be like, "this needs to sounds more like this. Change this kick to this. Add a snare there." There's little things we're all helping each other out with because it's so hard to make music when you're just in your head. You need a second opinion. So that's what we're all there for. And we're pretty rude about it, we're assholes about "this fucking sucks, change it." But in the end, we get the songs we really love and our passionate about. So that's all that matters.
How is it working with your sister?
Everyone always asks me that thinking I'll be like "we fight so much it sucks," but it's a fucking blessing. Sometimes we do fight, we argue, but having family in your business and doing what you do every day of your life is so rewarding because, family is my number one priority in life. I feel blessed that I can be working with my sister. She's probably the one person in my life that inspires me the most. She pushes me the most to make better music and work harder and she's probably my favorite person on this entire planet. I love working with her.
So you and your sister are obviously good looking girls. Do you ever get crazed fans with weird marriage proposals?
There are marriage proposals every day pretty much. Most definitely to my sister, she's a dime. But I think the funniest thing was -- it was such a little thing but I will never forget it -- we played Red Rocks this summer with our dude Savoy. We did a radio interview in Denver before we played, and this caller called in and he was like, "Yasmine, I have a question for you." I was like, okay you sound really serious right now, what's up? And he's like, "I need your blessing to marry your sister tonight." I'm like, "You know what? Yes. You have my blessing. I will be the pastor and I will fucking marry you guys." So literally at the show, I totally forgot about it, but later this kid comes up to the barrier between the stage area and the audience and he's holding up this ring pop. It was so funny, we made it happen. She made this kid's night. It was really cute. Obviously, they're not married but, it was cute.
2012 was such a huge year for you. What did you learn?
Read everything from top to bottom and have your lawyer check it before you sign anything. That's a big one. I think also, just always stick to your roots. Working on the album, we've been in the studio in and out of sessions with people who we just don't vibe with and have had to force a few things. At this point, as 2012 ended and 2013 is starting, I think we're realizing it's a big waste of time to just do things that aren't you. Don't even fucking spend time on it. Do what feels good and feels right when making music and you're going to get an amazing outcome.
Your sound does jump around a lot. You bring a lot of different elements to the table. How bullshit are genres these days, anyway?
That's so funny, that's the perfect way to say it. They're such bullshit. They're boundaries, they're barriers. I think that a lot of people can appreciate the fact that we just make music that we like. We got pigeonholed as a dubstep group for a really long time, but to be honest, I haven't heard us being called a dubstep trio in a few months.
I feel like after the Play Hard EP; which there's a prog-house song, there's an electro house, moombahton, dubstep song, there was everything on there but we tried really hard to still make every song sound like a Krewella song. So the whole EP sounded cohesive. So hopefully we can try any fucking genre we want to, just because we can, and still not stray away from our sound. I think the most important thing to do is just make music that you actually like listening to cause as the end of the day, if you can't listen back to your own tracks and rage out to them and have them make you smile, what's the point?
Krewella. 9 p.m., Friday, January 25. Club Cinema, 3251 N Federal Highway, Pompano Beach. Ages 18 and up. Tickets cost $30 to $75 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Call 954-785-5225 or visit Club Cinema's Facebook.
Get the Music Newsletter
Find out about upcoming concerts and special offers happening in the South Florida music scene.