Krewella on pop, parties, and parents
Photo by Nikko Lamere
Krewella moves fast. Last September, the group gave a scattered, evidently-green interview, in which producer Kris Trindl said he'd first heard Skrillex less than a year prior. That was ten months ago, the night of the trio's first show, and already they've collaborated with the Grammy winner. Thursday, they'll make their Minneapolis debut at the Brick, on night two of the 2012 Global Dance Festival.
Released in June, their EP Play Hard is party music, pop vocal riffs chopped into thrashy EDM instrumentals. Something like Skrillex meets late '90s Eurodance stars Alice Deejay or the Vengaboys (see Now 43). On the phone with City Pages, Trindl said, "We think [of our music] as an infusion of pop, but it's not like a lot of pop songs that can get a bit monotonous. We're just throwing our own influences into it. We make what we think pop music should be."
Krewella's singing sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf have developed a kind of hard-ass, party girl presence online. The young women sport heavy makeup and neck tattoos, and built a Facebook page littered with "titties," beers, "jame-o," raised middle fingers and the tagline "making you wet...one song at a time."
But you can kind of picture these three as well-off kids from a liberal suburb of Chicago, singing in choir and playing in garage bands.
Jahan and Trindl met in high school, and of their origins he says sort of shyly, "It was really normal. I wish we could have -- we all wish we could have grown up in the city because there's a lot more going on."
The two started making music together, but Krewella formed a little later, when Yasmine (the younger sister) joined. She said of her parents' response to their image and lyrics, "They started off not even understanding what we were making, what Dubstep was, what EDM was. I think they really appreciate it now, but lyrically-wise our parents just know we're making what we love. Parents have to let you do what you want at a certain point."
Sick of playing guitar in flaky high school metal bands, Trindl transitioned to electronic music using ProTools and, more recently, Ableton Live. The Yousaf sisters write hooks over his instrumentals, or approach him acappella so he can craft a beat around their vocals. For live shows, the trio DJ with Traktor software. "We have done one date in London singing live, and it went really well," said Yasmine. But for now, "It's just a crazy party on stage, bringing this insane energy."
She said of the upcoming Brick show too, "I'm just expecting a giant party."
Play Hard streaming here.
Available for download oniTunes
Krewella plays the Global Music Festival (Thursday 7/19 at the Brick) with Knife Party and others. 18+, 8 p.m., $30-$90.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.