Krewella is one of music’s most fascinating emerging acts. Their debut album Get Wet was released last month with a strong chart performance, and the group landed in 44th place in the DJ Mag Top 100 this past week. Consisting of sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf, as well as Kris “Rain Man” Trindl, the Chicago trio is often categorized under the term Electronic Dance Music (EDM).
However, vocalist and songwriter Jahan says the group “wants to take dance music in a different direction.” Not only do their songs come from the convergence of different elements like pop, dubstep, and live vocal performances, Jahan also cites a multiplicity of diverse artistic influences.
“I like people [who] go against the grain,” says Jahan. She cites artists like Lady Gaga and M.I.A. who use their “[voices] to draw attention to important issues.”
EDM is a very male-dominated industry, but the predominantly female group says that they “never felt [they] should be treated differently.” Referring to the fact that famous women are often arbitrarily judged for their beauty rather than their achievements, Jahan noted, “I would like to see women become powerful for different reasons.” She also pointed out the small percentage of women compared to men in lists of the world’s wealthiest individuals and conceded that societal realities can make it difficult to succeed as a female artist. The trio’s rising influence and genuine talent certainly seems to put it on a trajectory to falsify that statement.
Jahan explains, however, that success doesn’t necessarily seem to be something Krewella needs to be validated by: “We don’t see ourselves on a pedestal; there’s no subject or object.”
Reaching out to fans is something Krewella takes very seriously, using social media as their primary method of communication. The dialogue inherent in that relationship isn’t one way either, as it could be sending a letter to a P.O. box—which the group has only recently acquired. Jahan recalls receiving the brief but poweful message, “you’ve saved my life” from a fan. Clearly, to their audience, and to themselves, it’s more than party music.
Krewella hasn’t stopped producing while they’re on tour, either. Their next album is already in its early stages with their debut record released only last month. It may not be out any time soon but the group is aiming to “re-invent their own production.”
Jahan acknowledges that Chicago is Krewella’s favourite city to play, as their hometown and the “nucleus” of their fan base, but they enjoy Montreal and vowed that the city should prepare for a unique show.
Krewella perform Oct. 24 at 10 p.m. at Telus Theatre (1280 St. Denis). Tickets are $40 online.