Comprising the sisterly duo of Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf, Krewella burst into the electronic music tribe’s consciousness after their high-octane set at the 2013 edition of Ultra Music Festival. Their debut album Get Wet that followed a few months after the memorable set charted in Billlboard’s top 10 within its first week of release. And while the electronic dance music community was already keenly aware of Krewella by then, the sophomore single ‘Live for the Night’ from the same album was the track that made everyone else around the world sit up and take notice.
At that time, it was rare for ladies to break into the male-dominated EDM industry and Krewella, with their rebelliousness and metaphorical middle finger to the norm, was the poster child for empowerment, both male and female. The Yousaf sisters will be in our parts of the world from 17 to 20 November for the aquatic dance festival It’s the Ship. We grabbed some time with them to chat about their new music, sexual harassment issues, and what it’s like to work together as siblings.
What is your relationship like as sisters?
I can’t think of anyone else in the world who might know me better. We pretty much do everything together, from creating, to living together, traveling, business, family, leisure, hobbies. Just like Mother Nature we are sometimes very much in sync, and sometimes out of sync. But we are aware and always find ways to work through the push and pull. Regarding creative differences, of course they exist, but we are constantly learning when to let go and when to fight for an idea or concept that we believe in.
Being two female personalities, what are your thoughts on the #metoo movement?
The movement is a true testament of the power of social media today and how we can utilise this tool to shed light in issues, like sexual assault/inequality/double standards, that many people feel vulnerable and ashamed to talk about. Every single women and man that it using the hashtag to share their story or to align themselves with the movement is creating more awareness about a topic that should no longer be taboo to talk about publicly.
The more people who are educated on the reality of today’s world, the more we can continue to figure out ways to keep growing and affecting positive change as a society. We also would like to mention that this issue does not only pertain to females who have encountered sexual assault, but males are too often the victims as well. The next step is creating a safe and non-judgmental place for boys and adult men to seek help, therapy, or share their stories about their confrontations in hopes of them healing, and empowering other victims to heal as well.
What advice would you give to men? Or what do you hope men can understand with regards to feminism?
It’s simple. It starts internally with just becoming more aware of your thoughts and realizing when you are being judgmental of someone. Are you criticising a female artist’s mode of dress, but you wouldn’t think twice about it when you see a man on stage taking off his shirt? Or do you assume that when a female has a successful record, this is because it was written and facilitated by a man? Or, why don’t you think women can have reproductive rights?
Having in-depth conversations with other men and women with opposing viewpoints is so important as well. We can’t only surround ourselves with like-minded people. We have learned and evolved from other peoples’ perspectives on various topics.
How do the both of you use music to further your own causes?
Our music has given us so much exposure to an incredible fanbase that is in it for the long haul. We haven’t fully tapped into the potential of the Krew, but as we are growing as artists we are really looking forward to figuring out ways with our fans to affect positive change in the community. We’ve start with simple tasks like charity and volunteer events, but I believe the force of our Krew can have so much impact someday.
What can we expect from Krewella in 2018 and further on?
We have quite a few collabs with fellow electronic artists coming out, we’ll be playing some festivals, and we’ll be in the studio a bunch working on New World Part 2!
And finally, what can It’s the Ship punters expect from your set?
Our DJ sets are non-stop energy. Old, new, and unreleased Krewella records and collabs. Throwbacks and party jams. It’s gonna be a rager!