They are innocent, if ignorant tweets. I love krewella like her music is amazing and her vocals are just perf. Legions of Krewella fans jump in defense on Twitter. Krewella is not a her, it is a them, they correct.
Krewella is a bandyes, a bandof contradictions, surprises and unexpected influences. Krewella does not quite fit in with the EDM herd, and therefore resonates deeply with anyone who does not quite fit in. To wit: It is one of the biggest rising names in dance music, but its beat-maker proclaims, People standing behind tables putting their hands in the air is remedial. The group name-drops Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, the Faint and Timbaland as inspirations. It is ostensibly an electronic act, though one formed by singer-songwriters and aguitar shredder who put live performance above all else, who cherish being flesh to flesh with their flock. Krewella is difficult to pigeonhole, and thus speaks to all those who view themselves as difficult to pigeonhole. Which is all of us. To understand Krewella, you have to go back to the beginning.
In 2010, a trio of young musicians from suburban Northbrook rented a loft in the heart of the neighborhood. The oldest, Kris Rain Man Trindl, 22 at the time, a metalhead who first picked up a guitar at age 11, tried to look his most presentable when meeting with the apartment agent. He wore a peacoat. Kris and his two bandmates, sisters Yasmine and Jahan Yousaf, then 18 and 20, respectively, moved into the 2,500-square-foot space with cardboard boxes and empty beer cases as furniture. They slept on mattresses on the floor. Kris ran his computer through a flat-screen television. He turned his closet into a vocal booth, drilling holes in the walls to thread cables, insulating the interior with comforters and foam padding. Inside that closet, Jahan and Yasmine belted the vocals to Alive, as Kris crafted the amphetamine-pumping beats and longing piano arpeggios of the hopeful dance anthem on the hardwood in his bedroom.
Cardboard is a pretty good acoustic f&*king dampener, notes Kris. But we probably didnt get our security deposit back, says Jahan. That recording would go on to reach Billboards Mainstream Top 40.
Kris, Jahan and Yasmine met while attending Glenbrook North High Schoolthe alma mater of both John Hughes and Ferris Bueller. Kris remembers first seeing Jahan at a concert his metal band was somehow playing at the Northbrook Public Library. The two quickly decided a second vocalist was needed. After unsuccessfully trying out a couple of candidates, Jahan brought in her little sister, Yasmine.
In July of 2011, Krewella began performing live in the Windy City underground. They played raves in rusted warehouses near Midway Airport. They rocked a multi-level Halloween party in a dilapidated hotel. Sometimes, thered be a mere 20 kids dancing on tile floors. Sometimes, the three would earn a measly $50. Sometimes, Kris worried for his younger bandmates safety at unlicensed gigs in gritty venues. Yasmine and Jahan insisted on taking any and every chance to bring Krewella to the people. Were gonna play where we can play.
Krewella booked its first official concert in November 2011, opening for Porter Robinson at the Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago. The band made an immediate impression on Zach Partin of React Presents, the concert promoter. All the fans just went nuts for Krewellas set, he recalls. Even then you could tell they were on to something. That something: Krewellas unique recipe of gut-hitting songwriting, spirited performance and dancefloor know-how.
In 2012, Krewella continued to build its reputation over a hundred plus performances across the United States and Australia. With each stop back in its hometown, Krewella progressively played larger and larger stages to a growing fan-base. First, the side-stage tent at Reacts Spring Awakening Festival; then, the cavernous Congress Theater; finally, in May of 2013, the main stage of Spring Awakening inside Soldier Field. At Spring Awakening, they did meet and greets for over five hours and their tour manager had to drag them away from giving more hugs, taking pictures, and high-fiving everyone.
All three talk of pushing each other, pushing for success, pushing for perfection. I pushed them so hard, Kris admits, almost apologetically. I was like, F%#k you, be better. You need to work harder. I take pride in how good they are now. Jahan kept notebooks of lyrics, honing her writing skills. Yasmine and I were so behind in songwriting compared to where Kris was as a producer, Jahan says. Thats why it took us years to develop. He was ready to go, ready to release music.
Krewellas debut, Get Wet bangs with body-moving precision and unexpected range. The album balances studious pop craftsmanship with ecstatic, unhinged release. Jahan, Yasmine and Kris share songwriting credits on each of the twelve tracks. Kris shows a deft hand with rhythm, drum & bass, dubstep, and the house music of his hometown. Yet he approaches dance music like a rockstar: If DJing could become hair metal, my life could be complete.
Speaking of rockstars, two of the Yousafs childhood heroes, Fall Out Boys Patrick Stump and Blink 182s Travis Barker, belt hooks and pummel drums on Dancing with the Devil. Jahan gushes, I didnt think we were capable of getting those people on the record. Yasmine was in equal disbelief: Im the biggest Fall Out Boy fan.
The record was recorded in Los Angeles, Krewellas new base. (Well, except for Alive. Youre still hearing the incredible closet take.) Jahan and Yasmine still live together. Well probably always live together, Yasmine says. Kris is not far away in Studio City. Of course they moved there together. California is where they were working. Their record label is in L.A.