UTG INTERVIEW: Krewella Discuss Collaborating With Fall Out Boy and Dealing With “Love-Hate Appeal”


Krewella are a three-piece EDM arrangement from Chicago, IL. The group’s variation in style, intense live performance, and out-of-genre collaboration has led to a quickly expanding career.

The trio is unisex, consisting of two sisters, Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf, who primarily do singing and songwriting, and producer Kris “Rain Man” Trindl.

The group completely rocked 2013’s Firefly Festival in Dover, DE this past Friday. The group ended out the night, following the likes of Calvin Harris, Action Bronson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many more.

Under The Gun Review managed to snag an interview with “The Krew” just a few days ago, prior to their performance at Firefly. Check out what they had to say below the jump!

You have gotten successful very quickly in America. A lot of people throw around accusations to people who are doing well that they are sell-outs. I’ve noticed on your Twitter and Facebook that you all don’t take that stuff too lightly. Could you elaborate on the struggle between managing positivity and critics?

I will never understand the concept of ‘selling out.’ Our producer Rain Man has been playing guitar for 13 years, why shouldn’t he get paid for that? Most people that use the term ‘sell-out’ can’t even define what it means. However, we’ve come to accept the fact that many music consumers are uninformed and create their own assumptions on how an artist gains success. And sometimes in order to BE successful, an artist needs to have love-hate appeal, and what creates that dichotomy in a group is a voice, conviction, powerful image, and infectious music.

What was your inspiration for Troll Mix?

The inspiration for the Troll Mix series comes from our own personal need to have DJ mixes to listen to. Having your hands free from an iPod for an hour of working out, getting sexy in the bedroom, driving, or relaxing is quite a luxury. We love the idea of taking our listener on a journey. Before we release the mixes we usually send them to a couple members or our team and even listen to them ourselves to see if they are enjoyable. And if the flow doesn’t feel seamless, we create a new one.

You seem to have a constant variation in your styles; Dubstep, Trap, Moombah. Do you find it important to switch it up?

Since we’ve been making music together in 2007, we’ve always had a fascination with exploring different styles of writing, production, tempos, and emotions in music. It’s the challenge we seek in delving into foreign sub-genres of dance music that creates risk, and risk is turmoil, and turmoil produces the highest form of creativity. We thrive off of the thrill of pushing our limits beyond our comfort zone.

What about your live show differentiates you from other acts? How do you reply to the notion of push-play DJs?

When we started performing in 2011 we were merely DJing, but since the first show we’ve been mixing live and we continue to do so. As our fan-base is expanding and show opportunities are becoming bigger, we realize we need to adjust with the growing demand for a performance that goes beyond DJing. The future of our live performance lies in a hybrid live vocal/DJ show. We feel it is our obligation to supportive fans to keep pushing past the expectation of a standard DJ and give them a more dynamic, communicative performance. Expect a full live show on our national headlining bus tour starting in September 2013.

There has been some talk about Krewella collaborating with Fall Out Boy. Will we see some music from you in the future? How did that even come about?

We are so excited to announce that the Fall Out Boy collaboration will be on our first full-length album coming out at the end of summer! Our A&R from our label knew that we are massive FOB lovers, especially Yasmine, so when we found out that they dig our music as well, we had members of both of our teams set up a studio session where we wrote topline for a dubstep instrumental Kris had been working on for over a year. The track is called “Dancing with the Devil” and we will be giving Firefly an exclusive taste of it when we perform!

Is there a lot of pressure playing in front of the huge crowds you perform in front of?

Most of the pressure and anxiety comes from wondering if we will actually have a crowd. The fact that people show up to our stage at festivals where there are other artists performing at the same time is truly a blessing for us. The performance in itself is so much fun and we’ve been lucky to have songs that people know and sing along to.

Is there any stigma against American producers considering many of those pioneers are European?

We haven’t personally experienced any sort of negativity from foreign producers regarding a lack of establishment or years of experience in the genre (since we are young compared to most European DJ pioneers). We are fortunate to have international stars like Gareth Emery, Nicky Romero, Hardwell, and Tiesto support our project.

What is the future of EDM music in America?

The future of dance music is whatever we (producers) make of it. All it takes is one DJ legend to put their own spin on the current state of dance music and everyone will follow. Also I think the youth culture we are dealing with is very fickle and requires quick and constant evolution of dance music.

Firefly Music Festival is coming up. Have you ever played with a lineup like this?

If our itinerary allows it, we are dying to see Red Hot Chili Peppers. We’ve been fans since our adolescent years and it’s always refreshing to see a live band you were raised on, especially when most of what we see are DJ sets every show.

Written and conducted by: Derek Scancarelli
Check out his concert photography here: D. SKANK PHOTOGRAPHY

Derek Scancarelli

Derek Scancarelli is a feature writer, interviewer, videographer, photographer, radio-er and more. In 2015, he received his MA in Journalism in New York City. In addition to Under The Gun Review, Derek has worked with Noisey (VICE), Alternative Press, New Noise Magazine and many more. He also pushes some buttons at SiriusXM.

Comedian Jim Norton once called him a serial killer on national radio. Enjoy the internet with him on Twitter.
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