Chicago’s West Loop was once known as one of the Midwest’s busiest manufacturing corridors. But soon, thanks to a new EP dubbed PLAY HARD, it may be known for a sound manufactured by one of America’s most exciting new electronic music acts: KREWELLA.
Jahan, Yasmine and Rainman, burst onto the national stage with their debut video “Killin’ It” in early 2012, racking up Facebook likes and spreading virally around the globe via Twitter as EDM fans swooned over KREWELLA’s unique brand of dubstep-infused electronic music with catchy female vocals.
Despite their early success, KREWELLA continues to viciously commit to one goal and one goal only--"Making you wet... one song at a time"
We met up with Krewella during in Portland, OR at Moonlight Masquerade, another stop on their enormous Play Hard tour. The trio came into the green room giving "AYYYYYYYY"s like The Fonz and quickly caught up with their fellow DJ's. Shortly after, they started pouring shots of their staple Jameson but after two rounds the whole bottle was gone and soon they were up taking the stage to the roar of the crowd.
After their set which was nothing short of mind-melting, we headed to the bathroom for a very "intimate" Q & A session.
1. How'd you guys meet?
K - In all seriousness, Jahan was drunk, fell down the stairs, at a high school party, I was there, we became friends, we started making music..BOOM here we are.
J - We do NOT condone underage drinking
2. What's your ideal environment for writing songs?
Y - It depends, I like to write alone in a silent room or I wanna be lively and dancing, hopping around with my sister. We've had nights where we blast music in the kitchen drinking wine. It all depends on the mood.
3. When did it hit you that you had made it?
K - Dude I woke up one morning and was like "Holy shit I got like $7 million dollars in my bank account, fuck I'm rich bitch!" Then I bought some strippers and they were named Yasmine and Jahan.
Y & J - I dont think we've made it, we still have a long ways to go until we reach our full potential.
4. How long did it take to get recognized and start playing outside chicago?
J - We put out "Strobe Lights" and "Life of the Party" after a few years of working together. Our friends actually attributed to our success, they started sharing our music and it was all very organic and we didn't really spread our music it just sort of spread itself through the listeners. Our first show outside of Illinois was in Nashville almost exactly a year ago, we opened for R3hab and there were probably like 20 kids there and 3 were in front singing along to Strobelights. It was really cool to see how far our music had spread. Then we started doing our own remixes and we did the video for "Killin It" which helped show the culture we come from and the kinds of shows that we like to play; really intimate, in your face, high energy ragers, which definitely helped give us some exposure
5. you just released rise & fall with adventure club, who else would you like to collab with?
All - number one on our list, definitely Knife Party
K - Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsin, Jessica Black, Katy Perry and Ke$ha
Y - Kris is in Troll Mode right now so don't listen to anything he says. We definitely have a short list of people we want to work with, but it grows and changes every time we hear a new banger somebody puts out.
6. Do you like to produce or play live more?
Y & J - We definitey like to create the music and pump the emotion we feel into what we're making, but of course it's always rewarding to see people rage their face off to it. Sharing it is dope but it's so fulfilling to actually finish a song.
K - I have a love/hate relationship with both. Producing is long and tiresome, but there are few feelings that compare to finishing a track and having it be perfect. DJ'ing is extremely fun and we all love to interact with the crowd and always have an awesome time on stage, but being on the road and playing night after night for months on end can really be draining. But we wouldn't give up a single second of it!
7. Who are your favorite producers right now?
J - There are such a sea of producers right now and there are so few that really stick out but even then there are so few that everyone can get down to which is what we strive for. I really like Knife Party, skrillex, netsky, zomboy is sick, our friend Killagram is also really dope.
8. How do you feel about trap and how it's sort of blown up over the festival season this year?
J - I think it's just another sub-genre of EDM that's kind of opened the door for a lot more people to kind of get a feel for edm before jumping straight into dubstep or electro or whatever. People love to get down to it, we heard it a lot on our college tour and things just get super sexy when someone drops so sick asss trap.
9. How do you feel about edm going mainstream?
Y - I think it's a beautiful thing because EDM is a great thing. People always talk about PLUR and love and shit but if you aren't willing to share your music and your scene with someone that maybe hasn't experienced it before, then that's not love. I think that if you really are into the music and love it and want to experience what it is to be a part of the culture then there's no need to keep it underground. It's a great thing when it's underground and a lot more special. But I'm excited that it's finally breaking through that barrier of underground to mainstream.
10. What do you think about piracy?
Y - We didn't put out Play Hard for free but we did put out a link, so that if you couldn't buy it, you still had access to our music no matter what which is the most important thing.
J - Our number one search site on our computers is zippyshare. I mean, I respect people that want to sell their music, but ourselves as artists don't understand why you would put up barriers so that only certain people can access your music. The whole point, for us, is to spread our music with as many people as possible.
11. What do you guys want to do after Krewella?
J - Well we will always want to be involved in music. Whether it be Krewella or if we part ways and do side projects or get back together, it's all a part of our evolutions as artists and individuals. We're working on a full length album right now which is going to take another year and we'll do who knows how many after that. I definitely feel we have a long-term career working together. But if we weren't doing this I would definitely be writing for other people
Y - Kris always talks about scoring films and I've always wanted to write music for other people as well. I think it would be cool to write for different styles and outside my sort of realm.
12. How often do you eat bacon?
Y & J - Never! we eat turkey bacon though, and we have adventure club's bacon in our freezer at home we eat turkey bacon a lot though.
Alright well I'd like to thank you guys for taking the time to kick it, and I just want to wish you good luck on tour and with the EP and album coming out!
All - Thank you! We love you guys, big shout out to iBrostep!
You can stream Krewella's Play Hard EP now on Soundcloud!Google