The talented threesome that comprise Chicago based EDM sensations, KREWELLA (sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf along with Kris “Rain Man” Trindl), have been charming the dance and pop music community since they first burst on the scene with hit single, ‘Alive’. That track, in the most literal sense, brought the group to life and they have charged ahead, chalking up two additional hits, ‘Killing It’ and ‘Live For The Night’, in advance of the release their first studio album, ‘GET WET’.
Currently the KREW has embarked on their first major headlining tour to over 50 clubs across the US. In the midst of their busy schedule they sat down with me to dish on their journey so far and candidly opened up about the first time they heard ‘Alive’ on the radio, their goals and ambitions, even admitting to a few guilty pleasures they take with them on the road.
Marian: It’s been a really busy and successful 18 months for KREWELLA. How has the success of your first few singles affected you as a band and your sound, if at all?
KREWELLA: It's been a crazy ride but any success we've attained has done nothing but motivate us to be better in all ways; make the music better and make the live show even more insane.
Marian: Talk about what the feeling is like when you hear your single on the radio for the first time and then watch it climb the charts and be certified gold?
KREWELLA: Jahan and I heard 'Alive' for the first time driving home from the studio one night in Hollywood. We screamed like little girls and put the windows down. It was unreal! Watching the tracks climb the charts has been a total fantasy for us.
Marian: What is your writing process like? Is it collaborative on and how do songs take shape?
KREWELLA: It's completely collaborative, sometimes Kris will send us a beat and we'll write over it, or we'll send Kris a vocal part that we wrote acapella or over guitar/piano, and he'll make a beat around it. From there on out, it's a back and forth process between the three of us.
Marian: What are some of the influences behind the lyrics and the album ‘GET WET’?
KREWELLA: We found most of the inspiration from our krew, meeting everyone from different cities and countries and hearing their stories of pain, happiness, and everything in between.
Marian: Did the early success of your singles influence the direction you took or had you already been writing on it when they released?
KREWELLA: We'd been writing the album long before even 'Alive' had any success. We never want to be pinned down by any one type of genre.
Marian: Is there a theme or defining track or is more a collection of songs that define the band KREWELLA?
KREWELLA: It's definitely a collection of songs, but the defining idea on the album is that it is there for you when you need ANYTHING. There is a song for every emotion. It is a journey of the feelings we went through and our krew went through in the last almost 2 years.
Marian: What were some of the challenges you've faced and overcome while recording and writing or just to get to this point in your artistry?
KREWELLA: Trying to weed out the songs that weren't good enough for the album. It was terribly hard letting go of some songs that we'd had our hearts set on.
Marian: Let’s talk about your upcoming headlining tour. What do you have planned and what if anything can you tell me about this new structure and concept you’ve dubbed THE VOLCANO?
KREWELLA: It is a massive mirrored crystalline structure with LED panels running through the veins of it. Along with the LED walls in front and behind the structure, it's an insane piece of work that I can only ask that people come see firsthand to really experience the gravity of its awesomeness.
Marian: For you as a band or as individuals, what do you consider a defining moment?
KREWELLA: There are so many of them! Most recently though, releasing "Get Wet" and having it debut in the Top 5 overall albums on iTunes. One of the most gratifying moments of our careers, for sure.
Marian: Past the tour and album release what are still some of KREWELLA’s goals and ambitions you are hoping to accomplish in the coming months and year?
KREWELLA: We want to take our music to the next level. We're already working on the second album and ideas for the second tour. The future is extremely exciting for the three of us an our team!
Marian: Wrap it up with a guilty pleasure, and/or something you can’t do without while on the road?
KREWELLA: Guilty pleasure--anything with massive amounts of sugar in it, mainly French macaroons. Can't do without socks and my teddy bear on the road.