Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf have had quite the turbulent year, and yet it seems Krewella’s final destination was always going to be on top.
After getting into a legal dispute with former member Kris “Rain Man” Trindl, the Yousaf sisters found themselves dealing with a disturbing amount of Internet abuse—the kind of misogyny-fueled vitriol that’s common in online comment sections but has been relatively rare in the EDM community. Rather than keep quiet, Jahan penned an op-ed for Billboard titled, “Deadmau5 saved me from going into porn” in December, responding to trolls in one fell swoop.
“The first step is to embrace it,” Jahan wrote in an email interview with the Weekly. “What I mean by ‘embrace’ is to realize that it exists and to understand why. … In the past we’ve tried to ignore the negativity towards us, but I think that pretending it’s not there is like numbing reality in a sense, which can be dangerous.”
Despite what they’ve endured, Krewella’s success speaks for itself, she wrote. “We have thousands of passionate fans at every show screaming every word to our songs. After a grand experience like that, comments in our Twitter feed … seem petty.”
The sisters have continued to use their fame as a mouthpiece against cyberbullying, encouraging other women to pursue their dreams. “[People] think their negative attitude will make them seem cool—or they are simply insecure, and degrading someone online makes them feel powerful,” Jahan continued. “In order to speak out against online bullying and promote important values to us like community and tolerance, we have [to] admit that it … is a detrimental problem in our current Internet culture.” The hope, they say, is that female DJs start to experience more positive reinforcement, which can only result in more women rocking the dance-music charts.
When it comes to the music, Krewella’s electronic empire is just getting started. The duo worked with Don Gilmore (Korn, Duran Duran, Linkin Park) and Danish/Norwegian dubstep duo Pegboard Nerds on latest single “Somewhere to Run,” and the result is an intoxicating LA-fueled banger. Krewella has also earned one of the most coveted gigs in the industry: a residency at new Caesars Palace megaclub Omnia, where the duo debuted the “aggressive-but-fun, windows-down summer jam” in March.
Vegas’ 24-hour lifestyle and Omnia’s larger-than-life branding complement the sweaty, in-your-face Krewella experience, the sisters say. Don’t expect a typical club set. Take their advice and wear something comfy—if you’re not afraid to get a little rowdy.
Between churning out massive electro-rock hits and performing in Las Vegas, Krewella is busy touring and working on a new record, which the sisters call “a very wet fetus inside us.” No due date is in sight, but when the album is ready, it will be a reflection of their rise: emotional, aggressive and, most importantly, “full of passion and truth.”
Krewella at Omnia June 13, 10 p.m., $20+ women, $30+ men.