Activist-DJ sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf have been gone too long. As Krewella, they’ve had a steady presence in the Vegas club scene in recent years, but haven’t hit the Strip since last summer.
“I feel like it’s time,” Jahan says of Krewella’s Vegas comeback, which starts with a Tuesday-night industry party at Hyde Bellagio this week. “It’s nice to come back to a place we felt was like our second home for a while, and now we’ll be able to see it with a completely new perspective from all our traveling and experiences with different cultures and scenes and people around the world.”
What do you like about playing in Vegas?
Jahan: I noticed as we were playing there often it seemed like we could go harder. People were more acclimated to the dubstep and heavy trap and hard trap, and Yas and I love throwing down like that, pushing the limits and exposing the crowd to different sounds here and there.
On your recent tour you did some community service with fans and followers before your shows in different cities. What was that like, and are you planning more of those?
Yasmine: It was a little crazy to go to a new city and get in early enough to do three or four hours of service, so sometimes logistically it was all over the place. But we had good turnouts at every one we did, and we’re trying to implement more of that in our tour routing. My favorite was in New Orleans, where we got to help rebuild houses still torn up from [Hurricane] Katrina.
You recently participated in a conversation about the gender gap in dance music for a Billboard piece. It sounds like there’s still a long way to go to achieve better balance and equality in the industry.
Yasmine: I think when we get in a room with other women in our scene we feel it more and really see how minimal the presence is [in dance music]. When it’s just us, we are so focused on making music and playing shows it’s sort of like tunnel vision, but when we get together with those in a similar position it feels like there’s a huge lack of women in the narrative in every place in this world and especially our niche in EDM. I think it is changing, but it’s slow growth. I’d love to be optimistic, but a lot needs to be done on both women’s and men’s sides. We have to keep making ourselves known and making space for ourselves, keep releasing music and speaking about womanhood and also help out any women on the come-up or those trying to get into this business.
Are you currently more focused on touring or making new music?
Jahan: We’ve made a conscious effort lately to re-examine how we’ve been living our lives and decided that this fall and winter, we’re going to slow down on touring and focus on our creative and personal lives, because that directly fuels artistry. We need to be on our own schedules so that we can wake up and spontaneously be like, “I’m going on a hike today,” because that feels like the right thing. And now the music feels like an extension of us more than ever. We are in music mode and want to keep writing and taking our time to get the [next] album right. That’s why we’re not teasing fans with a release date. We don’t want to put pressure on ourselves [and] half-ass anything.
KREWELLA October 23, 10:30 p.m., $20-$40. Hyde Bellagio, 702-693-8700.