14 Facts You Didn’t Know About Half Pakistani-American EDM Band Krewella

krewella

by Jennifer Kadenkavil

This post was originally published on our partner website: India.com.

From their drink of choice to their musical influences, there is a lot to know about the dynamic EDM band Krewella.

1. They hail from the Windy City.

The EDM group’s three original members— producer, Kris “Rain Man” Trindl and sister singer-songwriters, Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf, grew up in the North suburbs of Chicago. They lived in a Meatpacking district loft when they first created the group.

Jahan and Kris belonged to the same circle of friends in high school and were both passionate about music, they eventually brought in Yasmine from her indie band to form Krewella in 2007.

2. Jahan and Yasmine are Pakistani girls that know how to party.

Their father is Pakistani while their mother is Lithuanian/German/Polish.

“People are always kind of shocked when we tell them we’re from there. I’m not trying to be political or anything, but you can kind of tell what I’m insinuating at. But it’s cool, I think it brings something new that people might not have expected. And I love representing where we’re from. We’re always representing, first and foremost our city of Chicago, but after that we’re definitely prideful of where our parents came from,” Yasmine said to Time Out Chicago.

3. They like to “Get Wet.”

Unlike some EDM acts, Krewella is known for raging with their fans at concerts. The sweatier and grimier the concert, the better the experience, they said. Ideally, Krewella would like to come out of a concert drenched (which typically happens).

“Get Wet,” the title of their first LP, is a life philosophy for this talented group.

“Well, we literally take that and put it toward everything possible in life. It could obviously mean something sexual. But it’s also, when we’re at our shows, we walk out of there sweaty as f**k. Like, there’s no other way to describe what we are other than wet. We’re drenched. And it kind of represents raging and just going f**king crazy and living passionately. Getting wet, jumping in. It’s all about that,” Yasmine said.

krewella get wet

4. Going hard equals whiskey.

Their drink of choice is whiskey, according to Yasmine, “Once you throw whiskey in the mix, it’s just over.”

5. They can sing live.

Krewella will drop versions of their songs with no vocals, so they can rage while singing live. At the Ultra Music Festival in 2013, Krewella played for an hour and sang 13 songs live, a seriously impressive feat.

krewella

6. Krewella shows love to the Krew all day every day.

If you follow their Tumblr, YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you know this group constantly shows love to its Krew around the world. Whether it is asking fans for album title suggestions on Twitter, posting Krewlife videos to YouTube or late night rants on Tumblr, Yasmine and Jahan never forget that their fans are the ones who propelled them to overnight success.

7. They believe in giving back.

In partnership with EDM apparel brand, Electric Family, Krewella created a collaboration bracelet to benefit Dance for Paralysis, raising over $10 million dollars.

8. Yasmine and Jahan could be walking billboards for L.A. Ink.

Between the both of them, they have 18 tattoos (and counting). The most notable one? The date “6.8.10,” which both performers have tattooed on their neck symbolizing the day they gave up schooling and jobs to focus on their music full time.

krewella

9. Their song “Alive” was Krewella’s first top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

“Alive” peaked at 32 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song is the second single from their EP “Play Hard.”

10. Krewella’s music is shaped by more than just house and dubstep.

The are influenced by the music they heard growing up, including Chromeo, the Faint, System of a Down, The Beatles and ABBA. They also take some cues from the Chicago metal scene.

“It comes from the heaviness in metal, the breakdowns,” Trindl said to USA Today. “It’s not even about the emotion, it’s more about the rage — but not rage like anger, rage like party. Like swaying, going half time, jumping around. The metal background helps make Krewella what it is.”

11. In true Desi fashion, many marriage proposals have come their way.

“There are marriage proposals every day pretty much. Most definitely to my sister, she’s a dime. But I think the funniest thing was — it was such a little thing but I will never forget it — we played Red Rocks this summer with our dude Savoy. We did a radio interview in Denver before we played, and this caller called in and he was like, ‘Yasmine, I have a question for you.’ I was like, okay you sound really serious right now, what’s up? And he’s like, ‘I need your blessing to marry your sister tonight.’ I’m like, ‘You know what? Yes. You have my blessing. I will be the pastor and I will f**king marry you guys.’

So literally at the show, I totally forgot about it, but later this kid comes up to the barrier between the stage area and the audience and he’s holding up this ring pop. It was so funny, we made it happen. She made this kid’s night. It was really cute. Obviously, they’re not married, but it was cute,” Yasmine said.

12. They used to have it all in one group.

Unlike most EDM acts, they kept everything in-house with singer-songwriters and a producer within the group. But this September, Kris filed a lawsuit against Jahan and Yasmine for forcing him out of the group.

You can read the whole story about Kris’ sobriety issues leading to the suit and the Yousaf sisters’ response. Basically, it’s not looking pretty, especially since there’s $5 million on the line.

krewella

13. Jahan and Yasmine know how to lay low.

When they are not on tour, they live in L.A. with their cousins from Pakistan. They trade a night of getting wet for a night in, cooking a Pakistani meal and watching Bollywood movies.

14. They let the haters hate.

When they signed with Columbia records, fans went wild on social media accusing the group of selling out. Krewella quickly shut down the haters and let their true fans know that their style and sound is here to stay.

Jahan writes on the groups’ Tumblr:

“When Columbia Records discovered us in winter 2012, we already had a fully executed yet unreleased Play Hard EP, and a budding online presence. We didn’t need to follow a star-making model because we created ourselves. We had music, artistic vision, image- an entire brand that we had been marinating. What was going to take our project to the next level was a magnifying glass over our work to share with millions more, and capital to reinvest into the art.”

You tell them, Jahan.

15. You can catch them on tour in November.

Their next performance in the U.S. will be on November 1 in Salt Lake City, UT. Hope you are ready to get wet.


 

Jennifer KadenkavilJennifer Kadenkavil is a native New Yorker, Boston University graduate and avid paperback hoarder. She currently works in mobile marketing and writes lifestyle and beauty articles for publications like India.com.

By Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a … Read more ›

Anita Verma-Lallian Talks Camelback Productions and the Need for Greater South Asian Representation

Camelback Productions

Award-winning commercial real estate and land consultant in Arizona, Anita Verma-Lallian, is venturing into the world of entertainment with her newfound production house, Camelback Productions, making her the first South Asian female in the state to do so. Verma-Lallian is a woman used to paving her own way, and now she’s committed to doing it for future generations.

[Read Related: Anita Verma-Lallian Launches Arizona’s First South Asian-owned Film Production and Entertainment Company ]

Through her production company, she aims to contribute towards greater South Asian representation in mainstream media with a focus on storytelling that’s relevant to the community. In a conversation with Brown Girl Magazine, the real estate maven spoke about what inspired her to shift from investing in land to investing in creative dreams.

Tell us more about Camelback Productions and what your hopes are for the company?

The intention is to help communities that are not being represented in the media. As you know, there are a lot more streamers looking for content so that presents an interesting opportunity for people to tell stories that are otherwise not being told.

For us it’s important to tell these stories that aren’t being told, and tell them in the way that we want them to be told. With South Asians, for instance, the roles typically given are stereotypical. There are only four or five roles we are playing repeatedly. I want to show the South Asian community and culture in a different way. 

You come from a business and investor background. I am curious to know what catapulted your interest towards establishing a production company?

Good question. There were a few things that inspired my interest. I was looking to diversify the different opportunities we offered our investors. We’ve done a lot of real estate, so we were overall looking for different investment opportunities.  And then, at the time when I started exploring this, the real estate market was in this wait-and-see for many people. 

Everyone was sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what happens next. There was a slowdown at the end of 2022 which is when I started looking into this more. Film seemed like it was kind of recession-proof and not really tied to what’s happening in the economy, which I thought was refreshing and exciting.

Also, overall, I observed what was happening in the industry with there being a push to see more South Asians in the media. The timing felt right, and I think we’re moving in the right direction.

What kind of content are you looking to create?

Good stories and good quality scripts. We are looking at all types of content — movies, docu-series, comedy shows, and reality shows. We’re open to anything that has a good message. 

On a personal level, what hits home for you with this production company?

Growing up I always loved film and TV. We watched a lot of Bollywood movies because that’s what we related to and I always loved that. But I did feel there wasn’t a lot of representation of people that looked like me. Being able to change that — especially after having kids, and a daughter who wants to go into film — is important for. It’s a contribution for future generations. It’s important to me that as they grow up, they see people that look just like them.  

Is there a significance to the name Camelback?

Yes! Camelback Mountain is a very iconic mountain in Phoenix. It’s one of the most famous hikes we have here and a relatively challenging one.

The significance is being able to overcome challenges and barriers. I have a nice view of Camelback Mountain and it’s something I look at every day, when I’m stressed and overwhelmed. It has a very calming and grounding presence.

To me the mountains signify being grounded and not being able to be moved by external factors. That’s what I want this production company to be!

What would you advise people interested in entering the entertainment industry?

The best advice I would give someone is to align yourself with people that you know are experts in the industry; that have a good track record. Learn from as many people as you can. I learn as much as I can, talk to as many people as I can, and I study different things to understand what was and wasn’t successful.

Photo Credit: Claudia Johnstone

By Rasha Goel

Rasha Goel is a 2X Emmy-nominated television host/producer and international correspondent. Her talent has led to opportunities such as giving … Read more ›

‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’: A Perfect K Jo Showcase Celebrating the Filmmaker’s 25 Years in Cinema

Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani

It’s always a flamboyant affair of colour, emotions and grandeur when Karan Johar directs a film, and his latest blockbuster “Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani” is as K Jo as it gets. After recently being recognised at the British House of Parliament for 25 years as a filmmaker, Johar is back to doing what he does best — bringing together families and star-crossed lovers, but this time with a modern touch. He makes a decent attempt at showcasing progressive ideals and feminist issues while taking us on this family-friendly ride.

“Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” is a larger-than-life film revolving around the love story of a boisterous Rocky (Ranveer Singh) from a wealthy Delhi family, and Rani (Alia Bhatt), a sharp journalist from a progressive Bengali household. And of course, despite belonging to completely different backgrounds and lives, our protagonists, in true Bollywood fashion, fall hopelessly in love through a string of slow-motion gazes, warm embraces and some truly breath-taking song sequences in Kashmir’s snowy mountains. They are then forced to face their opposing families which brings along the family drama in the second half of the film.

The plot is not the film’s strongest point — there’s no real surprise about what’s going to happen next, and yet the film doesn’t fail to keep audiences engaged and pack an emotional punch. This is down to its strong acting, witty dialogues and K Jo’s classic, beautiful cinematography.

K Jo

Ranveer Singh sinks into the skin of his character with ease – not only does he make the hall burst into laughter with the help of perfectly-timed gags but he pulls off those dreamy gazes ,expected in K Jo’s heroes, to evoke that typical, fuzzy-feeling kind of Bollywood romance. Alia Bhatt’s intelligent and undefeated character is no less a pleasure to watch on screen — not only does she look breath-taking in every shot but her feminist dialogues earn claps and cheers from the audience as she brings a progressive touch to this family drama.

[Read Related: ‘The Romantics’: Revisiting the Legacy and Grandeur of Yash Chopra With Filmmaker Smriti Mundhra]

Albeit, while Bhatt’s dialogues do their best to steer this film to the reformist drama it hopes to be, some of Singh’s gags and monologues on cancel culture bring out bumps in the road. The film could have done better to reinforce its points on feminism and racism without using the groups it tries to support as the butt of jokes.

There is also a case to be made about how long these Punjabi and Bengali stereotypes can go on with often gawkish displays of Ranveer’s ‘dilwala-from-Delhi’ character among the overly-polished English from Rani’s Bengali family. But it is with the expertise of the supporting cast, that the film is able to get away with it. Jaya Bachchan in particular is as classy as ever on screen; the stern Dadi Ji holds her ground between the two lovers, while Dada Ji Dharmendra,  and Thakuma Shabana Azmi, tug at our heartstrings showing that love truly is for all ages.

K Jo Rocky aur Rani

Saving the best to last, it is the film’s cinematography that makes the strongest case for audiences to flock to the cinema. The soul-stirring songs steal the show with their extravagant sets and powerful dance performances that treat the audiences to the much-awaited cinematic experience of a K Jo film. While audiences may already be familiar with the viral songs, “What Jhumka?” and “Tum Kya Mile“, it was the family-defying fight for love in “Dhindhora Baje Re” that really gave me goosebumps.

Overall, the film does exactly what it says on the tin and is a family entertainer with something for everyone. It will make you laugh, cry, and cringe at times, but nothing leaves you feeling as romantic as some old school Bollywood with a mix of new school humour, in true K Jo form.

Stills Courtesy of Media Global House

 

 

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By Anushka Suharu

Anushka Suharu is a British Indian journalist, with a Masters in Interactive Journalism (City, University of London) and a BA … Read more ›

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History — A Review of Sundance’s ‘Polite Society’

Polite Society

For any of us who have siblings, the relationship with them can be one of the most fulfilling ones. And also one of the most bloody frustrating. No one can quite stroke the fire like someone who knows you extremely well, or sometimes not, but have a familial bond with that neither one of you chose. In “Polite Society,“directed by Nida Manzoor, sisters Ria Khan and Lena Khan’s loving, sweet, and sometimes tumultuous relationship takes center stage. 

[Read Related: Poorna Jagannathan and Richa Moorjani of Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever’ on Womanhood, Racism, and Issues Generations of Desi Women Still Struggle With]

Played delightfully by Priya Kansara and Ritu Arya, respectively, the evolution of their relationship is one of the film’s greatest and simultaneously weakest points. It’s also pretty cool to see two South Asian actresses in an action-comedy movie — how refreshing it is to mention the art of choreography and praise it in regards to fight sequences vs. dance sequences for a film centered on two South Asian women — that itself shows progress. 

Set in London, Ria is an aspiring stunt woman who already shows massive talent in martial arts. She looks up to her older sister Lena, who is enrolled in art school and, also holds remarkable potential in a somewhat less traditionally acceptable field. Their relationship starts off as supportive and sweet with no inclinations of jealousy or resentment that sometimes plagues sisterly bonds. But this also means that they are quite protective of one another, almost to the detriment of their well wishes for each other. 

This all happens when Lena gets engaged after dropping out of art school. Ria feels betrayed. They were supposed to be on this journey together in fighting for their dreams. Ria decides that she knows what’s best for her sister and enlists the help of her friends to rescue the damsel in distress from her own wedding. Her deep animosity towards the prospect of Lena getting married is also fueled by Lena’s fiancé and his mother acting extremely suspiciously. The twist that ultimately brings the two sisters back together is both shocking and weirdly somewhat progressive in the motive behind the villain’s origin story. But the twist, unfortunately, is too ambitious for the movie as it tacks on another genre and theme earnestly, but still clunkily. 

“Polite Society” tackles not only what it means to fight for one’s dreams but also what it means to have just one ardent supporter. As Lady Gaga famously said, “There can be 100 people in a room and 99 of them don’t believe in you but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life.” Well, Ria’s Bradley Cooper was her very own sister who seemed to abandon her, and her faith in her, when she chose a different path. For Lena, the film opened up the question of marriage and the weight it bears in the life of a South Asian woman. Ria’s lack of understanding of the pressure it places on Lena is the start of the change in their relationship — the start of Ria’s coming of age and the start of Lena settling firmly into her adulthood. 

Polite Society
Director Nida Manzoor, cinematographer Ashley Connor and actor Priya Kansara on the set of their film “Polite Society.”

Standouts from the cast include Ria’s best friends, played by Seraphina Beh and Ella Bruccoleri, who commit to the story and characters with such hilarity and conviction. They add the lightheartedness and playfulness the film needs, and it is refreshing that never once do they use Ria’s cultural background as a way to make fun of her or dismiss her.

[Read Related: Ms. Marvel’s Iman Vellani and Mohan Kapur Talk Cultural Pride, Hollywood and Brown Representation]

It is also heartening to see Lena and Ria’s parents being some of the most supportive South Asian parents seen on screen. At the end of the day, it is not the external family pressure that impacts the decisions made by the sisters but rather their own satisfaction, or lack thereof, with their own lives that become the driving force of their actions. 

“Polite Society” is written and directed by a South Asian woman for South Asian women, and is definitely worth a watch when it releases in theaters this April. 

Photo Credits: Focus Features LLC

By Nimarta Narang

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Nimarta grew up devouring Hindi movies, coming-of-age novels and one too many psychology textbooks. … Read more ›