SISTER DUO JAHAN & YASMINE OF KREWELLA ON IDENTITY, STARDOM & BEING TRUE TO ONESELF

SISTER DUO JAHAN & YASMINE OF KREWELLA ON IDENTITY, STARDOM & BEING TRUE TO ONESELF

‘We are incredibly proud of our heritage and feel very passionate about supporting Pakistani social causes and shedding light on the positive aspects of the culture’

An an exclusive interview with HELLO! We speak to sister duo Jahan and Yasmine, who are popularly known as Krewella. They talk to us about their proud Pakistani roots, successful music career and more. Read on…

Jahan and Yasmine- I cannot begin to explain my excitement to have you both here! Could you please tell us a little about how your journey began as music artists and how did Krewella come about?

We are honoured to be here and to be sharing our journey on your platform. We are both sisters. So being creative together has been happening for decades. The household we grew up in was a cultural fusion, with some aspects of art, traditions, food, and music coming from our Pakistani father’s side, and others from our mother’s American-European background. We were exposed to a plethora of music genres at a young age, which truly shaped our diverse taste in sounds and styles. About 10 years ago, with our former third member, we started making electronic pop music as an outlet for self-expression. For quite a few years we were developing our sound, changing our sound, experimenting, training, and performing at practically empty venues. Eventually we started taking ourselves more seriously when in the summer of 2010, we decided to part ways with our side jobs and schooling in order to pursue music whole-heartedly. Our initial music debuts were on various online underground music blogs, and we cultivated a small but die-hard, supportive fan base that still remains at the core of our fan community today.

When starting out in 2010 did you ever think you would make it this big?

Often we think about the state of mind we were in before things clicked for us. We were so in the moment and focused on creating, developing ourselves, and moving forward, that I don’t think we had much mental capacity to fantasize or even fixate on the outcome of this bold path we were taking. To this day, even living in Los Angeles (coming from Chicago) still feels like a dream.

Sisters and band members- how do you guys balance the two? And how do you set aside any arguments or differences and work professionally?

We have gotten so much better at communicating and letting things go. Krewella has been the greatest lesson for us in maintaining the respect and love for each other amidst industry pressure, creative disagreements, and running a business together. Learning to respect each other’s need for space, help, or validation has come from some challenging conversations - but we have only grown from those. And most recently it’s been about changing our perception of those difficult moments - so instead of seeing them as a burden or reason to abandon each other, we accept the uncomfortable moments, as they often hold the key to deeper understanding of one another.

‘Krewella has been the greatest lesson for us in maintaining the respect and love for each other amidst industry pressure, creative disagreements, and running a business together’

You guys are currently back with your shows after a long hiatus due to the covid-19 pandemic. How does it feel to back? What differences have been implemented now to ensure everyone’s safety?

The energy at these shows has been on another level. That goes for us too. We learned a lot about our boundaries and how to manage our energy during this pandemic, so I definitely feel stronger and healthier for the intense raging, travelling, and not sleeping. In this moment we speak, we are currently still masking up at indoor shows and trying to keep our close interactions to a minimum. We’re blessed to be vaccinated and have been noticed that venues across the U.S. are starting to require proof of vaccine, or negative covid test, which is a little comforting, considering the current delta wave.

You both are proud of your Pakistani roots and never shy away to show it off on social media. Any plans on visiting the country and holding a concert for your fans here?

We are incredibly proud of our heritage and feel very passionate about supporting Pakistani social causes and shedding light on the positive aspects of the culture. In Pakistan, there are some really cool underground music scenes, grassroots movements to empower women and girls, and dialogue around accepting the LGTBQ community that get overshadowed in the media. It is also incredibly sweet to hear stories about fellow Pakistanis and other desi fans in the U.S. sharing about how they have embraced their culture more because of us. We are yearning to visit Pakistan again. It is in our blood.

‘It is also incredibly sweet to hear stories about fellow Pakistanis and other desi fans in the U.S. sharing about how they have embraced their culture more because of us’

You made your Coke Studio debut in season 11 with song Runaway. Tell us a little about this- how did it happen and what was the experience like?

We had the time of our lives for those few days in Karachi filming Coke Studio’s version of our song Runaway. With our original elements of the song, the producers Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza at Coke reimagined the music and created their own spin on it, featuring rock elements with their band, and Pakistani vocalists Riaz Qadri and Ghulam Ali Qadri. We had a day of rehearsal to get accustomed to their version and groove with the band. The entire team was insanely talented and professional. These are world-class musicians and we’d be honored to create and perform again with them.

Two things you love about Pakistan and two things you hope to change?

We love the warmth/hospitality, and the food is to die for. As far as change, we hope to see more access to education and health services for the overlooked members of society. Our last hope for change would be efforts to preserve regions with nature that are at risk of exploitative tourism, pollution, and industrial development.

Any exciting collaborations or projects we need to look out for in the future?

It’s not time for an announcement just yet, but we are getting very close to wrapping up some new ones.

‘It is also incredibly sweet to hear stories about fellow Pakistanis and other desi fans in the U.S. sharing about how they have embraced their culture more because of us’

Your favourite project till date and why? Tell us a little about it.

Our last album zer0 came from the bottom of our hearts. It’s probably the deepest we’ve gone lyrically, and the production was the perfect fusion of electronic dance with some desi elements. Like many artists who had a release in 2020, we didn’t get to tour off the album. But we’re getting another chance with this next project.

Any message you’d want to give to your audience and followers here in Pakistan?

We feel so deeply connected to you from thousands of miles away. Thank you for the love and support for your Pakistani girls in Los Angeles. Our dream is to visit Pakistan, and continue visiting for the rest of our lives. Bahut shukria

INTERVIEW: SAFA ADNAN

PHOTOS: COURTESY KREWELLA