Standing in the DJ booth of the newly opened Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, dance music duo Krewella—comprised of sisters Yasmine and Jahan Yousaf—surveys the scene. After a stint at Light in Mandalay Bay, Krewella joins the roster of Hakkasan Group’s new 75,000-square-foot club in the former Pure space, alongside Afrojack and Calvin Harris.
It’s their first night of a monthly residency, and the girls are taking in the design, geeking out over the sound and lighting systems, and getting ready to drop new songs, including their latest single, “Somewhere to Run.” But what has them most excited is Omnia’s chandelier, a 22,000-pound kinetic light fixture with eight concentric rings of LED lights. It seemingly has a mind of its own, changing colors and shapes throughout the night as the mood of the crowd evolves. “The first night at a new venue is always nerve-racking, but Omnia is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” Yasmine says. “And the chandelier—it’s the most insane lighting fixture in any club, ever.”
The Omnia contract is the latest big win for Yasmine, 23, and Jahan, 25, who formed Krewella in 2007. They hit stardom with the 2012 release of their EP, Play Hard, and the single “Alive.” The sisters, whose writing style, they say, “pulls from rock and pop”—now put out self-produced electro house and dubstep tracks while dabbling in hardstyle, techno and drum and bass.
Working together has been “an absolute blessing,” Jahan says. “We both have pretty bold personalities and are very similar, so we are bound to have minor moments where we disagree. But we always find ourselves saying, ‘I don’t know what I’d do without you.’” Jokes Yasmine, “Jahan will be married and I’ll still be living in her basement!”
“We were raised listening to everything: ’80s new wave, classic rock, Bollywood tunes, indie pop and metal,” Jahan says. “In our teens we discovered Daft Punk, Chromeo, The Faint and Justice, and were just in awe of the power of electronic music and its power to make people move.” Another major influence is Linkin Park. “They were a huge inspiration for us in our early teens and helped shape the music we write today,” Yasmine says. “As half-Pakistani girls raised in a post-modern world, it’s inherent that we fuse different worlds.”
The sisters are the first to admit they would be nowhere without the Internet and social media. “If we were trying to have the same career that we have today even 10 years ago, it’d be nearly impossible,” Yasmine says. “So much of how we’ve grown is through blogs, word of mouth and our fans sharing our music on social media. We never want people to think that we’re unreachable or untouchable, so we’re always on Twitter talking to our ‘Krew.’” Now the girls, with their trademark long, dark locks and edgy style, play shows all around the world, from their hometown of Chicago to Sweden, India and South America. But it’s music festivals and the Vegas residency that will be keeping them busy throughout spring and summer.
While in Vegas—often for just 12 hours—they enjoy dinner at “all-time favorite” Cleo, stay up all night ordering room service or “eating everything in sight” at Nobu and Searsucker. And while music is their life, the girls have recently been busy with another important project: raising a one-and-half-year old brindle Pitbull and Cattle mix shelter dog named Scarlett—Scar for short—at the apartment they share in Chicago.
“She makes me so happy,” Yasmine says. “She’s changed our lives for the better.” But don’t expect canine parenthood to have an effect on the spectacular shows Krewella plan for their fans. “Despite whatever state of exhaustion we might be in, the second we hit the stage and start DJing our favorite tunes, we wake the fuck up,” Jahan says. “Our shows in Vegas are a hub for people celebrating life, and we strive to make it their best night ever.”
Check out Krewella at Omnia April 21 and May 17; omnianightclub.com
Styling: Rafael Lineras
Beauty: Jefferson Tangradi
@getyohairdid & Alanna Pearl
@alannapearl for The Well thewell.la
Location: Special thanks to The Well Los Angeles
Assistants: Monyssa Regalado & Danica Cerekovic