There were various ways this essay could have started, but as I sifted through the countless alternatives for the best path to pursue, I came across a comment from French musician Claude Debussy that seemed too important to leave out at the start. “Rules don’t make works of art; works of art don’t make rules.” There may be no greater way to express the unmistakable impact that Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf, nicknamed Krewella, have had on the music industry over the last decade.
From breaking through with their ‘Play Hard’ EP and first album, ‘Get Wet,’ to ultimately establishing themselves as artists with the release of their second album, ‘Zero,’ they have forged their way through the underground electronic dance scene of Soundcloud.
The two sisters from Chicago continue to defy the confines of normalcy and comfort. They make their own rules, just like art.
As Krewella prepares to release their third studio album, ‘The Body Never Lies,’ that sentiment rings truer than ever. A project that, according to both sisters, draws from each period of their careers to create ten beautifully made tracks. ‘The Body Never Lies’ is much more than a collection of songs. It’s a Picasso-esque work of art that beautifully depicts the ever-changing path of what it means to look within oneself.
The album title is a reflection of us as people “feeling, remembering, and being in our distinct vessels that encapsulate our soul and memories,” as it was inspired by an excerpt from Jahan’s notebook and featured as a lyric in two of the tracks. The album and its meaning not only inspires listeners to discover a side of themselves they may not have known existed, but it also reminds us of the power of the soul, body, and intellect.
“The clench of a fist, the pit in your stomach, the fluid in your veins; the body is a sensor, messenger, keeper of stories, a fortress of the soul, an instrument of knowing, a rocket ship to other worlds. Every cell, pore, and bone recalls the past, absorbs the present, and senses the future.” – Krewella, Press Release
The world fell into lockdown six weeks after the publication of ‘Zero,’ triggering not only the postponement of several festival appearances but also the cancellation of Krewella’s whole ‘Zero’ album tour.
During this period, both sisters said they used other interests like cooking, Twitch broadcasting, and even building a home studio to slow down and recollect themselves.
Jahan and Yasmine didn’t return to the sphere of music creation for another eight months, eager to dive back into the composition process. The broad bulk of ‘The Body Never Lies’ began to take shape at this point. While it may appear that the lockdown hampered Krewella’s creativity, it had the opposite effect.
“There was almost like a preparation section of the pandemic, and then once that passed, I think we were both just like thirsting to write so badly… and I think at a certain point we were both going so deeply inward because this time literally forced us to. We had no choice but to just think about our life experiences and everything that we have felt and seen and experienced over the last decade-plus of our career. Which included relationships, friendships, fallouts, anger, trust issues and joy and all this stuff to happen. I think [being forced to take a break] did us a solid in a weird way because we were able to explain ourselves and pick our feelings apart in a way we probably wouldn’t have been able to if we hadn’t had the time to fully just stop and think for so long.” – Yasmine Yousaf, Krewella, We Rave You
However, now, more than ever, the development of ‘The Body Never Lies’ and what it stands for exemplifies what makes Krewella unique, namely, Jahan and Yasmine’s unique sisterly bond. The sisters are each other’s perfect complementary force, as evidenced by the Yin-Yang tattoos on their necks. Jahan and Yasmine have relied on each other to navigate the choppy waters of the music industry, balancing the hard effort that comes with being a worldwide music artist while also devoting time to concentrating on their mental health.
“Our fears [when creating the album] complimented each other. I fear that we’ll fall back into the old hustle that we used to be in, where we kind of lost sight of why we even create in the first place. The joy is sucked out, and you’re just overrun by the nonstop touring, the studio, your schedule being completely booked up. Where you get a moment of fresh air, and you’re like, ‘why am I doing all this?’ That impacts your health and your relationships. I was in that mindset that I [didn’t] want to revert back to that, but I think where we are heading as human beings is like figuring out the balance of like how do you be boss women while also taking care of your health and be mindful of your bandwidth.” – Jahan Yousaf, Krewella, We Rave You
Krewella is at the top of the food chain when it comes to songwriting and overall production. The album has eleven tracks, including the three featured singles “Never Been Hurt” with BEAUZ, “No Control” with MADGRRL, and “I’m Just A Monster Underneath, My Darling.”
You could argue that one of the duo’s best qualities is their ability to make music in a variety of genres, and that is exactly what this project does so well. Krewella has unlocked the door that so many producers dream to walk through one day, and that is the mental freedom to create whatever seems right at the time, including expressions of drum & bass, hardstyle, deep-house, and many other types. They’ve demonstrated to the rest of the world that dance music is much more than a few synths and a kick with some sidechain, but rather a true manifestation of the creator’s mind.
“I’m Just A Monster Underneath My Darling” is the song that shows this off almost better than any other. As you listen to the song’s drop, you start to wonder how they came up with the top melody. It comes from anything that isn’t available for purchase or download on the internet. The “Frankensteining” of Jahan’s voice, as Krewella likes to put it, is what you hear. This technique is just one example of the album’s genius-level ingenuity, but there are a plethora of others.
Krewella has also showered fans with music that have been sitting on the shelf for years with ‘TBNL.’ “Drive Away,” a song that many people have been clamoring for, has finally been released. Fans have been dying to hear the full product since it was first revealed in a stream back in May of 2020. With the amount of passion it evokes in the listener, it’s easy to say the wait was well worth it. This song has the potential to soar to the very top of Krewella’s already Hall of Fame-worthy catalog.
The greatness of Krewella cannot be overlooked after listening to the album. The duo lets each song tell its own story while never losing sight of the project’s overall theme. The publication of ‘Zero’ feels like the Yousaf sisters rediscovering themselves in certain ways. Now, with ‘The Body Never Lies,’ they’re shattering barriers and declaring, “This is who we are,” as they attempt to go deeper into what it means to be strong female role models.
“For me [‘The Body Never Lies’] feels more entrenched in the intensity, the emotions, and the energy. So to me, it feels like an amplified version of ‘Zero’ with a little more walls removed from us on an emotional level too.” – Jahan Yousaf, Krewella, We Rave You
This record is yet another masterpiece from the LA-based artists that will be talked about for years. Its originality, lyricism, production, and flexibility are a breath of fresh air in the music industry. Above all, it is a work of art that is both empowering and thought-provoking. It demonstrates that Krewella is not just one of the top musical duos in the industry right now, but also one of the best of the entire generation. What’s more astounding is that Jahan and Yasmine have continued to find ways to push the boundaries and defy expectations while being loyal to who they are as individuals and their ideas.
Check out the full interview with Krewella exclusively on We Rave You’s Youtube! Stream ‘The Body Never Lies’ below and purchase ticket to the tour here.