Homage to the ladies who inspired me to follow my dreams – Krewella

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Krewella at EZOO 2012 by Dylan O’Dowd/CC BY-ND 2.0

A lot of us have a celebrity, or a group of celebrities who run together, whom they totally idolize.

I never really felt that sort of passion and sense of loyalty to an entertainment public figure before until I really discovered Krewella… no like REALLY discovered Krewella.

It was one night in 2014, driving home from Exchange LA nightclub in downtown LA, when my friend began blasting their song Party Monster.

The song was really revving me up and craving that energy again, I blasted it through my headphones the next day at work.

From there, I fell down a rabbit hole of Krewella tunes, including but not limited to: Enjoy the Ride, Come & Get It, Live for the Night, Killin’ It, Can’t Control Myself, and Play Hard, as well as their various remixes.

Krewella had been on my radar as an EDM trio (now duo – hasta la vista Kris Trindl) when their hit Alive burst onto the radio in I believe it was 2012.

But I don’t think they had ever really gotten under my skin until fairly recently.

Krewella’s music resonates with me as it’s sort of hard and edgy, exploding with energy, and catchy – what I believe they have called their own twist on pop music.

To me, it’s what a strong woman sounds like.

I feel that their sound is sort of a musical expression of how I approach my life — in a “go hard or go home” type of manner.

I carry out what I intend to do with a fierce sense of conviction, while having a lot of fun at the same time.

I am definitely told that I can be intense, full of energy, very bubbly, and very opinionated.

Like many of us do when someone or something begins to intrigue us, I performed a Google search, learning about Krewella’s background — two sisters and their friend who grew up in Chicago.

They eventually made a pact to give up school and their day jobs to devote full time to Krewella, sporting matching tattoos to commemorate the date this life change officially took place.

The tipping point they have described intrigued me, as I felt I could relate, on the verge of embarking upon a rather risky career path without much financial reward for most people and a great decline in security within the industry.

Jahan has delved into Krewella’s road to success via her personal blog, Words of Mass Destruction.

Fuck showers. Fuck sleep. Fuck food. Fuck manicures, fashion, and friends. Let the stale sweat marinate in your pants day after day, and don’t you dare change them for you will lose sight of the creative zone you have been in for a week straight. Every day the bare skeleton of a song slowly morphs into what will hopefully be a fully fleshed beast. And when the weekend comes, it’s time to take a step back, fly away, and play a show on the opposite coast. I’d add to the list and say ‘fuck money,’ but every dollar earned at the show is poured right back into the development of our project, Krewella. Kris, my sister Yasmine, and I are passionate slaves to the entity we created ourselves almost seven years ago in our parents’ basements in Chicago. We have completely surrendered our lives to Krewella by dropping out of school, quitting our jobs, neglecting our family and friends, and replacing leisure time with moments to pursue our master plan of becoming artists that touch listeners on a global scale. This is what it means to live, eat, breathe, and dream music.

In my previous blog post, I discussed feeling in limbo in regards to the direction of my career, with something eventually pushing me “over the edge, to a firm belief that life isn’t worth living unless you pursue your dreams.”

It was my exposure to Krewella, during which I was thrust into their shoes and viscerally felt the thrill that accompanies achieving and living one’s dream, manifesting one’s calling.

At that point, there was no turning back.

That’s what Krewella represents to me: a commitment to what you feel you’re meant to do.

Perhaps you could say that there are plenty of hard-working artists and public figures who represent the same thing.

However, in the case of Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf, their personhood is also very real and raw to me.

Sometimes it’s very difficult to imagine a public figure as having had a normal life like yourself out of the spotlight, before they achieved notability. It’s like trying to imagine your parents as children… before your existence had ever been a part of their consciousness.

I feel as though I can relate to Jahan and Yasmine on many personal levels — through their humble hearts, down-to-earth nature, fun-loving spirits, passion and conviction for their craft, and intellect.

Around the time I was discovering Krewella, news of Kris Trindl’s exit from the group began to make headlines… during which I felt fiercely protective of the sisters while reading through the vile sexist and hateful messages lobbed at them online.

Jahan was right on point when she recognized the sexism, intolerance, and bullying — the bigger picture social issues — reflected in the Internet’s reaction to this development.

She wrote a compelling op-ed titled Deadmau5 Saved Me From Going Into Porn, for Billboard, calling out all the haters.

(These paragraphs are not in order)

Both genders suffer inequalities and neither is more important to me than the other, but what I am most knowledgeable about is my first-hand experience of how I am talked about as a woman in the media. I do think it’s worth mentioning that Kris was often overshadowed due to the presence of two females. Despite our efforts to give him more spotlight, Kris checked out. We couldn’t continue forcing his presence in Krewella, as his decision to disassociate himself from the group and self-admitted addiction became out of our control, and I believe this happened because he subconsciously internalized this lack of attention from fans. However, there seemed to be heightened support for Kris after the lawsuit was filed. The disturbing part is that the growth in praise and attention we always wanted for Kris came with the demonization of Yasmine and me. Kris’ lawsuit rallied up thousands of fans to show an immense amount of support for him by sharing their mistrust of women and blatant derogatory assumptions about women (i.e.: “the girls didn’t do anything except use their sex to sell the group”…”this is why you should never go into business with a woman”…”they are just puppets for the genius who did all the work”). We were told to burn in hell and suck Kris’ dick.

I am asking for everyone to think about the impact this unwelcoming online environment has on our youth wanting success, respect and acceptance. Isn’t that what we all want? I am asking for everyone to think about girls who are looking at this public reaction who might now be discouraged to pursue an authentic place in a male-dominated industry. I am asking you to think about boys who internalize messages that vulnerability, sensitivity and standing up for gender equality means they are a pussy. This is for boys and girls, parents and children, straights and gays, because social rejection affects ALL of us. And if you think I am bringing up societal problems of the past or blowing this out of proportion, then you are living in a fantasy world where sexism, discrimination and homophobia don’t exist. I ask that you step outside your little bubble — or do your research — and understand that a huge portion of our youth’s depression, self-destructiveness and cognitive behavioral disorders are a result of societal rejection and shaming that occurs on the internet.

This sickens me, because the way we participate in Internet dialogue mirrors our attitude as a society. And what I see in that reflection is an immense amount of hatred and intolerance for one another. It’s time to smash the fuckin’ mirror. I have been silent for too long. I am relapsing after avoiding social media to share what I have learned and to encourage people to challenge and question what they read/hear/see from now on, and that goes for situations beyond our case, whether it’s politics or celebrity gossip. The sad part is that it is 2014, and people are still passively reading headlines for face value, parroting the words of celebrities, and jumping on the bandwagon of popular opinion. I don’t see enough people challenging the intolerance that deadmau5 preaches to his 3 million followers, researching beyond the headlines they read, or protesting against the derogatory dialogue that circulates on social networks.

I have always been very invested in and interested in the fight for gender equality and recognizing and banishing sexist — and for that matter racist and intolerant —practices and thoughts.

The fact that Jahan and Yasmine are part Paki and women in a male dominant industry is definitely poignant to me.

I feel that Jahan responded to the controversy in the most constructive and selfless manner possible and I applaud her for it.

I feel that a lot of celebrities have talent but seem to lack substance. Their interviews don’t say much in terms of adding value to other people’s lives. They are simply there for your entertainment.

Stars like Jahan and Taylor Swift — my second favorite entertainment public figure — make an impact with their words, exhibiting deep power of intellect.

However, Taylor’s musical style is a bit too mellow and light-hearted sonically for me. While a strong woman and amazing role model, she’s a bit too much of a lady, ha.

I view myself as more of a tomboy… like Jahan and Yasmine. I think I need more of a bad girl who’s a little rough around the edges. 😉

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