Krewella Gets Real in Tampa
delivers original performance
after faced with tech drama
Walking into The Ritz’s green room feels like home. My entrance was even sweeter on Friday, March 3rd because I was greeted by Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf’s beautiful smiling faces. Krewella was scheduled to perform that evening for a super packed club. It had been a minute since I’d seen them at Omnia last year. We laughed that we could barely remember hanging after the show but our pictures were proof we had a good time. After our quick catch up, I got my camera ready for the girls meet-and-greet.
The handful of girls shuffled in were adorably star struck by the presence of Krewella. There were tears, hugs, smiles, and laughter. The young fans even gifted the sisters with hand-drawn art. Watching the genuine interaction was touching. As the meet-and-greet came to an end, the sisters said their goodbyes and tucked away their drawings for safe keeping.
Nearing 1:15am. Show time. I snap a photo of the sisters with the decked-out stage dancers. One of the dancers was crying too. It was her birthday and she was so happy to be meeting Krewella, her favorite DJs.
I snagged a few seconds of their time just before they headed up the stage stairs. The girls shot a Women of EDM promo video and I quickly interviewed on camera for ClubTV.
I asked what words of wisdom they had for young women aspiring to be industry leaders, just like them. They said it’s important for women to act as a team and to build each other up. Women need to have each other’s back instead of competing with one another. They also said a key factor is to surround yourself with good people and a positive team.
With that final shot, Krewella headed for the stage to play for the crowd. The club videographer and I waited with our cameras to catch the girls when their music started. Five minutes went by. Another ten minutes went by. Then fifteen more minutes. At 1:40 I was already antsy. I was trying to peek through the stage equipment to see what was going on though couldn’t see what the holdup was.
Yazzy was already behind the booth with the club’s in-house techs and Jahan was in front of me, patiently waiting at the top of the stairs. I didn’t know what was going on but I could feel the air thick with anticipation as the clock hit 1:45am.
Suddenly, I heard a familiar Krewella tune start to play and Jahan got pumped up on her way to the booth. The crowd seriously screamed when they saw both sister amped up on stage.
They played all their famous hits with hard house transitions and some amazing throwbacks to my high school years. DJ Sammy’s “Heaven,” and “Blue,” by Eiffle 65 mixed into Krewella’s set was like listening to classic EDM memorabilia.
The show seemed more live than pre-planned. I got the feeling Krewella’s material was not 100% accessible because at the end of every track Jahan ran back behind the booth to look at what Yazzy was about to play. The technical issue subsequently resulted in an adventurous Krewella show. It felt and sounded like a true live set that was selected, track by track, just for the people in front of them.
I eventually caught up with opener, DJ Christian Alexander, to inquire about what exactly happened. He said it was an issue with the compatibility of the tractor program and the venue mixer. After over thirty minutes of troubleshooting, Yazzy and the in-house techs were able to access Krewella’s material.
Alexander said during that time, he just wanted to make sure the music kept playing so there wasn’t any silence. “I was surprised the crowd never stopped jumping to the music while waiting for Krewella to start.”
He was impressed and proud of the way Yazzy handled the situation with the audio techs. Observing the girls transition from problem solvers back into artist mode was something he learned from.
“Normally, when you plan an hour and a half set, you want to bring the energy up in the middle and the end. Krewella was limited to an hour. They had to select their tracks more strategically, ensuring the energy was constant throughout the shows entirety,” stated Alexander. He also noted that, “The mixing and song selection sounded authentic and refreshing.”
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