Courtesy of Nikko Lamere
It’s not out of the ordinary for Ohio State to be buzzing in anticipation of performers such as Big Sean and 2 Chainz coming to campus. But in the case of the Welcome Week Concert, apparently some performers who have never stepped foot in Columbus – no less OSU – are as giddy as students about seeing the rappers for the first time.
In fact, Yasmine Yousaf of Krewella, an electronic dance group that is also performing at the Welcome Week Concert, is already crossing her fingers for 2 Chainz to play her favorite song “Undastatement.”
Krewella is scheduled to perform at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Welcome Week Concert, held on the South Oval, with special guest 2 Chainz and headliner Big Sean to take the stage later.
“I am so excited. I love rap. I’m a huge fan of 2 Chainz,” Yousaf said in giggles. “I’m really excited.”
Yousaf, vocalist, songwriter and DJ for the Chicago-based group, said the concert will be her first time at OSU.
Krewella is also composed of Yousaf’s sister Jahan, who doubles in the same roles as Yasmine Yousaf, and Kris Trindl, whose stage name is Rain Man and is head of production for the group as well as a DJ.
The band formed more than four years ago when Jahan Yousaf and Trindl met at a party in high school and decided to start making music together. Yasmine Yousaf was in an indie band at the time, but left the group to team up with her older sister and Trindl.
“Krewella prevailed,” she joked. “I joined by default because me and Jahan are so close. We’re always hanging out.”
Yasmine Yousaf said her sister came up with the name Krewella for the band from a line in one of her lyrics she was working on. She just thought it was a catchy band name.
“We really liked how it embodied a dark, sensual feel and we love the idea of KREW because we’re all close friends and it’s our crew,” she said, but added it’s often mistaken for honoring Cruella de Vil from “101 Dalmations.”
Reflecting on singing karaoke as kids and singing in the school choir with her sister, Yasmine Yousaf said she never imagined being able to professionally share a music career with her sister, but doing so has left her more than satisfied.
“Me and her are best friends and completely inseparable,” Yasmine Yousaf said. “Honestly, if we ever fight it’s over in a matter of five minutes. It’s such harmony with us.”
Krewella released its debut album “Play Hard” June 18. Yasmine Yousaf said the band has been touring nearly nonstop since the release.
“Fans we already had really loved the EP and it opened the door to so many more people. The reaction from it was amazing,” she said.
“Play Hard” debuted as No. 1 on Beatport’s Album Chart and No. 5 on iTunes Dance Chart.
“We’re really proud of it … We wanted it to be perfect. It had to be. It was our first project.” said Yasmine Yousaf.
Yasmine Yousaf said the group’s most memorable show this summer was at the Global Dance Festival in Denver, where it played a career-high three shows in one day.
“That day probably changed all of our lives. It was a beautiful day,” Yasmine Yousaf said. “It was incredibly tiring, but no matter what – I could be half dead and go on DJing – as long as the crowd energy is there, you have fans screaming “Krewella” at you, there’s no way you can be tired. You live off that adrenaline.”
Yasmine Yousaf said the band has high expectations for Thursday’s show as well. “I think it’s going to be even more ragey, if that makes sense,” she said.
Some students are also looking forward to the electronic dance music performance.
“The crowd goes crazy to the beats being put down,” said Vanessa Serrano, a first-year in industrial systems engineering and an avid EDM fan. Serrano identified Skrillex as her favorite performer and although she isn’t familiar with Krewella, she won’t miss out on its opening performance.
Also a fan of Big Sean, having seen him live, Serrano said, “I really like how he interacts with the crowd a lot. He’ll randomly just start talking to people in the crowd and likes taking pictures with people in the crowd.”
JV San Martin, a third-year in psychology, said he is most looking forward to seeing Big Sean’s performance.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I’ll be there.”
San Martin also said he listens to some EDM music, but has never seen it performed live.
“I like rap much more,” he said.
Yasmine Yousaf said she thinks the mix of rap and EDM will satisfy most students at the Welcome Week Concert.
“It’s going to be one of those concerts that’s a mixer of everything you want to hear, which I think is really dope,” she said. “We cannot wait to rage with college kids.”
The Welcome Week Concert, which is sponsored by the Ohio Union Activities Board, is free to students with a valid BuckID.