Meet the chicest twins in the entertainment industry
Haya and Sama Khadra share their genes, an impeccable sense of style, and an unparalleled passion for music. The Dubai-born identical twins first caught the eyes of street style photographers after domination Fashion Weeks at the ripe age of fourteen. Since then, their style has become synonymous with the modern day woman: rebellious, tailored, and always finished off with a sense of femininity. And while Sama and Haya are still known for their lust-worthy outfits, the sisters are making their mark in another industry: music.
With a global sonic influence behind them -- the pair's sounds run the gamut from Dancehall to Grime to Pop -- Sama and Haya Khadra are proving to be two of the most unique and sought-after DJs around. But what makes them different to any other producer out there is their clear vision on how music, technology, and fashion all communicate and feed off one another; "We think the future is integrating art, fashion, music, and film all together. When people collaborate, that's when the most powerful stuff happens." It's a mindset that is putting them on the cutting edge of all facets of the music and fashion industries.
Their passion for the craft of DJing, as well as their knowledge of genres and soundscapes, is unparalleled. Their packed performances at coveted venues like Fashion Week, Sundance Film Festival, and Hollywood's legendary Roxy Theater is a testament to the amount of time and effort goes into developing their producing skills.
So if Sama and Haya Khadra aren't on your radar now, we're sure that will change very soon. We sat down exclusively with the talented twins to talk about how they got their start as DJs, the biggest thing they've learned since switching up careers, and where they see their music going in the next few years.
And if you want even more Sama and Haya news, head over to AOL.com at 12 p.m. ET to see more exclusive features, including how they've see Fashion Week evolve over the years.
When did you both first start DJing?
Sama Khadra: We kind of just fell into it. We never wanted to be DJs but we always loved music. After we moved to LA we were surrounded by a lot of music and were constantly in the studio with our musician friends. It made us even more passionate about music. Then we started low-key DJing our friends' parties, like we did a party last year at Coachella, and from there it really took off. Then we got signed to our current management team and we started doing a lot of stuff during Fashion Week and outside of it. We didn't anticipate how high the demand would be for it, but it's been so fun for us. We feel so lucky that we can do something that's considered work, but really it's something we love.
Haya Khadra: We were resistant to the DJ thing at first. Because we didn't like the idea of being someone whose title was "slash DJ," since we take it so seriously.
Sama Khadra: We have so many DJ friends that we respect and we wouldn't feel comfortable saying that we're DJs before we actually took it seriously and practiced and trained at it as a skill. So we're still constantly working on being better.
DJing is really research heavy. What's the biggest thing you've learned about music in your research process?
Sama Khadra: I like that you said that because a lot of people don't realize that being a DJ is so researched based. It's funny because people say they hate living in LA because they're in a car a lot but that's where we do all of our research. We'll look through blogs, Apple music, Spotify, any music outlet on our phones and listen to it on the car sound system. We love to take long drives and discover music. We do that everyday.
Haya Khadra: We love discovering new musics and artists. It's always exciting for us to be performing and have someone be exposed to music they've never heard of.
Sama Khadra: We love worldly music and incorporate a lot of music from different cultures. The way we think of it is that every culture has their musical icons, and they're icons for a reason.
Who is one new artist that you're really loving right now?
Sama Khadra: NAO. She's an artist from London who has this really cool sound is almost electro-alternative.
Haya Khadra: I recently found out that she knows how to produce her own music. Her process is so authentic.
Sama Khadra: I feel like we're attracted to music that's very authentic. You can always tell who really writes their own music. We also love Dancehall; that's our favorite genre. So we also are obsessed with Kranium and Popcaan.
Haya Khadra: We love UK Grime. I feel like it hasn't hit America that hard. Skepta is the most mainstream one in America. It's such a small niche of music that now it's getting some hype but still hasn't hit this side of the world yet. I feel like a lot of what we do is integrate niche sounds into what's mainstream.
You both also have a background in film and fine arts. How does that play a role in your music process?
Sama Khadra: We're so lucky to have had an art background and grown up in such culturally rich surroundings since we've grown up all over the world. Because of that, we have a base understanding of aesthetics and taste. So let's say we want to do a stage design for a show that we do, we have all the references that we need. There's always more to learn -- and we love to explore and go to museums -- but I think the background in film and fine arts always helps in most visual aspects of music. A lot of musicians think that their music alone can reach an audience, but most times need that visual component to get the message out there. Visuals and music go hand in hand.
Haya Khadra: Visuals also enhance the experience of music. A lot of times people will say that they didn't like the song until they saw it performed live or saw the music video. It just proves how important that visual component is to the process as well.
You guys have done a lot in the past few years, from designing a jewelry collaboration to playing shows. Where do you see your career in the next five years?
Sama Khadra: People ask us that question all the time and we don't know where we see ourselves in the next two hours.
Haya Khadra: It's all about being spontaneous and natural.
Sama Khadra: It's important to set goals, but for us, we try to do things that we feel passionate about in the moment. People change everyday, so what I like right now I could hate tomorrow. But we definitely want to continue to integrate music, fashion, film, and art. Because music is more than music and fashion can be more than just fashion. Everything can be integrated into each other and that integration can connect so many people. Our goal is to connect those things in a way that can bring a powerful message that will elevate people's consciousness. What I love about music is that you forget about everything and everyone is one. I love those moments of oneness and that's what I want to carry out in all of my work.
YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And come back at 12 pm EST for more exclusives on Sama and Haya Khadra, including how they've seen Fashion Week evolve over the years.
By BANU IBRAHIM
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