Monday, March 10, 2014

Erica Rivera Interviews Icona Pop

Q&A: Icona Pop

Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt are Icona Pop, the electro pop duo from Stockholm whose single “I Love It” has become anthemic. Their euphoric and infectious music lends itself to partying, which is, coincidentally, how these BFFs met in 2009. After moving to London, Jawo and Hjelt dropped their self-titled full-length debut in 2012, followed by their second studio album “This is Icona Pop” in 2013. Icona Pop tunes soon appeared on TV shows like “Girls” and “Glee,” and the duo made the rounds on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and “Good Morning America.” The sexy Swedes are currently opening for Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz tour and will partner up with Katy Perry later in the spring.

Q: Your bio says you met on a Saturday and booked your first show the following Monday. How did Icona Pop happen so fast?

Aino: It is quite weird. I was dumped and our mutual friend forced me to go to a party at Caroline’s place. We kind of fell in love with each other. The energies between us were amazing. We were talking about music—and it happens a lot when you’re out that you talk with people and want to make music with them and then it never actually happens—but we knew immediately that we would go through with it.

Q: You told Interview that Icona Pop is synonymous with “fuck it mode.” What does that mean to you?

Caroline: “Fuck it mode” is a state of mind that we end up in when we’re together. We just do our thing and we do it one-thousand percent and we don’t care what other people think. We don’t even think about the consequences of what we do, so we have to deal with them the next day. So that’s the “fuck it mode.” You’re very present and you’re very now.

Aino: That’s when Icona Pop is the best.

Q: Partying is a theme in your music. What makes for a great party?

Caroline: A great party is me and Aino in a room with music. We call that an awesome party.

Aino: [Laughs.]

Caroline: For us, it’s about bringing all of our friends. That’s more important than where we are. And music that makes you move your hips and you can’t stop. And some beers. Yeah, that’s all we need for a party.

Q: What has been a highlight of your tour with Miley Cyrus?

Aino: The whole tour has been crazy. The first show is always epic because it’s such an experience. In Vegas, it was a very special night. We had a lot of friends come over and we had this massive after-party. It was magic.

Q: How do you recover from partying in time to go onstage again? Do you have any tricks?

Caroline: It’s kind of a rule that you shouldn’t try to be king during the night if you can’t be king during the day. If you’ve been having a really good night out, and you’re hungover as hell, it doesn’t matter. You get energy from a good night out. But if you’re staying home and you know all of your friends have a lot of fun, you wake up the next day feeling not so satisfied. Sometimes it’s better to go out there, get energy from having fun, and, yeah, you might be a little tired but you can still laugh about the things you did.

Aino: It’s not about drinking beer. We’ve been out several times without drinking. It’s just a thing where you’re meeting people and listening to music and having a great night.

Q: Your biggest hit thus far was “I Love It.” What do you love, other than music?

Aino: That is a hard question. We love gorgeous men. They always give me a lot of energy. We love nature and animals.

Caroline: Yeah. We love food. We love eating.

Q: What kinds of food have you had on tour? Anything exotic?

Aino: We got Mexican food.

Caroline: That’s our favorite.

Aino: Mexican is our favorite right now. But it’s always different. We get hang-ups. We eat it until we can’t eat it anymore.

Q: You’re both into fashion. What are your top picks for Spring?

Caroline: I don’t think we’re the best ones following all the trends. We can’t keep up with everything. But we love clothes and we love buying shoes. I think when it gets a little bit warmer, it’s perfect for a leather jacket, a pair of great sunglasses, and maybe you should treat yourself with those springy high heels.

Aino: Leather jacket is one of the main things we always have. And a pair of nice sunglasses can make you look cool no matter what you’re wearing.

Q: You collaborate often with other artists and producers. Why is that important to your music?

Caroline: We love collaborating with people just because of the fact when you go into the studio with another person, it gives new energy to the songs you’re writing. It’s super fun, especially when you work with people like us that don’t have any rules and aren’t scared of trying new stuff.

Aino: We have a couple of collaborations coming out, but we can’t really tell you. We’re excited.

Q: If you weren’t musicians, what careers would you pursue?

Aino: I would be an astronaut.

Originally published on in March 2014.