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A Sit Down With DJ Icona Pop

12:47 Apr/25/2018

As far as pop music is concerned, Sweden has been, and always will be, the land of danceable tunes. And while our parents had Abba, in all their majestic, pop-rock-cum-disco glory, us millennials have been blessed with the infectious, synth-pop offerings of Icona Pop. The Swedish duo, comprised of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, first got us grooving with their rapturous breakout hit, "I Love It" back in 2012, and since then they've hardly pressed pause.


"Every time we create something, we just keep it in our little Icona Pop bubble. We make decisions that we are proud of and create the music that we feel like. We would never put out a song that we were not super proud of."


Your latest single "First Time," was the first song you guys wrote together. How did you go about about reprising it?

We always wanted to show it people. So we took it into the studio and did a rework that reflects where we are now in our lives.There's a little sadness to it as well because it's remembering how it used to be. But things change, and things go forward. Instead of being sad, let's relive it in our memories. Let's make new first times now that we're a little bit more mature than the first time we got drunk. Hopefully we are.

Can you recall the first time you heard one of your songs on American radio?

We were driving down the strip. We had a show there and this promoter was like, “I heard your song on this Sirius Radio station.” And he put it on and it was our song. We were like, “Oh my god, it’s really happening!”

Who are your musical influences?

We listen to kind of everything from reggae and classical music to pop music. I think we're more about sounds rather than just listening to the certain artists. We were very inspired by Prince from the beginning and then Chemical Brothers, The Knife, Patti Smith, Rihana and Beyonce. Then we have the very good stuff from the '90s, the one-hit wonders. They have a very special place in our hearts. It's hard to say one artist or one song but yeah, I think it's very spread.
Which women in musician inspire you?

All the of female bands,, so the Spice Girls were a huge influence, but we love PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Tina Turner, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Robyn. There are so many women who we are so proud of.

Where was your favourite gig and why?

Tricky so many good ones. But we’ll never forget the gig we had at Roskilde Festival this summer. It was magic.

Y’all gig so much, at the end of the night which hurts more – your ears from the sound or eyes from all the cameras and flashes?

Definitely our ears, we can just wear shades for all the flashes.

What do you wear on stage?

It depends, our last tour outfits were made by an amazing designer called ann Anne Sofie Madsen. We felt like pop warriors.

Definitely, you look sickening. If you could go back to when you were 18 years old which was just two years ago I guess, what advice would you give yourself?

I would definitely tell myself not to be so harsh on myself. At that age you want to do so much and you don’t know anything and you just try to fit in and understand. I would say that things will be okay.

Have you experimented with sounds other than club synths for the album?

From the beginning, we've always been club kids - we love dancing. We love the whole club scene. But of course it won't be 15 tracks all like 'I Love It'. I promise you. It will be kind of a spread album with some slower songs and some totally different rhythms. Although we are two girls that love to dance, we also go through a lot of other stuff and emotions as well.


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