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The foxy ladies of Icona Pop
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Damn good music

Icona Pop might be your new favourite band

12.22.2012

Over the past year, up-and-coming Swedish group Icona Pop has latched on to just about every genre you can think of, from synth-pop to punk rock and everything in between. Luckily for band members Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt, the only label requirement was that they make "damn good music." They are currently polishing their debut album, set for release early 2013, and supporting Marina and the Diamonds on the North American leg of her Electra Heart tour. Chris Howson was lucky enough to have some girl talk with them.

Chris: Where did the name Icona Pop come from?

Aino: “It was actually Caroline’s mom! And she is very proud today.”

Caroline: “She was at dinner with her Italian friends and they talked about me and Aino having a band, and they said, ‘Oh, so they’re gonna be the next icona pop,’ which is ‘pop icon’ in Italian, and my mom thought that sounded cool and she knew we were looking.”

How did you two find one another?

Caroline: “We actually met at a party at my place.”

Aino: “Yeah, about three, almost four years ago now . . .  and I was stumped and very sad and was forced by one of our mutual friends to go to the party.”

Caroline: “It was this electrical . . .  we felt instantly that we had something special. And the day after Aino called me and said, 'Hey, I’m on my way to your apartment with a bottle of wine and my computer' and we wrote our first song.”

Aino: “We were so excited that we found each other . . .  we just got a lot of energy and just wanted to show the world what we just found.”

Did you know each other as performers before?

Caroline: “We knew of each other, but we didn’t know each other . . .  I actually saw you and your band once.”

Aino: “Aw! What? I never knew!”

It’s an interview of revelations!

Aino: “Yeah, wow!” (laughs)

You guys are in a long line of internationally recognized Scandinavian performers. ABBA, Ace of Base, Aqua, Loreen, Robyn, Oh Land, Likki Li. Was this an influence?

Aino: “Definitely influenced by all the '90s music, Swedish music . . .  of course they inspire you and you’re kind of proud. It’s strange how a small country like Sweden actually reaches out to the other side of the world. That’s amazing!”

Caroline: “The music scene in Stockholm is very small. So it was so good for us when we started travelling . . . that really gave us a lot of edge, new ways of working and new inspiration.”

Because of all the massive recording artists out of Sweden, are there higher expectations for Icona Pop on the world stage?

Caroline: “It’s never been a negative thing . . . when you tell people you’re from Sweden they say, ‘Oh, so much good music coming from Sweden!’”

Aino: “They’re like ‘What’s in the water?’ (laughs) It’s a lake from heaven, I don’t know."

Are you nervous about your debut album’s release next year? Does it feel like your baby?

Aino: “Yeah, it feels like we’ve been in labour for three and a half years, and now the baby is climbing its way out.”

So it’s a big baby.

Caroline: “It’s a big baby, and it’s been with a lot of emotions.” (laughs)

You’ve garnered some pretty substantial interest from the gay community. Was that something you set out to do?

Aino: “We think that the gay audience is always the best audience!”

Caroline: “They know how to dance and they know how to move and party . . .  We feel very close to the whole gay scene.” — Chris Howson

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    • Daisy
      12/29/2012 5:20:35 AM
      feels like ages ago I posted a sneak peek from Allan and Sarah-Jane's enaggement shoot. I know I go on a lot about not having enough time in the day and getting freaked out about how
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