We’re all guilty of blasting Icona Pop‘s hit, “I Love It” as we’re driving down the interstate probably going a bit too fast or when we’re in the shower pretending we actually know how to sing. Let’s face it, the Swedish duo have made it big and we’re not complaining one bit! With a killer new single out, “All Night”, an album set to release this fall and an East Coast tour just a week away, Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt of Icona Pop, are loving every bit of it and so are we!
We got the opportunity to chat with Aino about the new single, the upcoming album and what she loves about America! Read it all in the exclusive interview below!
From Snooki and Jwow to Girls, you ladies have had a lot of success over the past year, has it been a long road to get here or has it been a whirlwind?
We’ve been a band for four and a half years, so it’s been a long wait. It looks like it happened over night. When we released our album in Sweden over a year ago, people started to share the song [I Love It] and suddenly people in Australia were craving that song. So, we had to release it over there because people were like ‘Hey, we really want this song!’ It’s amazing how it started to build itself without any promotion or stuff like that. Once it started, it went really fast for us. It’s been a really exciting year.
Your songs are fun and light, even when they’re about breakups, what artists and bands inspire your fresh upbeat dance tracks?
We’ve been inspired by the boy bands and girl bands because we grew up in the ‘90s. Anything from the ‘90s, the boy and girl groups and the one-hit wonders, which there were a lot of in the ‘90s [laughs] inspire us. I think Prince is a huge source of inspiration for us. Also, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Patti Smith- it’s such a big mix of everything. I think our music blends a lot of genres together. It’s everything from reggae music to classical music.
You recently dropped a single, “All Night”. Tell us about it!
It definitely has a more quiet, anthem-feel to it. We’re going to release an album in September, also, and that’s going to have more songs like ‘I Love It’. ‘All Night’ is a song that you can listen to quietly when you’re sad, but you can also laugh and have the best night of your life [while listening to that song]. It’s a good mix of happy and sad. It’s absolutely danceable!
What was the recording process like for the upcoming album?
This album is very interesting because we recorded it all over the world. We’ve been touring so much this year that we did most of it on the road. We did bits in Australia, Berlin, Stockholm, New York, LA, New Orleans- we went basically everywhere with that album. Traveling gave us a lot of inspiration. It’s a world album!
So how did you and Caroline meet anyway?
We met in early 2009. I got dumped by my boyfriend and I was so depressed, I was so sad, and Caroline and I had a mutual friend and this friend would call me every day and every night saying, ‘You have to get out of bed, Aino.’ After two weeks, she came to my place and took me out of bed and took me to a party and that’s where I met Caroline. Caroline was actually having the party at her place. We started to talk and I just noticed how much energy she gave me and she was also feeling down at the time too. The day after, I called her up, went to her place with a bottle of wine and a computer and two hours later we had written a song. So basically, we started Icona Pop the day after we met and two days later we booked our first gig. A month after we met we were standing on stage for the first time together.
What is the difference between the shows you play in Europe and other parts of the world and shows in America?
I think it’s different wherever you go. When it comes to Sweden, it’s so different if you play in Stockholm and if you play up in the north in Sweden. In America, you have such hard core fans; they follow you throughout the whole country and you feel that they are a part of you, which is amazing. The crowd is always different. Swedish crowds take a while to warm up. Even if they like you, they can be a bit shy in the beginning. If you go to America, they are just so excited. The main thing is that there are more hard core fans in America and they are very good dancers!
Have you guys toured America before?
We’ve been twice doing the warm-up shows with Passion Pit and we went from the East Coast to the West Coast and also to Canada. We also went out with Marina and the Diamonds. It’s going to be nice to see it from a tour bus. We’ve been going around in a family car in America [laughs]. You realize how big it is when you travel it by car. It would be a lot of countries in Europe.
What has been your most memorable show to date?
We’ve done a lot of amazing shows, but I think one of the biggest moments for us was at the end of the summer last year, when we had just released ‘I Love It’ and we had our first headlining show at a small venue in New York. It was sold out and we when arrived at the venue, there were people standing in line and they started to sing our songs! Songs that were not even released in America yet! We were so happy and honored.
Of course, we had to ask this! Thanks to our co-worker, Patrick, for the creative question!
Is there anything that you don’t love, but still care about?
[Laughs] There is a lot that I don’t love, but I do care about. There are also a lot of people that I don’t love, that I do care about. I hate that I care! That’s a really good question. I don’t love war, but I care because we have to make a change.
Don’t miss a night of dancing and fun at the Masquerade August 14 with Icona Pop! Tickets are available below!