Exclusive: Icona Pop interview!
It’s not often you hear of two people meeting randomly at a party, feeling a spark and vowing to make music together before they’ve even had a chance to jam – but that’s exactly how Icona Pop was born! And now, thanks to the keen intuition of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, the music world has been graced with infectious pop beats and catchy melodies perfect for any party playlist.
Taking time out from the Summadayze circuit last week, one half of the Swedish duo, Caroline, had a chat to MTV Australia about the band’s next ‘Icona Pop baby,’ that fateful evening when their two world’s aligned, and wanting to party with Snooki and JWoww!
MTV: Hi Caroline, happy New Year! What was it like spending your New Year’s Eve in Adelaide at Summadayze?
Caroline: During the day we had a show and we started drinking kind of early, so we had a long warm-up before New Year’s Eve. We did the countdown on stage and then we jumped down and danced with a lot of gorgeous guys with muscles! Then we went out raving for a bit and then we couldn’t keep it up any longer, we had to go home and sleep! But it was a good night!
MTV: Were there any backstage antics you can tell us about?
Caroline: No actually not! I wish! But we’ve just been travelling very much between the festivals and between the shows and we haven’t had the time to mess it up too much backstage and stuff. But people have been very nice, they’ve been taking good care of us!
MTV: You released your EP last year – do you have plans for a full album release in 2013?
Caroline: Oh yes! It’s going to come out very soon - we’re just about to finish the album so we’re not too far away. It’s very exciting and we’re scared, happy, everything at the same time. It feels like we’ve been in labour for three years with our little Icona Pop baby and now it’s finally going to go out in to the world – it’s kind of soon!
MTV: So can you let us in on any inside secrets about the album?
Caroline: Well I mean we’ve been through a journey these last three years. We moved to London because we were very excited about, and interested in, the whole underground scene and DJ scene over there. And then we’ve been travelling like crazy, getting all kinds of inspiration. We’ve been through ups and downs and I think it’s going to be a very personal album. And you’re definitely going to hear the Icona Pop sound with the shouty criers and drums and synthesisers and bittersweet melodies.
MTV: Your sound is pretty unique, do you have to get in a ‘zone’ to write music or does it come pretty naturally?
Caroline: Actually, it’s all about the feeling for that day and it comes very naturally. It was like the first time me and Aino wrote together, we didn’t even talk about the type of music we wanted to do, we just started. And it’s actually such a luxury to feel that freedom in the studio. We never feel like we have to do something like a certain song or certain sound, we just start. And usually we start with the drums so we’re kind of free and then we just create over that. You can hear that we feel free when we create. It’s really a mix between a lot of genres and influences and I really like when you can just try everything and see what happens and not be scared of making mistakes, because it’s often the mistakes that turn out to be the best ones.
MTV: Do you have any bands or musicians you like to listen to when you’re writing?
Caroline: Yes of course! We listen to a lot of music, a lot of old music as well. We like Daft Punk and Chemical Brothers ... and of course a lot of poppy stuff. We love Prince! When we started out we were very inspired by Prince. You get into certain feelings and when you travel you get hooked on a certain song and you play it over and over until you get tired of it and you change. I think it depends a lot on where we are and what kind of mood we’re in, so we don’t have a certain artist we always listen to.
MTV: You met Aino quite randomly one night out in Stockholm, do you think you two were destined to be in the same place at the same time? Or do you not believe in that stuff?
Caroline: I mean, I believe in that kind of thing. But I also believe ... you have to be open to the signs the world is trying to give you, because sometimes there’s a lot of stuff going on that you don’t pay attention to. But when me and Aino met, we were both down at the bottom. Aino was dumped by her boyfriend and she was lying in bed, not eating, feeling like sh*t but she was forced by a common friend of ours to come to my party.
And I was down, it didn’t work out with my music, with my love life, nothing was going my way and so I think when we met we didn’t have anything to lose. And when we met we felt like a spark and that we really had something special. So we put ourselves out there and gave it a go. And if we’d been perfectly happy with our lives we maybe wouldn’t have done that. So I think it’s all about the right time and the right place. It was very cool. It’s kind of like falling in love sometimes, when you meet someone you really connect with.
MTV: Your single ‘I Love It’ is the theme-song for MTV’s ‘Snooki & JWoww’ – have you ever met the girls?
Caroline: No, I wish we could party with Snooki and JWoww someday! They really don’t seem to care about anything that other people think! We would love to meet them someday, hopefully we will. I’m scared - it’s going to be a wild party! I’ve seen some episodes and they seem to have a lot of fun!
Written by Lucy Slight