Icona Pop’s breakout hit “I Love It” is nearly inescapable.
From advertising campaigns to a recent episode of the HBO show “Girls,” the song’s dancy, electro-pop refrain of “I don’t care! I love it!” has been getting stuck in heads across the country. Following the song’s success, the two members of this Swedish duo have traveled the world playing shows at festivals from their native Sweden to their current tour in the U.S.
The duo – Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjlet – met through a mutual friend in Stockholm at a house party and set off on a journey that is, as they describe it, “f—– crazy.”
Jawo was out of a job and “partying a lot.” But from the moment the two met, they had an instant connection.
“I was very frustrated because nothing was going my way with love and just my life,” Jawo said. “And I was going to a lot of parties. We just met one night, and we felt like we had something special. We met and said, ‘We have to do something together.’”
Since that chance meeting in February 2009, they have been producing, recording and performing together. Their debut album “Icona Pop” has been released in Sweden, and their EP “Iconic” has already received critical attention in the U.S.. Their hit “I Love It” was even named one of the Best Songs of 2012 by Rolling Stone magazine.
“We partied all night and then she (Hjlet) called me the next day and said, ‘Hey I’m on my way to your place,’ and we wrote our first song together, and we’ve been together 24/7 ever since,” Jawo said.
They captured the emotions of that first meeting in one of the first songs they wrote together called “Nights Like This,” with lyrics like “In nights like this/We’ll never be alone/Never gonna let you go.”
“We sat down and started writing together,” Jawo said. “We didn’t even discuss what kind of music we wanted to make. We kind of just threw ourselves out there.”
Even without strict planning or an idea of what direction they wanted to take, Hjlet and Jawo knew they wanted to make good pop music, with influences ranging from punk to reggae to classical music. The band is also greatly influenced by artists like Queen, David Bowie, Beyonce and Passion Pit, with whom they’re touring this season.
Icona Pop will be the headlining performer at The Rave at the Stellar Sparks event “KISS after Dark: Light Up The Night,” on Feb. 22.
“For us, playing live has always been a very important thing,” Jawo said.
The experience has been a dream come true for the newcomers – especially getting the chance to tour the U.S. for the first time. Even though the band just started playing shows in the U.S. a few weeks ago, its audiences have reacted strongly.
“We love being on tour,” Jawo said. “It’s crazy. We’re always focusing on what we’re going to do. We love seeing so much of the world.”
The success hasn’t exactly come as a surprise, but Jawo says that they are still getting used to the newfound fame. While the worldwide reaction has amazed the duo, they still look back at their first nights and first shows in Sweden and enjoy their success, thinking about how far they’ve come.
“We’re just two best friends who started out on a couch in Sweden, and now we travel the world and hear our music everywhere,” Jawo said. “For us, it’s still a little overwhelming but we’re super honored and thrilled, and we hope that it keeps spreading.”