Icona Pop on Why Dudes Who Don’t Dance Are a Dealbreaker
Icona Pop, a.k.a. Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, have a lot to dance about lately.
After their three-time platinum single “I Love It” with Charli XCX, they’re in the studio cooking up even more bangers, including their new single “Someone Who Can Dance.” Plus, they’re performing at ULTRA in Miami for their second time ever on Saturday at the Bayfront live stage.
We caught up with them about the importance of busting a move, their new music, and the difference between dating in Sweden and the U.S. Be sure to follow Galore on Snapchat for a surprise from the duo on Sunday at our party in Miami.
Your new single is all about wanting someone who can dance. Is a guy who won’t dance a dealbreaker?
CAROLINE: Yes. I mean, come on. You can’t be stiff. And it’s not about being good at dancing — absolutely not. It’s more like, you know, you’re at the dance floor, it’s great music… If you don’t want to move, then it’s something weird. So, yes, it’s a deal breaker.
Do you think people need to dance more?
AINO: Yes, definitely. Dancing makes you happy. It releases a lot of stress and endorphins in your body. And it makes you forget about everything else. It’s almost like meditating, but you’re doing it out, because you’re just disappearing to the music and everything. You can’t do that while standing still.
Yeah, it’s kind of like, how do you not dance when a good song’s playing?
C: Yeah, it makes me uncomfortable. It makes me want to ask, like, why are you here?
What advice do you have for people who are too insecure to dance?
C: It’s so easy, you can just close your eyes and start bending your knees and there you have it. That’s dancing. You don’t even have to make moves. It’s not about being a professional dancer. It’s more like, just sway those hips!
A: I mean, everyone can dance. A baby dances before a baby walks. So everyone has to just feel the bass.
C: And if you don’t feel the bass, just shake your body. If you don’t know what a bassline is, just shake everything you have and we promise you that will be success.
What’s your favorite dance move?
C: Something that we do is pick apples and put them down. It started with a joke, but now it’s actually a little bit serious
A: Very serious.
C: We also have a move called “slicing through air,” which we learned from a very old techno viking back in the day. One thing we do that we might not be good [at] so we might inspire other ppl to do, is we twerk. But it’s the most Swedish twerk you’ve ever seen, so if people are nervous you can just look at us and we promise, we will be worse.
Wait, what’s a techno viking?
C: Someone who’s very good at dancing to techno music.
Your music is so good for getting ready for a girls’ night out. What’s your go-to GNO outfit?
C: If you’re surrounded by your crew or your friends, wherever you go you will have an amazing time. Good music is a must, and put on something that you feel comfortable and absolutely gorgeous in. Because that also helps.
A: Depending on what mood, sometimes it’s super high heels, but always something you can dance in. But sometimes it’s even easier to dance in high heels.
C: Yeah, because then you don’t have to work that hard to bend your knees. Otherwise, a leather jacket is always something that you throw on and just feel like, mmm, okay, I’m here.
You’re in the studio now recording and writing a new album. What are you writing about right now?
C: It’s almost like going to a diary. You know, like everything we’ve been through…
A: All the good and bad…
C: Situations that just happen. Everything we write about is self-experience or someone closer to us going through something and we feel inspired to write about. There’s some heartbreaking stuff in there
A: And some festival songs, like you fall in love with life.
C: And it’s so hard to narrow down what to write about when you’re in the middle of it, because it’s just a big blur, a haze of emotions.
Your music has such a strain of independence in it, like it’s for girls who don’t need a man to have fun or be happy. Is that a conscious goal, or just what comes out when you write?
A: It’s definitely something we want people to feel — you’re an independent woman. We grew up with our moms, so we get very happy when people can feel that in our music.
C: And I think that’s how we inspire each other. If you go through something tough with a guy, it’s very important to let yourself be sad about it and I really think you should call your friends and not be alone about it. But there’s also a time when it’s good and you turn that into something like, okay, this is not worth crying over anymore. This is not worth spending time on anymore. I think sometimes it’s very important to prioritize yourself and what’s best for you.
A: It’s not always about guys. When we go out, we never go out because of guys… But [having them as] eye candy is always fun.
C: We love guys, we’re obsessed.
A: But it’s more about having fun with your friends.
C: And when you surround yourself with great friends, all your problems are not as big anymore. It’s just because you’re so rich and have so much friends, and you realize that it’s so much more. So, yeah, I think it’s very important to be able to do that.
Now since you’re on your way to Miami: beach or pool?
A: We love nature.
C: Being in the ocean is the most amazing thing. We still love pools, but if I could choose between a pool and swimming in the sea, I’m gonna say being by the beach.
What are the big differences between style in Miami and Stockholm, where you’re from?
C: [Miami is] less clothes, definitely.
A: I think you’re just trying to find something you can actually wear that’s not too hot.
C: Usually we wear a lot of black, but now, when it’s gonna be so hot and sunny and a lot of pool parties, we might do some more color.
A: We’re trying to find something we can wear instead of a leather jacket, because the leather jacket is our baby. And we still haven’t found that key piece.
C: Maybe we have to make our own swimwear leather jacket for the next time we’re in Miami.
It’s definitely tough to give up the head-to-toe black when you’re from a colder climate.
C: It’s hard, but people manage. A few drinks in my body and you will see me wear only pink.
How is dating different between America and Sweden?
C: I think guys in the States are more like gentlemen. They open doors. Swedish women are very independent, so we buy our own drinks and sometimes we buy the dinners. So in the beginning, we were kind of offended when someone came up with a drink, like, hey, I can buy my own drink. But now we’ve realized its a nice gesture. We like it now. We get a little bit like, ooh, thank you, but it’s because I guess we’re not used to it.
A: I think in the States you date more. You go on proper dates and it’s like a very big dating culture. In Sweden, the lines are very blurry and you keep the doors open, but it takes longer [to become exclusive].
It’s more informal and you don’t want to lock it down right away?
C: Usually, yes. Especially when you live in middle of city.
A: New York is kind of more similar [to Stockholm]. You’d rather go home and not spend time on dating.
Tell us a story: what is your craziest tour experience so far?
C: I mean, wow, we have so many. So many crazy tour experiences when we’ve been stuck in werid places.
A: We’ve been touring quite a lot… Just the experience of being with Miley, One Direction, and Katy Perry was such a big experience for us, and to see the crazy things behind getting the shows together. That was overwhelming.
C: Yeah, or when you lose your bag somewhere and you’re standing in the middle of nowhere and you have a show. It’s like all these little adventures that happen all the time. When it happens it might not be fun, but afterwards it’s a fun story.