Icona Pop (English / /) is a Swedish electropop duo that formed in 2009, with electro house, punk and indie pop music influences. The two members Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, who grew up in Stockholm, create music "you can both laugh and cry to at the same time". They signed to TEN Music Group in 2009. Their biggest hit to date has been "I Love It".
The duo received international attention following their debut single "Manners", released by Neon Gold on French label Kitsuné and the extended play album Nights Like This on English Mercury Records. Since September 2012, the duo have been based in the United States, in Los Angeles and New York City.
Caroline Hjelt (born 8 November 1987) and Aino Jawo (born 7 July 1986, of a Finnish mother and Gambian father) attended the same music school in Stockholm, but met by chance at a party in February 2009 and formed the duo. Four weeks later, they had written songs for their very first performance as a duo. Two years later, the duo described their music as "classical pop melodies with drums and synths". Both Hjelt and Jawo are feminists and wanted to fight for gender equality in the music industry.
The press, including NME, The Guardian, Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media, have praised the duo. The Guardian described the debut single "Manners" as "effortlessly cool". The duo has worked in the studio with producers including Style of Eye, Patrik Berger (Robyn), Elof Loelv (Niki & The Dove) and Starsmith.
In fall 2012, the duo released an extended play Iconic in the US and the album Icona Pop in Sweden. The duo have performed in Sweden, the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Hong Kong and have also been interviewed by Swedish and foreign press.
2012–13: Breakthrough with I Love It and This Is... Icona Pop
In the summer of 2012, they took part in a number of festivals including electro music festival Summerburst in Gothenburg and also appeared at the Stockholm Stadium, at the start of an international festival and broadcast via Sveriges Television (SVT).
"I Love It", a pre-release of their self-titled debut album Icona Pop charted on Sverigetopplistan, the official Swedish singles chart. The song was also featured in the 2012 video game Need for Speed: Most Wanted, in a German television commercial for Coca-Cola Light in January 2013, the theme song to the American reality-television series Snooki & JWoww, and in an episode of the American comedy-drama television series Girls and the popular vampire-teen drama television series The Vampire Diaries. The second single "Ready for the Weekend" was released on 11 September 2012. Both tracks appear on their second extended-play album, released on 16 October 2012. "I Love It" was also used in the advert for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Their EP Iconic EP reached a peak height of 21 on the U.S. iTunes dance chart. In 2013, they embarked on a tour of the United States with Passion Pit and Matt & Kim. In January 2013, "I Love It" was featured in the third episode of the second season of Girls, an HBO show created by Lena Dunham. In March 2013, the duo was named one of Fuse television's 30 must-see artists at the South by Southwest festival. In March 2013, "I Love It" was featured in the sixteenth episode of the fourth season, named "Bring It On", of The Vampire Diaries. On 26 March 2013, "I Love It" was performed on the week 2 results show of Dancing with the Stars. On 3 May 2013, the duo performed "I Love It" on the late-night talk show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and on the Good Morning America morning news/entertainment show. On 6 May 2013, "I Love It" was featured in the FOX musical-comedy series, Glee. The song was performed by the "New Directions" in Glee's twenty-second and final episode of season four, "All or Nothing". This song is featured in a 2013 ShoeDazzle commercial. On 19 May 2013 the duo performed "I Love It" on the Billboard Music Awards, wearing custom light up garments by designer Geoffrey Mac. The song also is featured in a commercial for the WNBA's upcoming season that was aired during the 4th quarter of Game 7 of the Heat-Pacers Eastern Conference Championship game on 3 June 2013. It was also featured in a commercial during the Spurs-Heat game on 9 June 2013.
On 4 June 2013, the duo released their new single "Girlfriend". Icona Pop revealed in one interview that they recorded their international album with all new songs. The duo said that "the new album isn't just going to be sixteen tracks like 'I Love It'" and that they are trying new genres and sounds. In July 2013, Icona Pop received two Teen Choice awards for Choice Music Breakout Group and Choice Single: Group. On July 28, 2013, "All Night" was released as the official third single from the album. It gained moderate success in European charts.
2014–present: Upcoming third studio album and touring
On June 23, 2014 the duo released a new single called "Get Lost" which gained less international attention. In the same period, the duo also performed as the opening act for Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus tours. They also collaborated with Tiesto for the song "Let's Go" and with Cobra Starship for the single "Never Been In Love" which became a successful hit in Italy. On 26 May 2015, the duo released the single "Emergency", a collaboration with Erik Hassle. The song peaked a few weeks later on the Billboard Dance Chart, making their second single to top that chart after All Night. The song was also featured in the video game FIFA 16. In July the EP Emergency was released. It includes the critically acclaimed First Time and the smash-hit Clap Snap. The duo was announced as an opening act for the North American leg of One Direction's "On the Road Again" tour in 2015. On February 23rd, 2016, Icona Pop performed a new single, "Someone Who Can Dance" at the Grammis in Stockholm. On October 20, 2016, the duo released their new single "Brightside".
- As solo supporting act
- Marina and the Diamonds's The Lonely Hearts Club Tour (North America, 2013)
- Miley Cyrus' Bangerz Tour (North America and Europe, 2014)
- Katy Perry's The Prismatic World Tour (United Kingdom, 2014)
- One Direction's On the Road Again Tour (North America, 2015)
|2013||"I Love It" (with Charli XCX)||Choice Single: Group||Nominated|
|2015||Icona Pop||Choice Music Group: Female||Nominated|
|2014||"I Love It" (with Charli XCX)||Top Dance/Electronic Song||Nominated|
|2014||Icona Pop||Best Swedish Act||Nominated|
|2014||"I Love It" (with Charli XCX)||Best Lyrics||Nominated|
|2014||"I Love It" (with Charli XCX)||Songwriter of the Year||Won|
|Song of the Year||Won|
|2013||I Love It||Song Of The Year||Nominated|
|Icona Pop||Newcomer Of The Year||Won|
|Icona Pop||Electronic/Dance Of The Year||Nominated|
|2014||Icona Pop||Artist Of The Year||Nominated|
|Electronic/Dance Of The Year||Won|
- Other Awards
|Gaffa||Icona Pop||Swedish Breakthrough of the Year||Won|
|P3 Gold||I Love It||Song Of The Year||Won|
|Elle Gala||Icona Pop||Best Dressed Duo||Won|
- Tweet Stockholm TT Spektra. "Icona Pop gör dansmusik med punkattityd" (in Swedish). Svd.se. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Sheffield, Rob (3 December 2012). "Iconic". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- Kent, Chloe (11 May 2013). "On the Verge: Icona Pop crash-lands into public eye". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- "Icona Pop gör dansmusik med punkattityd". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Svenska Icona Pop hyllas världen över!" (in Swedish). Universal Music Sweden. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Nika, Colleen. "Meet Icona Pop: Sweden's Latest Stylish Dance Invaders". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- Patel, Puja. "Icona Pop Talk Shop: Swedish Duo on Romance and Revenge". SPIN Magazine. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- ""Tillsammans är vi odödliga" – Kultur" (in Swedish). SVT.se. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Bein, Kat (6 August 2013). "Icona Pop's Aino Jawo: "We Are Feminists"". Miami New Times. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- Sheffield, Rob (3 December 2012). "Iconic". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Icona Pop Know What's 'Good for You' – Premiere". Rolling Stone. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Rising: Icona Pop". Pitchfork Media. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Cragg, Michael (7 March 2011). "New music: Icona Pop – Top Rated". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Icona Pop | NEW! Artist – The Ace & TJ Show". Acetj.channel961.com. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Coca Cola Light startet Jubiläumsjahr mit neuer "Night-Boost"-Kampagne – Press release of Coca Cola Company on 14 January 2013.
- "Ultimate Music Blog: Icona Pop premiere new single "Ready for the Weekend"". Josepvinaixa.com. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- . Fuse.
- "Teen Choice Awards Nominations: Choice Music Breakout Group, Choice Single: Group". Teenchoice.com. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- "Grammis". grammis.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2016-02-24.
- "Katy Perry To Be Joined By Special Guests Icona Pop On 'Prismatic' UK Arena Tour". Capital FM. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Icona Pop to Support One Direction on North America Tour". billboard.com. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- Video (n.d.). "Icona Pop tackar för GAFFA-Priset" (in Swedish). Gaffa. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Staff (18 January 2013). "Icona Pops "I love it" är årets låt!" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Staff (11 January 2013). "Årets Bäst Klädda (Duo): Icona Pop" (in Swedish). Elle (Sweden edition). Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Official website
- Icona Pop at AllMusic
- Mark Savage (6 July 2013). "Icona Pop: The break-up behind I Love It". BBC News. Retrieved 8 July 2013.