Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo are the two Swedes behind electro pop duo Icona Pop. Currently on tour with One Direction, they’re also the reason why I was able to drag my boyfriend into a stadium full of screaming fan girls (myself included)! With hit singles “I Love It” and “All Night”, anyone can relate to their high energy and badass lyrics. After seeing their performance, I was pumped to meet them at their Parisian-inspired hotel, New York City’s The NoMad. We started off with their drink of choice, refreshing wine spritzers. Then being the rebels that they are, an impromptu photo shoot in the middle of the street followed. Though yellow cabs and Citi bikes were coming straight at us, the pics still turned out flawlessly. See for yourself and take note of the life lessons I learned while sipping cocktails with Icona Pop.
Be Happy With Who You Are
When I first met the duo in the lobby, I almost didn't recognize them in their off-duty looks. Though I was surprised by their lack of glitter and makeup, they effortlessly looked glam as hell. "For everyday life, we put on mascara and we're done. We're very comfortable in our skin and we like letting it breathe. It also becomes more special to dress up," Hjelt said.
Living Life Has No Formula
I was told we were heading to the hotel’s library. Expecting this would be a quiet place to talk, it instead ended up being a packed bar popping with music. The laid-back setting took the pressure off and the dim lighting made our conversation more intimate. Once we all got comfortable, they shared their one rule, “which is to have no rules”. They typically lock themselves in the studio when writing music, but that’s never the extent of their production process—anything goes. “Sometimes we go out and party for a week. Everything is emotional. We have to shake things up to have something to write about,” Jawo said.
Give It Everything You've Got!
In contrast to their natural off-stage presence, they go all-out for every performance designing outrageous, over the top costumes. For instance, they revealed that their Paco Rabanne-inspired plastic dresses gave them scars. “We really do sweat and bleed for our stage outfits. They smell really bad afterwards, but it’s worth it,” Hjelt said.
Staying Healthy Shouldn't Be a Punishment
Even with another round on the way, they told me their drinks are always paired with an intense cardio work out. “We focus on a healthy lifestyle, but with room for some chaos because it’s important to enjoy life," Hjelt said. Their three guilty pleasures are beer, grilled cheese, and cream. "You have to be nice to your body. Eat if you want to eat,” Jawo said firmly. Of course, I offered to treat them to Melt Shop, a restaurant near InStyle's offices with 11 variations of grilled cheese. "We'll have a grilled cheese and cream date for sure," they replied. I'm marking my calendar!