A lof of bands went down to SXSW earlier this month looking to generate attention. Others, like Swedish pop duo ICONA POP, hit Austin with the buzz wind already at their backs. Their powderkeg electro-pop banger “I Love It” went from being a catchy-cute Summer Anthem of 2012 to an ubiquitous rallying cry for any season, showing up everywhere from indie dance floors to mainstream FM radio to HBO’s Girls. It also helped introduce co-writer Charli XCX, she of the 2013-contender “You (Ha Ha Ha)” to a wider, global audience some had been expecting for years.
Now, after owning the iTunes singles chart, approaching the million mark on the Streaming Songs Chart, and crashing the the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo are getting ready for their biggest gig yet: an appearance tomorrow (Friday) on NBC’s Today Show.
I sat down with the duo a few weeks ago, just as SXSW’s music stretch was kicking into high gear, grabbing a few seats at the Moonshine patio and discussing the global appeal of “I Love It,” their origins, and continuing a long line of Swedish pop music dominance.