PLAYDAR: Interview with Icona Pop’s Caroline Hjelt

One half of the Swedish pop duo chats with us before her show this weekend at the TLA.

This Sunday, Swedish musicians Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo — better known as “I Love It” hit-makers Icona Pop — are coming to the TLA to perform and promote their highly anticipated debut album, This is … Icona Pop (due out Sept. 24.) This week, I had a chance to chat with Hjelt about the new album, what it was like performing at this year’s D.C. Pride and, of course, Miley. Check it out below: 

Have you been having fun touring around promoting the new album?
Oh wow, it feels so surreal. This album is very personal to us. It took five years to make, and the fact that it is finally getting released in a week feels like we are in another world.

When did you know that music was your life?
As long as I can remember I have been singing and dancing. I went to a choir grade school and a performing arts high school, so I can’t think about not having music in my life. In earlier years, it took a little time to find my wings. It wasn’t until I met Aino that it just felt right and I knew we had something.

What was the first song you guys wrote together?
The first song we wrote together was called “Sheriff Came To Town On A Big Black Horse.” It’s an English country song. We hope to release it when we are 85 years old, when we’ll be able to look back on it together as a beginning for us.

What musical influences and styles influenced you?
I love everything from reggae to classical. David Bowie, Queen and the Chemical Brothers are a few of my favorites. I have seen the Chemical Brothers perform so many times, they are amazing.

You guys performed at Pride in D.C. this year. What was that like?
Wow. That was so fun. There was so much love in the crowd, and they were so appreciative that we were there. We were honored just to be part of it.

There are a whole lot of divas coming releasing albums soon to compete for the gay ear — like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Britney. Who are you rooting for?
We love them all. They each bring something different. Lady Gaga never stops. We are performing with Katy Perry at the iTunes Music Festival. We love Katy! We are very excited about that.

Of course, I just have to ask how you feel about Miley Cyrus.
Couldn’t miss her twerking on the VMAS! The reaction was so over-rated. She is just doing her thing and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. I think it’s great.

Icona Pop performs Sun., Sept. 22 at TLA. For more information, including ticket links, go here. And to hold you over while you wait for the show, check out some of their most fierce bangers, including their latest powerhouse anthem, “All Night,” below:

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Have music you’d like to see featured on an upcoming Playdar? Email Patrick DeMarco at