Just a few years ago, Icona Pop’s Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo were stealing fruit from markets and scheming ways to get by while they struggled with their music career. (See their guide to having no money for Noisey.) Now, they’re opening for Miley Cyrus on her Bangerz tour and playing Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve… tonight! Over the past year, the duo have become a cultural fixture thanks to their massive Top 10 single “I Love It,” which has been immortalized by everyone from the Cookie Monster to Lena Dunham (you’ll no doubt recall it soundtracking Hannah’s hot mesh of a dance on Girls. Noisey caught up with Icona Pop to talk about the standout moments of their insane 2013.
Their reaction when asked to do Dick Clark's NYE show:
Aino: We were super happy and honored. We’re from Sweden and we know about the party-- we’ve seen it on TV -- but I still don’t [think] we know how big and crazy it’s going to be in Times Square on New Year’s. It’s something we’re imagining. We’re prepared for a good party.
Most surreal moment of 2013:
Aino: Our first headlining gig in New York was important. It was a small venue called Glasslands with about 150 people. That was so big for us to come all the way from Sweden to a sold-out venue with everyone singing along to our songs.
Caroline: Moments for us might not be the biggest moments from an outsider perspective. Of course that show will always be something that we’ll never forget but also situations like the Billboard Music Awards—performing in that kind of environment with all of those artists-- that’s when you’re like, “What are we doing here? What happened?”
How they celebrated when their album This Is... Icona Pop dropped:
Caroline: We haven’t really had the time yet. I think we’re going to do that now—celebrate the whole year during Christmas.
Best moment on the road:
Aino: Our first tour bus, because we’ve been flying and traveling in minivans and have been on the road for such a long time We finally got a tour bus and made that our home because we don’t have a home anywhere.
Song they danced the most to this year:
Shirley Ellis’ “The Clapping Song.”
Aino: We love Mexican food and L.A. is pretty good at Mexican food. I think LA has been amazing when it comes to all kind of food.
New band they’re most excited about:
Aino: Alt-J has been amazing.
Moment when they realized they made it:
Aino: Maybe that will come on New Year’s or vacation.
Caroline: In the middle of everything, you don’t realize what you’re going through so I think the shock is going to come now at the end of the year when we’re having some time off.