It’s the MTV European Music Awards 2013 in Amsterdam and Icona Pop has just performed “I love it”. Welcome to another night in the lives of Sweden’s new pop export.
“We’re not here to please people,” says Aino Jawo after the show. “We are here to express ourselves. We have never compromised and we have always been true to ourselves. That’s what we are the most proud of.”
Talking about the secret behind the duo’s massive success, she says it all comes down to a gut feeling.
“It’s easy to lose yourself in this business. But we have always followed our instincts. If we hadn’t we wouldn’t be standing here today. We would have followed the path some one else pointed out to us and ended up somewhere else. We have done it our way the whole way and that has brought us here,” she says, looking out over the sold-out Ziggo Dome.
With synths that spin like a badly souped-up motorbike and a melody that sticks after one play, “I love it” became the song that introduced Icona Pop to the world in 2012.
What followed within 12 months is extraordinary: Over two million cop- ies sold of “I love it”, songs featured in TV shows such as Girls and Glee, a fan base made up by names like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, two songs on Billboard top ten and performances at the Billboard Awards (“Will.i.am turned up after the show and told us he bought our ep”), David Letterman and America’s Got Talent.