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Icona Pop is new face of girl party power



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103.5 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball

With Robin Thicke, Enrique Iglesias, Icona Pop, Avril Lavigne and others

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday

Where: United Center,
1901 W. Madison

Tickets: $55-$135


Updated: April 14, 2014 4:47PM

For Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, the secret to their success is simple: friendship.

In 2009, Jawo, 27, was going through a bad breakup. In an effort to cheer her up, a pal dragged her to one of the many parties that Hjelt, 25, was throwing to deal with her frustration over a music career that was going nowhere.

“It was love at first sight. If she had brought her boyfriend or if I was doing well with my music, we wouldn’t have become what we are to each other,” says Hjelt. “She’s my soulmate.”

The Swedish duo, known as Icona Pop, are behind the dance hit “I Love It.” They aim to become emblematic of girl power. “We feel empowered and invincible together and that shines in our music,” says Hjelt.

After “I Love It” was featured in HBO’s “Girls” (during the nightclub scene in which Lena Dunham’s Hannah dances, high on cocaine, in a neon-yellow fishnet top), the pair got a warm hug from the mainstream. The song became a summer anthem, pulling in 2.5 million downloads and peaking at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

With the release of debut album “This Is ... Icona Pop,” the new faces of rave hope to rule many all-night-rager playlists to come. “There’s something really romantic about going out all night,” says Hjelt, who performs with Jawo at the Kiss 103.5 Jingle Bash on Monday at the United Center.

The duo’s bold fashion sense, a mash-up of patterns and disregard for what’s trendy, matches its music perfectly. “What I want varies from day to day,” says Hjelt. “What do I want to say today without words?” With the big bucks of brands like Absolut and Samsung brandishing their good looks and fun style in ads, their popularity promises to continue its upward trajectory.

When they take a break, “we do it for real,” says Hjelt. “We sleep for a week. We like to cook dinner and watch crappy TV.” But they’re always anticipating their next move. “We try to get really bored, because boredom inspires creativity,” says Jawo.

For now, though, they’ll keep the party going. Their tour wrap ups Dec. 22 in Vancouver, just in time to celebrate their first Christmas in the United States.

“We’re having too much fun to take it easy,” says Jawo. “So we choose this life. Non-stop. That’s what we want.”

Gannett News Service

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