Swedish Female Music Duo ICONA POP Pair Up With AVON For Women’s Month 2018
Without a doubt most of you still remember their hit single “I love it...” from a couple of years ago. Swedish pop pair ICONA POP (a name reportedly picked out by Caroline’s mom) is individually known as Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt. They’ve been making people get on their feet, bust a move, and dance like there's no tomorrow since 2009. Raised in Stockholm in the same school, without knowing at first they were actually schoolmates.
Caroline explained how the timing seemed uncanny since their proximity was actually very close, but they didn’t meet ‘til much later on—“I mean we knew of each other but we didn’t know each other so a lot of our friends they were like, ‘What? Are you hanging out? Are you friends? Are you going to start a band?’ They thought it was so weird because we’ve been surrounded by each other for a lot of years but we didn’t know each other.”
For Women’s Month 2018, Icona Pop has teamed up with direct selling giant AVON with the music single “All My Girls” to celebrate the spirit of women empowerment. Women around the world have voices waiting to be heard more than ever before. Among these voices are those of Filipinas Lynn Pinugu who started the Mano Amiga Academy which provides high-quality education and development for low-income, small communities, as well as Victoria Herrera, co-developer of the women’s media platform She Talks Asia. She Talks Asia recently held its 2018 summit, an empowerment forum where even men were given the floor on a “battle of the sexes” discussion. The music video by Icona Pop is a tribute to the formerly unknown, inspiring stories of women who have risen above their circumstances.
Caroline explains, “The song means celebrating our friendship but also female empowerment and how we want to feel and how we feel when we are surrounded with all these amazing girls. So Avon reached out to us, and asked us about this project, we said yes immediately because we just felt like ‘oh, we can really relate to this feeling’.”
Aino recalls how she and Caroline came together unexpectedly; “We didn’t know each other but we went to the same school. But it was 5 years after school, we met at a party. I think it is so important for us girls to stick together and that’s what we’ve done with our friendship.”
“I mean only one month after we started our band, we had our first show with like 5 unfinished songs. So we had to improvise a little bit on the stage.” Caroline explains. “But it was a sold out first show. So I think we were putting everything into it and said it to all of our friends like you don’t want to miss this.”
On the difference in the world today when it comes to women empowerment, Aino shares how inspired she is that younger girls are making use of their unique talents to make a difference. “There’s this girl, her name is Sophia, she is 13 years old and she’s rapping about racism and how to be a black girl in the society. It’s so inspiring for us to see younger and younger people taking a part of this amazing movement. You get so inspired and so proud. I mean, it is a very big difference 10 years ago when we started. We’ve come very far in the equality between women and men, but I think there is [still] a long way to go.”
Many have wondered over the years (‘til now) about their relationship within the band, but frankly Caroline and Aino don’t really care two hoots about what people think especially about their gender; whether they’re lesbian, gay, or straight or about their relationship even. In their opinion, whatever it is, is up to them at the end of the day. Every person, regardless of age and gender, are allowed to enjoy their music and feel motivated or empowered, and for these two amazing, powerful women of Icona Pop, that’s what matters.