Icona Pop on how the music industry has become a better place for women since #MeToo

The answer a lot of girls used to get was: "But you know the business" or "he didn't mean that"

12 Mar 2018

International Women's Day is all about celebrating fearless females from around the world, and two women who encapsulate this are Swedish pop duo Icona Pop.

Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo shot to fame in 2012 when they collaborated with Charlie XCX on their number one single I Love It. Now they've teamed up with for the #Stand4Her movement, a campaign encouraging young women to dream big and aim high. They've created a music video called All My Girls, so we caught up with them to talk feminism and find out more...

What made you want to get involved in Avon's campaign?

A: Being women in the music industry it's always been very important for us to talk about female empowerment. When Avon asked us it felt like a no-brainer, it goes hand-in-hand with what we do.

What's one thing you'd like to see change for women in 2018?

C: In the last couple of years more and more women have dared to speak up about everything from sexual harassment to things they've been going through. Maybe they don't have the same opportunities at work as men do, even though they do the same thing and work the same hours. A lot of women dare to talk now, so it's time for action. We're sitting here in Sweden and for us it's very easy compared to a lot of women around the world who come from places where they're not allowed to speak out. They may not even have the possibility to talk to each other about things like this. That needs to change and when we come together from all around the world and little by little talk about it more, that's when we move forward. We're on the right path, but we have a long way to go.

A: We've been a band for ten years now, and just looking back over that time there's a difference. So we're definitely heading in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.

C: #MeToo feels like a lot of people dared to raise awareness and it's so inspiring. It's with a positive energy that we go into this project because there are so many cool women out there who are standing up tall and talking about what they believe in, sometimes in an environment that isn't really allowing it.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

C: Don't be so hard on yourself. You are young and you feel like you're very alone with your thoughts and problems. I think the only way to learn is through your mistakes and if you never try you'll never know if it's the right path.

A: Always listen to your gut, I think that's very important. And stick together, have a few friends who you always talk to so when weird things happen you can always call them. That's what we've done, we have a bunch of girls who always talk if something weird happens in the music industry, or if we're sad, or someone's said something. Then you're a bit stronger when you have to go out and face battles again.

C: And dare to be a pain in the ass. I feel like there are no bad questions, only very stupid answers. Dare to ask questions, and if you don't understand, ask again. Be a little bit annoying sometimes because that's how you understand, learn and figure things out.

What music do you listen to when you want to feel empowered?

A: Run the World by Beyonce and Simply The Best by Tina Turner.

C: Tove Lo, Disco Tits.

What do you think of feminism within the music industry?

C: I feel like it's been changing a lot. The vibe is different. The answer that a lot of girls in the music industry used to get if they said that something was wrong was: "But you know the business" or "he didn't mean that". It was ok if a guy from the label did something because it's the "music industry", but it feels like that's not ok anymore and people are taking it more seriously. We're talking about [feminism] now in a totally different way.

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