hjelte

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Icona Pop Holds Nothing Back: The Band on Touring with 1D, Feminism, and the Power of High Heels
Word to the wise? Don't ever tell these girls what to do.

MC: You guys are super proactive about your feminism and gender equality in the industry—what progress and pitfalls have you observed since you guys got your start?

AJ: “I remember once—we’re both really tall, like 5’ 9"—and we were wearing super high heels and a guy we used to work with was like, "Uh, I don’t think you should wear heels because it can be pretty offensive for a man when you’re taller than them.” So, the day after we put on even higher heels. It was shocking. There were also other people we used to work who were like, “We’d love to style you, but think you’d look better in less clothes.” And it’s stuff like that makes you feel nauseous. We don’t do music because of how we look, we want people to love our music and feel it.“​

"THERE WERE ALSO OTHER PEOPLE WE USED TO WORK WHO WERE LIKE, ‘WE’D LOVE TO STYLE YOU, BUT THINK YOU’D LOOK BETTER IN LESS CLOTHES.’ AND IT’S STUFF LIKE THAT MAKES YOU FEEL NAUSEOUS.”

Caroline Hjelt​: “And if we want to be naked, we want to do it because we want to be naked. We think it’s beautiful to be naked sometimes, but we want to choose that moment and be the ones deciding why we’re doing it. One frustration in the industry is that people do things like it’s always been done. They say "Oh, this is terrible, but this is how we’ve always done it.” Or this is how we did it with so and so artist back in the day. When you play at festivals, it’s still very much male dominated if you look at the headliners. There still needs to be change for the better, but now there are so many amazing female producers, instrumentalists, and engineers, and that’s something that’s happening more and more because it’s becoming more accepted.“

AJ: "It also feels like when girls play live, it’s like "Are you singing for real?” or “Are you really playing that instrument?” They ask us questions that really make us angry. It’s like you have to be twice as good as the guys to get on the same level.“

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