Swedish duo Icona Pop first captured the attention of millions with their 2012 smash hit “I Love It,” which is still remixed and played worldwide to this day. Following the success of their debut single, they opened up for major international acts such as One Direction and Miley Cyrus while establishing a dedicated fanbase of their own. Icona Pop have continued to share music with listeners over the past decade while performing at some of the world’s largest music festivals like Ultra and Tomorrowland. Most recently, the pop duo teamed up with Ultra Naté for a modern rework of her 1997 hit “Free.” Icona Pop and Ultra Naté’s new version of the track is titled “You’re Free” and celebrates the single on the 25th anniversary of its original release. In an exclusive interview with CelebMix, Icona Pop opens up about reworking “Free” in collaboration with Ultra Naté, performing and more.
What inspired your brand new single “You’re Free” and how do you think it compares to what you have released in the past?
All releases feel special in their own way. It always hit us how cool it is that we work with our passion, but this one definitely stands out. To be able to share this track with an icon like Ultra Naté feels so exciting and cool. When we were in the studio working on the track, we were like ‘what if we could get Ultra Naté on the track,’ but it was just wishful thinking, so when it actually happened we screamed out loud in the studio.
What was it like to work with Ultra Naté and recreate her classic hit “Free” which was released 25 years ago?
Due to the pandemic, we never got the chance to work with her face to face. We’ll definitely make sure to meet up and perform together [in the future]. It’s so cool that we’ve been dancing to the original version [since] we were babies and it’s also been in our DJ set during our grown up life. We can truly say that song has been with us for a long time, so this feels very special and an honor to do it together with her.
If you could remix or recreate any song from the past with its original artist, what track would you choose and why?
There are so many, but a song that has been with us for a long time is Robin S’ “Show Me Love”
[and] also Talking Heads’ “There Must Be a Place.” Both songs never get old. You might have a pause from them for a year or two and then they’re back on our playlists on repeat.
Are there any bands or artists in the music industry who you would love to collaborate with in the near future?
Yes, of course! It would be a dream to work with Disclosure or Calvin Harris and we would love to do something more with our babe Tove Lo.
You were set to perform across New York recently, but it didn’t happen sadly. What song were you most excited to perform live?
Due to passport issues, we never got the chance to go to NYC. We were so devastated that we couldn’t go because we had so many great shows and already promised our fans we would come, but we will go there very soon. It’s so hard to pick one favorite song to play live, but one of them is absolutely “All Night.” People always go bananas!
Do you ever reminisce about the overwhelming success of “I Love It” when you hear it? What is it like to know that people still love that song as much as they did nearly 10 years ago?
It’s insane how fast time passes. I remember like yesterday how suddenly a lot of music blogs started to write about our track and then it spread and got more and more attention. Suddenly we were sitting on a plane to Australia, then to the U.S. and the next destination, Brazil. We were everywhere at the same time.
If I’m gonna be honest, there were so many impressions and [it was] insane, so it’s pretty blurry when we think back…but we can definitely tell you that we had a lot of fun. We just enjoyed the ride as much as we could.
What can fans look forward to in the near or distant future?
We have a lot of things going on [that we] can’t wait to share with our Icons. We are finishing up our new album, building our new live set and so much more that we can’t really talk about, but you will see it very soon.