Billboard Cover Sneak Peek: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Real Charli XCX
After serving as a behind-the-scenes pop maestro for some time -- she co-wrote Icona Pop's "I Love It" and sings the hook on Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" -- British pop sensation Charli XCX is stepping into the proper limelight for her upcoming second album, Sucker.
In Billboard's upcoming cover story, Charli (real name Charlotte Emma Aitchison) talks about juggling expectations from fans, absurd requests from music-industry insiders and rolling her eyes at bizarre performance-art pieces.
Before checking out the full story on Friday, Oct. 3, here are five things you need to know about the real Charli XCX:
She Doesn't Dig Arty B.S.
While staying at Los Angeles' Standard Hotel, she witnessed a nightly performance-art piece situated next to the reception desk. It involved a half-dressed man or woman stepping into a plastic box and reading from an iPad. Her response: "Isn't this the worst hotel?"
Sucker Might Turn Off Fans of Her First Record
"Some people who liked True Romance won't like [Sucker] and I’m very aware of that," Charli tells Billboard. "True Romance is a cool album… On this record, I don’t care if people think I'm dorky or too happy."
She's Looking to Write for Rihanna and Gwen Stefani
Charli says the No Doubt singer was a big inspiration to her in particular, calling Stefani's 2001 Eve collaboration, "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," her absolute "favorite female collaboration that has been released over the past 20 years."
After Icona Pop Hit Big, She Started Getting Those Cookie-Cutter Industry Requests
"We'd get an email that says, 'So-and-so's into writing with you, they want you to write 'I Love It' meets [Azealia Banks'] '212.' But [songwriters] don’t just churn it out -- we're not machines."
The Success of "Boom Clap" Affected the Release Date of Sucker
The rise of "Boom Clap" on the charts (it's currently No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100) is partly responsible for moving Sucker from an Oct. 21 release to a Dec. 16 release. "I just didn't realize that song would be around for so long," she told Billboard via email. "I don't want people to get the album and just expect to hear a record full of 'Boom Clap,' because that's not what it is. It's raw. There's more to me than that."
For more about Charli XCX, read Billboard's full cover story out Oct. 3.