When Charli XCX released her new album How I’m Feeling Now on May 15, the title was truth in advertising. The pop singer-songwriter wrote and recording the album entirely while she’s been in self-quarantine at her home in Los Angeles during the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the new Billboard Pop Shop Podcast (listen below), Charli XCX describes the genesis of the project and why she felt the timing was right to make this album: “I… wanted to do an album at the end of the year… we wanted to do something in like, you know, a month, two months. Like, going to one place, like really shutting off the world and focusing in on just making music. Very quickly and fluidly and putting it out quite soon after we’d completed it.
“And so the idea to do something like that was already there, so I just thought, once the lockdown begun, and I was in that position anyway… ‘Why don’t I just do that now?’ Because this time feels very fruitful for me as a creative.
“You know, I enjoy not being able to be distracted. I enjoy being in one place. I enjoy being shut off from the world, really. So, it felt like a very ripe time for me to write something. And also very in my nature to sort of document exactly what I’m going through. … And also, I would have had a breakdown had I not been occupied.”
Also in our chat with Charli XCX — who has notched six hits on the Pop Songs airplay chart, including No. 1 “Boom Clap” — we ask the pop star why she thinks there has been a recent upswing in the popularity of disco-tinged pop tunes from the likes of Dua Lipa (“Don’t Start Now”), Doja Cat (“Say So”) and Lady Gaga (“Stupid Love”).
“You know what, I never know. … I feel like everything was so hip-hop infused for so long that maybe it’s kind of fun for (pop) to just be about it being so sugary and pop, and happy,” she says. “That Doja Cat song makes me feel so happy. And same with the Dua song. It makes me want to dance and it feels like I’m in a rom-com movie, you know? I think that’s really joyous and cool, because I feel like there was a lot of darkness in pop for quite a long time. Same with ‘Stupid Love,’ that song is so joyful.”
Elsewhere on the new episode of the Pop Shop, hosts Jason and Keith dive into a discussion about Katy Perry’s new single “Daisies” and what they are hoping for from her upcoming new studio album that is due out in August. In addition, there’s a bevy of chart news on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts, as well as a throwback Chart Stat of the Week about The Rolling Stones.
The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard‘s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard‘s senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and senior director, music, Jason Lipshutz every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)