The singer at the center of this year’s wave of new chart-dominating female pop stars has a smash of her own ("Boom Clap"), the hook on another ("Fancy") and deals to write songs for Rihanna and Gwen Stefani. But before she could define herself, she had to experiment with making crazy noise in the studio: “I just had to go f— shit up.”
Charli XCX photographed on August 22, 2014 at Carondelet House in Los Angeles by Olivia Malone.
“Some people who liked True Romance...
“Some people who liked True Romance won’t like it and I’m very aware of that,” Charli (real name: Charlotte Aitchison) tells Billboard about her new album, Sucker. “True Romance is a cool album. I always equated being cool to being a bit rude or moody.” But: “It’s not who I am as a person and I struggled with that. When I was 16, I felt so much pressure to write a cool album because I thought I was so uncool. On this record, I don’t care if people think I’m dorky or too happy.”
"Songwriters don’t just churn it ou...
"Songwriters don’t just churn it out — we’re not machines. ‘I Love It’ opened the doors to a side of the music industry that I’d never had access to," says Charli about her hit for Icona Pop. "You see how the machine works."
The “...Baby One More Time” video...
The “...Baby One More Time” video by Britney Spears “is what made me want to sing,” says Charli.
“Sometimes I’ll just wake up and ...
“Sometimes I’ll just wake up and say, ‘I want to write something that’s purple today.’ And I’ll go watch The Craft and be like, ‘OK, now I’m in the purple zone,’ ” explains Charli.
“Charli is the most comfortable pop...
“Charli is the most comfortable pop star out there right now,” says Sucker producer and her close friend Justin Raisen, 32, who co-wrote most of Sky Ferreira’s 2013 album, Night Time, My Time. “There’s this specific haze when I turn the radio on, a joy that’s missing. But Charli has it. ‘Boom Clap’ is authentic. [She shows] you can take pop somewhere special.”