“This is a strange thing to say, but it would be crazy to commit suicide from here.” Charli XCX is not suicidal, it should be noted. She’s dramatic, yes. Her songs, her clothes (on this particular day: purple tie-dye spandex, giant platform sneakers and heart-shaped sunglasses), it’s all dramatic. In the fun way, not the exhausting, “Ugh it’s always something with this girl” way. So it maybe makes sense that, just a few weeks before the release of her debut album True Romance, the British singer’s first thought upon gazing out the panoramic window of her label’s Manhattan headquarters was about busting through the glass from 26 stories up.
It was strangely reassuring to see her playfully juggling flippancy and earnestness in person, to see that it wasn’t just some aesthetic front for her songs. She’s “authentic,” it would suggest. Which is perhaps why pop kids and indie snobs alike are drawn to her music. “When I was getting this love from, like, the ‘cool’ indie fans, I was very surprised,” Charli told me. “Because I don’t think I’m a very cool person. I’m a bit of a weirdo.” Well then, a self-aware weirdo, which is the only type of weirdo that can pull off platform sneakers without looking like a complete wanker. But part of the 20-year-old’s appeal is taking the so-called “weird” and refracting it through the lens of normalized pop.
“Some of my references are really pop-tastic. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, all the ’90s pop icons,” she explained. “But then I also draw from cooler, left-fieldy kind of stuff. I’ve just made the music I want to make.” More »