Four years ago a British singer named Charli XCX began releasing hilarious and sometimes absurd electro-pop songs. Today, she’s 19 and gearing up for the release of her EP in the states via IAMSOUND Records.
Charli was kind enough to put together an exclusive playlist for AE fans featuring her favorite tunes. Take a listen and check out the interview below.
AE: What are you currently up to as far as touring, recording, projects this summer?
Charli: I’ve got so much stuff going on at the moment. I’ve just finished putting together a mix tape of a load of demos and covers and things, which I’ve always wanted to do but just never got round to… so yeah I’ve used tracks from people I admire like Jai Paul and Blood Diamonds and stuff… I’m gonna put that out around the middle of May and then I’ve got my E.P out on June 12th which is cool. I’m also going on tour with Santigold and doing some shows with Coldplay over June and July, so yeah I’m pretty busy. I wanted to go on holiday to Japan – but I don’t think I have time. Hopefully I’ll get some shows out there soon and then I can go.
AE: What was your first foray into London’s music scene like?
Charli: Ha it was pretty weird. I was 14 and I had been putting up all my demos on Myspace and then this guy contacted me online. He ran loads of raves and warehouse parties in East London and asked me if I wanted to come up and play them – so I went. It was crazy. I came from the countryside outside of London so I’d never really seen anything like it. There were people dressed up in amazing costumes and weird music. I was completely taken by it and I wanted to keep playing those parties so I kept going and became a regular in that scene. I used to just jump around and sing kiddie raps over my backing tracks. I think it’s moved on a bit from there now… but I still loved it!
AE: You recently paid a visit to Austin’s SXSW. Could you say a few words on your experience there?
Charli: It was MADNESS. I’ve never been to a festival like that. There was just so much music everywhere. I really enjoyed it and was so grateful to be asked to play the Pitchfork show. I’m really happy and a bit surprised that they’ve been so supportive of me, and I’m totally grateful. It was so cool to play on the same bill as Fiona Apple!
AE: Any favorite performers from the weekend?
Charli: I didn’t get to see much but one of my favorites was probably Purity Ring – their lights are so DOPE!
AE: How would you describe your personal style and who inspires your fashion choices?
Charli: I guess it’s like Britney Spears meets Wednesday Addams. Kind of spice girls/goth/grunge/pop. I dunno – I’m really flakey when it comes to fashion because I like a lot of things. I think that’s why London’s so great – you can switch it up whenever you like. I like dressing up. It’s really fun. I like people who go somewhere different with their style. Yolandi Visser is good with that, and so were the Spice Girls. I get loads of my fashion inspiration from movies – I like to pick up the aesthetic of certain films and mix it in with the way I dress – like The Virgin Suicides and the Drop Dead Gorgeous… I like that vibe. Kirsten Dunst is a babe.
AE: Summer style – What are some of the styles you enjoy? Any essentials that we should consider?
Charli: I don’t know. I’m not good with trends to be honest but I guess my thing for the past few months has been Buffalo shoes. And if you wanna get your toes out I’d go for a geeky platform sandal. I love that.