“I’m so fancy, you already know.”
Come on. You can’t deny that you know at least THOSE lyrics to Iggy Azalea’s hit song. You may or may not have mastered the rap, but it’s undeniable you know the hook just like how you know the all the lyrics to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” The voice behind that line is none other than Charlotte Emma Aitchison a.k.a. Charli XCX but you probably already knew that, right?
Now, hear me out. Charli XCX is also behind that other catchy song you may find yourself screaming when you’re out with your friends — Icona Pop’s “I Love It.” Yes! She wrote that badboy so you can thank her for that. Plus, we can’t forget to mention she’s on the soundtrack of the tear jerking movie The Fault in Our Stars. (Fun Fact: She originally gave the song to Hilary Duff to sing)
The basics: The 21 year old Charli XCX hails from United Kingdom, but blessed America with her songwriting skills. When she was 14, she really started dabbling her feet in the music industry. In 2008, she released two singles and a commercially unreleased debut album. Even though her first album 14 wasn’t a major success, that didn’t stop her from continuing to make music she loved. She stayed true to herself as she should.
She’s been around the music industry for quite awhile now but rarely do we see her name stand alone in the mainstream music scene. Why is that? Because she’s busy making the hits for other artists. Props to her for that.
No one thought twice about Charli XCX nor knew her name for about seven years and why should they? The thing is, she’s not a pop star. I don’t even think she falls in the category of pop. Her sound resonates more of a singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira feel, which critics still can’t decide is pop or not. As many of us may know, there are blurred lines in music and whether an artist is categorized a pop/indie/goth-pop genre is ultimately up to the listener.
Charli definitely doesn’t have the typical “look” of a pop star, but did anyone expect seventeen year old singer-songwriter Lorde to be a face in pop music? I don’t think so, but there she is. The two have many similarities: the big hair, they both used MySpace to get their music out there and more. Many of us are so accustomed to seeing faces similar to Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez or Katy Perry that now we question ourselves, is there really even a specific “look” for the pop genre? My guess is, not anymore. Charli XCX as well as other artists are pretty much changing the definition of pop and expanding the genre.
That being said, her recognition is slowly surpassing the days of casually being attached to the artists she wrote for. Someone recently pointed out that the last British girl to top the charts was Adele. ADELE! Can we just look back and remember at how many people were obsessed with Adele? With that in mind, we can only assume this is just the beginning of this budding “pop star.” If she’s already busting out hits left and right for other artists, we must sit and wait to hear what music she has in store for her own album coming out later this year.
Now do you understand why you should get amped up for Charli XCX? Hopefully I filled you in with enough knowledge that at least persuaded you to search her on Spotify. If you like what you hear and live in North America, she recently announced on Twitter that she’ll be doing a headlining tour. If you have the time, go on and see her perform!