Charli XCX performs at the Sinclair in Cambridge, Mass., on Tuesday and at Irving Plaza in NYC on Wednesday. Credit: Gary Miller/WireImage
The pop landscape for women in the second decade of the millennium seems to be all about girls gone wild. But Charli XCX swears she's not trying to be a badass. Come to think of it, Charli XCX does a lot of swearing on her debut from earlier this year, "True Romance."
"I don’t really think like, ‘Oh I’m going to swear, let’s be really edgy,’ or any of that s—," she says. "I feel like I swear quite a lot in general life anyway, so when I’m writing it’s really just what’s in my brain and what’s kind of coming out of me."
She may be better known for writing songs than singing them: She penned Icona Pop's summer hit "I Love It."
"When I wrote 'I Love It' it was just me screaming into a computer, and that’s generally what happens when I write," she says. "It’s like pages from my invisible diary in my brain. Whatever comes out comes out, it’s kind of like word vomit."
Born Charlotte Emma Aitchison, she speaks with a jolly English accent and is charming in conversation, alternately funny and disarmingly sincere, much like the lyrics on the "True Romance" album. She also meant the "I Love It" line, "I'm a '90s bitch," literally: She was born in 1992. She says penning such a huge single has given her the chance to work with a childhood hero of hers, who was "a '90s bitch" of another sort.
"I was in a session the other day with William Orbit for Britney, which was cool," she says, barely containing her enthusiasm. "She’s one of the hugest stars in the world, who knows what will happen but it was an honor to be invited to that session. I don’t even know if I’m allowed to be saying anything about this in the musical world, I don’t know what you’re allowed to say or whatever, but yeah, that happened and that was cool."