As a performer, the 22-year-old, dressed in Nineties bad taste trash fashion, a bold smudge of red lipstick and untamed curled locks, is a mix of punk and pop-like showmanship. She’s no newbie to the scene either: the British singer-songwriter, who recently released her sophomore album “Sucker,” first started recording at age 14 and has since worked with the likes of Icona Pop, Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora.
You said this album “Sucker” isn’t the stereotype of sexy, so what’s your definition?
It really varies from person to person, you know. I think to feel sexy you have to really feel alive and free and express yourself in the way you want to.
Have you encountered any sexism within the industry?
I’ve worked with the same people since I was like 16 and the only one time I really encountered anything from my record label was when I was a lot younger. They asked me to brush my hair and wear less black and that was something that was dismissed very early on by me.
Azealia Banks bought you a dildo and David Letterman gave you a fake cat arm that roars and purrs. Have you received any other odd gifts of late?
Those are the two most recent gifts of any comedic value. My fans bought a pair of jeans and painted really nice things on them the other day – that was really nice. I also received an inflatable life-size Justin Bieber doll when I was on tour in the U.S. We took it on tour with us and he slept in my room. Nothing happened, though.
So he’s your blowup boyfriend…
I don’t know if I would take it that far. He’s more like a team mascot – he’s slept around.
You’ve mentioned your mood swings before. Is anxiety something that you’ve struggled with since school?
Not always. It just depends on my schedule and who I’m around. If I’m around new people, I get very anxious a lot because I find it difficult to talk to new people and connect passed a level of small talk and that stresses me out. If I’m with my friends and people I love, I’m pretty chilled.
Apparently you’re striving for world domination. What would life be like under your rule?
There’d just be loads of Charli XCX-written songs on the radio. I don’t necessarily have to be singing them; other people can sing them. And free champagne for everyone… all the time.
• “I get the odd wild night out but I’m not into ketamine at all – not my jam.”
• “I’d like to create my own line of tampons but there are so many health issues with that. I actually think [90s punk band] 7 Year Bitch tried to make a line of tampons but there are actually like a lot of health complexities. But I would like to if it’s possible.”
• “I don’t have an opinion [on music streaming platform Tidal] yet because I haven’t been on it. I never stream music and I’m not clued up on the argument. I need to like sit down and figure it out. I don’t have Spotify. I buy like four albums a year and listen to them on repeat and that’s it, so I’m not your stereotypical music consumer.”
If you go:
Charli XCX at Governors Ball
June 5, 3 p.m.
Randall's Island Park