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29 October 2022

Charli XCX: “I Like Playing Games With Pop Music”

Charli XCX
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Charli XCX has spoken to NME about her relationship with pop music and her future direction.

“I like playing games with pop music,” the singer, who had a hit album last year with Crash, said. “Pop music has never just been as simple as being a pop star and releasing music. In a way I would love it – if it was just that for me – but then I think I would be a more boring artist who will probably be forgotten. I enjoy the nuances of this fucked up industry and game-playing and all of these strings that happen behind the scenes… I’m enjoying that element of pop music. I enjoy poking fun at it, I enjoy buying into it, believing it, rejecting it, being a mess, and the chaos within it.

“With Crash I definitely wanted to play that game. But I think because of who I am, and the artist that I am and the reference points that I have and the world that I come from, it’s like… there’s just this part of my brain that doesn’t want to function like that.”

Talking about what comes next, Charli was elusive, “I’ve known for a while the general direction of where I want to go… and it’s back to what was really inspiring me when I began making music in 2006 and 2007, you know? I think it will be familiar, but hopefully just more intensely committed than before.”

She went on to reveal that she has been working on a book, “I was so into it, and then I hit a wall and haven’t touched it since,” she laughs. “I got my agents all riled up, sent them four pages, and then ghosted them. I was asking [Nick Frimshaw] about the process, and he said you kind of have these moments of lightning bolt inspiration, and then you kind of put it down,” she says. “When the time pressure’s on you, then you really do it full steam, so maybe I’ll be a bit like that? There’s no deadline.”

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