Charli XCX had a stellar 2013, and she is showing no signs of letting up, as she already began working on her sophomore album and has released its lead single “Superlove.” The British singer recently sat down with Bullett Media for a candid interview summing up the highs and lows of the year in which she became one of pop’s power players.
Charli revealed that she sees herself (and her peers like Sky Ferreira) as an agent of change in the genre. For her own style, this means refusing to remain static between albums, and marrying elements of what she calls “plastic pop” with her more off-kilter influences (for instance, on album two, punk is a big influence). As for when we’ll get to hear this new side of Charli? In keeping with what she told fans, she said it should be out in the middle of this year.
Check out some highlights from the interview below, including her distinction between good plastic pop (Katy Perry) and bad plastic pop (Flo Rida).
On album #2: “I couldn’t think of anything worse than making a record that everyone is expecting me to make… Even if some people hate it, I’d rather do something that no one was waiting for me to do. So this next record is way more live. It’s very punk-inspired. It’s also inspired by a lot of yé-yé- pop from the ’60s… And right now I’m listening to loads of Weezer and The Hives and Ramones, so the record is really raw and aggressive and punk.”
On the success of “I Love It”: “That was kind of a crazy thing. It was a really weird part of my life; really unexpected… After “I Love It” was released, I had my first real experience with the bad side of the music industry and how people can change and how it can become like more of a struggle. It wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. When it should be a time for celebration it’s never really been that nice.
On pop’s changing landscape: ”Even though my record wasn’t a chart success, I feel like it is a record that people take from. I’ve always said that I just want to do my part and make something that was going to be referenced. It’s cool to inspire someone else. Just to see my fingerprints, and the fingerprints of my peers, on other music is really interesting to me. I think of myself and other artists around me who are making pop music really emotional again.”
On plastic pop: “There are two types of plastic pop: I think there’s good plastic pop, like some of Katy Perry’s older stuff, which I love and I think is great, like ‘California Girls.’ It’s so plastic; the lyrics are so pop. I love that song. It’s brilliant. And I think there’s sad plastic pop, which is pop that tries to be that [cool plastic pop] but doesn’t succeed. It’s just lazier and the lyrics aren’t as good. I don’t really like Flo Rida. I don’t really think that’s plastic pop, per se, but I just don’t feel challenged by that; I don’t feel excited. ”
Read the full interview over at Bullett Media.
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.