The 'I Don't Care' singer voiced her frustrations with the music industry in a new interview with the Australian Daily Telegraph, after the pressure she faced coming up with a repeat of her breakthrough hit.
Charli XCX has criticised the modern music industry as being an “uncreative” place where successful musicians are not encouraged to take risks.
The 22 year old British starlet, real name Charlotte Emma Aitchison, scored a huge Number 1 hit in the UK in 2012 with ‘I Love It’, a song she wrote for Icona Pop and to which she supplied guest vocals. It eventually sold in excess of 4.3 million downloads around the world.
Charli XCX performing live
However, in a new interview with the Australian Daily Telegraph, she revealed that her record label were demanding more hits in the same vein – angry-sounding electronic dance music tunes to get the party started – in order to try to replicate those massive sales. She was insistent that it “wasn’t going to be the case” that she would just be 'angry Charli' forever, particularly if she wanted to move in a different musical direction.
“There were definitely some people who wanted me to be a certain way,” she explained, “but I think we all figured out kinda quickly that wasn't going to be the case. I developed an understanding with my record label early on I would do this my way or no way at all.”
She continued, “I learnt that the music industry can become a really uncreative place when you have a hit, because people just want you to replicate that. People behind the scenes can change with the success of a song.” Happily for her, she had another massive hit in 2014 with rapper Iggy Azalea on ‘Fancy’, which meant that she wasn’t going to be stylistically pigeonholed as a one-hit wonder.
Aitchison – whose recording name derives from her MSN Messenger chat room name from when she was younger – is currently supporting Katy Perry on the European leg of her Prismatic tour. Her recent album Sucker received positive reviews for its futuristic vision for electronic pop.
In the rest of the interview, she talks about her writing and performing style and how she sees music as colours. She also spoke about her status as an outsider to the glitzy world of superstardom, insisting that she’s a very grounded person.
Charli may have been snapped partying with the likes of Sam Smith and Taylor Swift at February’s BRIT Awards, but said: “I have people I like and that I’m friends with [in the music industry] but my best friends are people I’ve known since I was three years old; my ‘ride or die’.”