Charli XCX

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Charli XCX
Charli XCX @ Postivus 2013 (9819955206).jpg
Charli performing at Positivus Festival 2013
Background information
Birth nameCharlotte Emma Aitchison
Born(1992-08-02) 2 August 1992 (age 21)
Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
GenresSynthpop, indietronica, darkwave, witch house
OccupationsSinger, songwriter
Years active2008–present
LabelsOrgy Music, This Is Music, Asylum, Atlantic, IAMSOUND
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Charli XCX
Charli XCX @ Postivus 2013 (9819955206).jpg
Charli performing at Positivus Festival 2013
Background information
Birth nameCharlotte Emma Aitchison
Born(1992-08-02) 2 August 1992 (age 21)
Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
GenresSynthpop, indietronica, darkwave, witch house
OccupationsSinger, songwriter
Years active2008–present
LabelsOrgy Music, This Is Music, Asylum, Atlantic, IAMSOUND

Charlotte Emma Aitchison[1][2] (born 2 August 1992),[3][4] better known by her stage name Charli XCX, is a British singer and songwriter. She released two singles in 2008, "!Franchesckaar!", which is from her commercially unreleased debut album, 14; and "Emelline"/"Art Bitch". She was signed to This Is Music and IAMSOUND Records in 2010 before releasing three more singles, "Stay Away", "Nuclear Seasons" and "You're the One" from her debut EP, You're the One, which was released in June 2012. After a year-long delay, she released her debut major label studio album, True Romance, in April 2013.[5] Currently, she is expecting to release her third studio album in September 2014.[6]

Although a successful artist in her own right, Charli XCX's most successful hits (namely Icona Pop's "I Love It" and Iggy Azalea's "Fancy") are songs she co-wrote and feature her as a guest vocalist.[7]

Early life[edit]

Charli was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire to a Scottish father and Indian mother from Uganda.[8][9] She started writing songs when she was 14 years old.[2][10] She attended Bishop's Stortford College and left the school in 2010.[11]


2008–10: 14 and career beginnings[edit]

At the age of 14 in 2007, XCX began recording her debut album on a loan granted by her parents. In early 2008, she began posting songs from the album, as well as numerous other demos, on her official MySpace. This caught the attention of a man called Chaz, who was running numerous illegal warehouse raves in London, which became her first true gigs.[12] Two singles, "!Franchesckaar!" and double A-side "Emelline"/"Art Bitch", were released in late 2008 under Orgy Music. XCX's debut studio album, 14, featuring the former single, was never commercially released, although several promotional copies were issued and copies were given away at XCX's earliest gigs.[13] After being signed to Asylum Records in 2010, XCX took a break from music in what she describes as a "lost" period.[14]

2011–13: You're the One, Icona Pop and True Romance[edit]

In 2011, XCX featured on two singles, "End of the World" by Alex Metric and "Lost in Space" by Starkey. In May 2011, she released her first single in nearly three years, "Stay Away", followed by "Nuclear Seasons" in November, both produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and released exclusively in the UK. These singles gained attention from Pitchfork Media, where she gained Best New Track accolades for both tracks, with the former being ranked #35 on their Best Tracks of 2011 list.[15] In late 2011, a five-track promotional sampler of Aitchison's debut album surfaced. All tracks were early demos, including an early version of "You're the One", titled "In the Dark".[16]

In February 2012, XCX released two free tracks through her website, the holiday-themed "Valentine" and "I'll Never Know". She wrote and provided two tracks including "How Can I?" for the indie horror film Elfie Hopkins. She also released two free mixtapes via SoundCloud, containing tracks by her female and male influences, the first titled Super Girls, SuperLove and the second titled I Like Boys Who Cry.[17] On 12 May 2012, she released her first original mixtape, titled Heartbreaks and Earthquakes, a one-track file consisting of eight songs, including "How Can I?".[18] She supported Santigold and Coldplay on tour throughout summer.[19]

On 12 June 2012, XCX released her debut EP You're the One in the United States, featuring "You're the One" and "Nuclear Seasons", as well as remixes of both tracks. On 14 June, "You're the One" was released as her debut single in Australia. The EP was later released in September in the UK and Australia, the UK version featuring the title track and "So Far Away", as well as three remixes. The Australian version contained the title track, "Stay Away", and "Nuclear Seasons". The Australian edition was also the only version of the EP to be released physically on CD.[16] Her second original mixtape, Super Ultra was released exclusively through her website on 7 November 2012, featuring 8 separate

Charli toured and wrote a single with singer Marina and the Diamonds (pictured)


XCX wrote Icona Pop's song "I Love It", which became a breakthrough hit for the Swedish duo, peaking within the top ten of the charts in numerous countries, including the United States, and serving as the theme song for Snooki & JWoww. She is credited as a featured artist on the song, even though the only line she sings is "I don't care/ I love it!" in the chorus along with Icona Pop.[21] She does not appear in the music video.[22] XCX's second studio album and debut major label studio album, True Romance, was released on 12 April 2013 and peaked at #85 on the UK Albums Chart.[23] The album failed to appear on any international main albums charts, but it did reach #5 on the US Billboard Top Heatseekers and #11 on the Australian Hitseekers Albums Chart, reaching the equivalent peak of #206 and #111 respectively.[24] The album was well received by music critics, with an average score of 76/100 on Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[25]

XCX toured with Ellie Goulding as an opening act on a Europe tour of Germany, Poland, Italy, Switzerland and Dublin throughout April 2013, and then toured America and Canada with Marina Diamandis throughout May 2013, followed by her own untitled UK tour in support of True Romance. In March 2013, XCX was named one of Fuse TV's 30 must-see artists at SXSW.[26] On 1 May 2013, Marina and XCX published a duet titled "Just Desserts" on their YouTube pages. The song was posted as a free download on both of their Soundcloud pages.[27][28]

2013–present: Iggy Azalea, international success and third studio album[edit]

In June 2013, XCX confirmed she was working on her second (technically third) album.[29] Also in June, "Illusions Of", a track by J£ZUS MILLION featuring XCX, was released as a single from Double Denim Vol. 1, a compilation of artists signed to Double Denim Records.[30] In September 2013, XCX supported American rock band Paramore on the UK leg of their self-titled tour, spanning two dates at Wembley Arena. On 26 September 2013, she released the music video for "SuperLove," the lead single from her as-yet-unnamed third studio album. The single was released commercially on 8 December 2013.[31]

On 16 January 2014, XCX released a cover of a Snuffed by the Yakuza song titled "Allergic To Love" via her Soundcloud.[32] On 4 March 2014, a music video was released for the song "Fancy," which Charli and Iggy Azalea worked on together. In May 2014, "Fancy" hit the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming both artists' first number one single on the chart.[7][33] The music video was heavily inspired by the film Clueless, with Azalea portraying Cher Horowitz (originally played by Alicia Silverstone) and XCX portraying Tai Frasier (originally played by Brittany Murphy).[34]

In May 2014, she contributed the song "Boom Clap" for the soundtrack to The Fault in Our Stars. The song was released as the album's first single and has currently peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming both her first charting single and first Top 40 hit as a lead artist.[35]


XCX's music has been compared to the music of the 1980s with "the spookiness of Siouxsie Sioux" or "flawless early-Madonna".[36] Her influences include Spice Girls, Kate Bush, Uffie, Brooke Candy, Lil Wayne and Quentin Tarantino.[37][38] For her third solo album project, she listed The Hives, Weezer and Ramones as influences.[39] Various sources have listed her as goth pop or dark pop.[40]



YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
2013Teen Choice AwardsChoice Single: Group"I Love It"Nominated
2014Billboard Music AwardsTop Dance/Electronic Song"I Love It"Nominated
iHeartRadio Music AwardsBest Lyrics"I Love It"Nominated
SESAC Pop Awards[41]Songwriter of the Year"I Love It"Won
Song of the Year"I Love It"Won
Much Music Video AwardsInternational Video of the Year – Artist"Fancy"Nominated
World Music AwardsWorld's Best Song"Fancy"Pending
World's Best Video"Fancy"Nominated


  1. ^ "Songwriter/Composer: AITCHISON CHARLOTTE EMMA". Broadcast Music, Inc. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Needham, Alex (27 July 2009). "Brit Pop Girls". Interview. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Twitter / charli_xcx: Who's coming to my XOYO show". Twitter. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Twitter / charli_xcx: @Coincidental AUGUST 1992 BABY!". Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Charli XCX - Album Sampler (images)
  6. ^ NME Takes Charli XCX To Brighton's Aquarium -
  7. ^ a b "Chart Watch: Meet Iggy Azalea". YAHOO. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "This Week's Fresh Music Top 20". 4Music. 15 April 2014.
  9. ^ Tinkham, Chris (12 September 2013). "Charli XCX This Is Me". Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Charli XCX interview (part 1)". FaceCulture. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  11. ^ A post from 2 July 2013 on the Old Stortfordian Society's Facebook page
  12. ^ Interview with Charli XCX
  13. ^ "Interview: Charli XCX Talks Debut Album, Internet Haters, and Writing Icona Pop's "I Love It"". Complex. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  14. ^ Charli XCX - Guardian Interview
  15. ^ Pitchfork - The Best Songs of 2011
  16. ^ a b Charli XCX at Discogs
  17. ^ Idol Mag - Charli XCX interview
  18. ^ "Announcing Charli XCX’s EP & Tour Dates". 22 January 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Rita Ora On Coldplay Support Slots: "It's Such A Huge Opportunity" - Audio". Capital FM. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  20. ^ Charli XCX - Super Ultra
  21. ^
  22. ^ Adickman, Erika Brooks. "Charli XCX's "You (Ha Ha Ha)": At Your Request". Idolator. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  23. ^ "Official UK Albums Top 100". Official Charts Company. 27 April 2013. Archived from the original on 27 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  24. ^ "Heatseekers Albums : May 04, 2013 | Billboard Chart Archive". 4 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "True Romance – Charli XCX". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "30 Must-See Acts at SXSW 2013 - Photos - South by Southwest - Festivals - Fuse". 28 February 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  27. ^ Just Desserts on Soundcloud
  28. ^ "Marina And The Diamonds + Charli Xcx | ♡ "Just Desserts" ♡". YouTube. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  29. ^ Charli XCX Already Writing Music for Second Album
  30. ^ Double Denim Vol. 1
  31. ^ Charli XCX - SuperLove - GB iTunes Store.
  32. ^ Charli XCX - Allergic to Love (Snuffed By The Yakuza Cover) - Soundcloud.
  33. ^ Sam Lansky (4 March 2014). "Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX’s Homage to Clueless Will Have You Totally Buggin’". TIME. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  34. ^ "Iggy Azalea - Fancy (Explicit) ft. Charli XCX". YouTube. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ Caramanica, Jon (11 March 2012), Untamed and Unabashed, Rolling Stone, retrieved 3 February 2014 
  37. ^ Artist Biography by Heather Phares. "Charli XCX | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  38. ^ "Gimme Five: Charli XCX on Her Musical Obsessions". Billboard. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  39. ^ Carl Williott. "Charli XCX Disses Flo Rida, Says Sophomore Album Has Punk Influence | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on". Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  40. ^ Interview by Laurence Lowe,Photograph by Roger Deckker (1 February 2013). "Q&A: Charli XCX: Music + Books". Details. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  41. ^ SESAC Hosts 18th Annual Pop Awards, Charli XCX Named Songwriter of the Year

External links[edit]