Charli XCX Doesn't Care For Your Misogynistic Bullshit
Musicians these days make me feel old. As a mid-twenties male, I've already resigned myself to my stale armchair, ranting about the days when Coldplay didn't insist on stadium soft-rockery and Weezer weren't being bribed to stop playing for the good of all mankind. Still, you've got to roll with the times, and this post-Spice-mania era seems to have ushered in a small army of young and cool Brit popettes. Where once they might have struggled to climb the greasy music industry pole, now they're being lauded without even having released an official album. Girl Power 2.0 is alive, although I don't quite know what it means.
So, I thought I'd ask one of these popettes directly. Charli XCX to be exact, the new princess of "goth electro pop". I sat down with her to chat about nouveau girl power, who she'd throw piss at and My Little Pony.
Noisey: Hi, Charli XCX. How's it going?
Charli: It’s going pretty good. I’m really tired. I came back from the US yesterday and spent all night organizing my boyfriend’s DVDs into genres, because we just moved into this new house and there’s nothing else to do, apart from organize shit. I thought alphabetical, but then, as soon as it gets left out of place, he’ll get really angry.
Really wise. That’s it, really. Now I’m here. I literally just moved today, it was amazing; I was like, "whooooaaa, I feel like a grown up!"
That’s a weird feeling.
Really weird. Especially when you don’t know how to work any of the shit in there.
Are you a technophobe?
Yeah, I’m just lazy as well. I did my washing today – I put on a cycle for three hours and then someone told me that wasn’t normal. It’s meant to be an hour, right?
Unless your clothes particularly stink.
Yeah, well they weren’t that bad. Not three hours of stink, I assure you.
Anyway, first thing I wanna know – who do you think would win a fight between you, Marina & The Diamonds and M.I.A?
I’d love to say me, but I think we all know that M.I.A has got some gangster hook-ups, right? I think I’d get a few cheeky ones in, you know, I’d be the scrappy bitch fighter. M.I.A would just have guns. Marina would be putting bubble gum in peoples' hair, shit like that.
What would be your special move?
Probably a buffalo kick. Straight to the face.
Smooth. So, how much cooler are you than all the other plebs out there?
[Laughs] Oh my god, that’s such a terrible question. I don’t think I’m that much cooler. I mean, in my opinion, I dress a lot better than some people and I like my style, but I don’t think that everyone has to dress like that. In terms of general life shit, I’m not very cool. Like, I’m pretty normal.
Yeah? What’s your most mundane pastime?
I really like picking my nose.
Yeah, sweeeeeet. I like that and watching The Hills. I enjoy Heidi Montag, she’s a great addition to the human race.
Is she the one who got that ridiculous boob job?
She got everything. She got back sculpting and she got the arches of her feet made bigger to make her look more like a Barbie.
See, she’s great.
Did you catch the Spice Girls' Olympic performance thing on TV?
You know what, I only watched it today, and I loved it. I love the Spice Girls, I think they were way better in their heyday, obviously, when they looked less primped and preened, but hats off to them, they got on top of cars. That’s pretty cool.
Wasn’t that just so they didn’t have to dance too much? Just hanging on and swaying.
I didn’t think about it that way, but you’re probably right. Posh looked the best. I kind of believed her more than the rest of them.
How the world changes.
Yeah, she obviously didn’t wanna fucking be there, you know what I mean? But she looked hot. She was probably wearing her own dress or something. I dunno, I thought it was great.
How about George Michael?
Didn’t watch it. I’m a fan, though. "Faith" is a great music video.
Is Girl Power 2.0…
[Laughs] What? I’ve never heard anyone say it like that, but that’s great.
You can have it, if you like. Is Girl Power 2.0 comparable to Second Wave Feminism?
Erm, OK. I never talk about feminism, because I don’t feel like I know enough about it to go spouting all these political views and things like that, which is a bad thing. I admit I should know more about that, I just believe that girls should be able to do what the fuck they want and shouldn’t feel the need to dress conventionally and sexy in mens' eyes. Maybe that’s what the second wave of feminism is, I don’t know, I just know what my own beliefs are. If that’s what it is, then yes, great, can you tell me what it is? Educate me.
It was basically about general equality in law, whereas the first was generally about recognizing women’s basic humans rights.
OK, thanks for enlightening me. I’m all for equality. Especially in the music industry, I still feel like there’s a bit of… well, a big inequality. When people think about producers and writers, generally my friends, including friends who are girls, all assume they’re men, when they’re not. You know, Linda Perry’s one of the biggest producers and songwriters possibly in the world – she’s a kick-ass girl. So yeah, I guess Girl Power 2.0 could be related to that for sure.
What about how women are referred to in the lyrical content of, lets say, hip-hop?
Bitches, hoes, shit like that? I think that’s part of a culture that, again, is something I’m not an expert on, but for me as an outsider, I don’t want to go complaining about that, when so many girls use that terminology about themselves anyway. It’s a weird line that I wouldn’t like to comment on.
True. How do you feel about Chris Brown? Have you ever met him?
No, I haven’t, but I’m not down with the Brown. Not down at all. I do like a couple of his songs but then I think, hold up, I shouldn’t, because…
He’s a massive douchebag?
He beat up Rihanna. What the fuck is she doing helping his career by working with him again? I dunno, let her do her own thing, I guess.
Mutual self-interest, perhaps?
The one thing that bugs me about Chris Brown is not even what he does, it's when girls say "Ooh, I’d let Chris Brown beat me up any day", thinking it’s a funny kind of joke, when actually go and get him really pissed, sit in a room with him and then let him beat you. Then we’d see what they’d have to say after that. Not cool.
Yeaaah. Speaking of equality and hip-hop, have you been involved in any sick rap battles recently?
Oh my god, I actually have! It wasn’t actually very on my part sick, but yes, I was in LA and I often do this when I’m drunk, as my friends will tell you. I often instigate rap battles that I can never win. I was out with this girl Brooke Candy, who’s this absolutely amazing rapper, she kind of looks like this My Little Pony…
A sexy My Little Pony?
Yeah, this super girl power, very erotic – she has weed tattooed on her arse and shit like that, she’s pretty cool. So, myself and her had a rap battle and I think it's fair to say she won. When she was rapping, she asked me to beatbox for her; the whole thing wasn’t great. Luckily, only my boyfriend has it on film. There are pictures, though, but I kind of look cool in them, so it's OK.
This means you can never break up.
So, do you get called Charli 100 a lot by all the Roman numeral fans out there?
Not as much as you’d think. I actually get called Charli Sex Ex, Triple X – it’s not that difficult to read an X, a C and an X, but everyone seems to find it very hard. Not so much the Roman numerals things, but I like that, it’s like "Yeah, you thought about that".
One of my greater triumphs. Who was your favorite Caesar?
Not really up on the Caesars, but I’d probably say Caesar salad. Eyyy, you weren’t expecting that!
You’ve thrown it right back in my face.
Came from the left!
Umm, what else...which dead musicians would you have liked to work with?
Dead musicians. Hmm. Kurt Cobain, even though I don’t really think he did that much, but it would have been really cool. Also, Marc Bolan. He’s in the dream team – the super band dream team: Me, Marc Bolan, Die Antwoord and maybe Nina Cherry. That’s a great dream team, right?
I’ve just noticed that I’m fingering this My Little Pony’s bumhole while I’m talking to you.
It’s been making me feel all rude.
Marc Bolan would have been amazing. I love T-Rex.
How are you going to keep everyone’s attention?
I don’t know. It should probably involve releasing a sex tape, or something. Becoming a stripper, maybe, but it's probably just gonna be through releasing mixtapes and good music.
Harsh. What do you call your Twitter followers?
Oh no, I don’t do that.
Little Xers? The 100 Club?
No, no. Well, now that its been mentioned in an interview I’m probably going to be made to do something like that, but I don’t like it. It freaks me out.
My Little Assholes?
[Laughs] And also what’s quite funny, is who was the first person to do it, Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga, someone like that? Then everyone else felt the need to come up with something like that, all these shit names like Rats and Aliens, but God, it’s like… no, just don’t do it.
Who’s the worst young female musician out there?
I’m not a bitch, I’m not gonna answer that. No way.
Damn. OK, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen at a gig?
I saw Patrick Wolf throw up in his own hands and eat it at a show once. It was at a festival, he was climbing up the side of a stage and he was wearing this amazing catsuit and just went "Bleeauuhgh". I just thought, "Oh my god, I still fancy you", which was weird.
So you and Bez will be in the same category?
[Laughs] Yeah, we’re actually working on a dance DVD at the moment, which is gonna be a huge hit.
Sounds it. Where are you gonna be in a year’s time then?
Hopefully, it sounds cliché, but hopefully have a number one record – that would be lovely. I’m happy if I don’t get a number one, happy if I do, but as long as I’m in peoples' headspace as a good pop writer and musician, I’m happy with that.
I’d probably jump in the crowd and fight them.
Who would you throw piss at?
Give me three options.
Charlie from Busted, Jedward and M.I.A.
Definitely not Jedward, I love them. Probably Charlie from Busted.
Good choice. Well, that’s the end of my questions.
Great, thanks. That was fun!
Follow Alex on Twitter @alexdonovan