Charli XCX , aka Charlotte Emma Aitchison, is a British popstar making it big in America.
She’s been nominated for six VMAs, which is quite a feat for the 22-year-old.
Her new album, Sucker, will be out on October 21.
Here’s what you need to know about the rising star.
1. People Say XCX Stands for ‘Kiss Charli Kiss’ But She Wants it To Be Dirtier
She chose the moniker at just 15 years old, and does not have a clear answer as to what it means.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, she explained:
Well, people have speculated that it means “Kiss Kiss,” but I really just chose the name because I thought it looked cool and sounded catchy. Of course, when I was signed to my record label, I suddenly felt like it needed to stand for something. So I told my label that it could mean, “X-Rated Content” or something like that, and everyone there just kind of looked at me as if I was crazy.
In an interview with Complex, she said:
…I made it up when I was 15 years old. It was the first time I had to play a rave, and the guy asked me what I wanted to put on the flyer. I can’t just put my normal name, because that’s pretty crap. When I signed I said, “Shit, in every interview, everyone is going to ask me what XCX stands for.” I need to make up something really cool, I’m going to say X-rated Cunt X-rated and I said that to my record label and they said ‘What?! No.’
The outspoken singer does see a big difference between the way women and men are treated in the music industry.
In an interview with Vice, she said, “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.”
2. Her Number 1 Hit Was in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’
The first single off of the soundtrack for the movie adaption of The Fault in Our Stars, the song provided the backdrop for the scene where Gus and Hazel, played by Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley travel to Amsterdam.
Charli had written it before it was attached to the movie, but still saw the connection it had to the young adult love story.
“I feel like both my song and the movie are these ginormous love stories, and I think that’s why they click together so well,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
She went on to say that the music reflects an epic love:
I think that “Boom Clap” was written from my heart and about this idea of epic love. I think that’s exactly what Gus and Hazel have in this movie.
The lyrics, which you will hear as she performs the song at the VMAs, are reminiscent of a first love:
First kiss just like a drug
Under your influence
You take me over you’re the magic in my veins
This must be love
3. She Sings on & Co Wrote ‘Fancy’
Watch the video above for “Fancy,” which was a collaboration between Charli XCX and Iggy Azalea. Charli actually co wrote the anthem, which sold 2.7 million copies in the U.S.
Azalea told Fuse about her co singer:
[Charli XCX] is like very punk pop and I’m rap pop…There’s a softness about Charli, but she’s still very tough and tomboy. I love a bad chick that’s not afraid to be rough. But she can still do a dance routine. It’s more badass that she can do a dance routine in a cheerleading outfit and still be punk rock. That’s so hard to do.
4. People Compare Her to Madonna & Lorde
Her music videos are inspired by the 80s, and the songstress is compared to Madonna.
She told the Telegraph how she feels about that:
They say that? That’s cool. I don’t think that I’m a pop star. On paper, I’m bad at being a pop star with the conventional idea people have. Madonna was someone who didn’t get put in a box. She changed and evolved. The second someone tries to put me in a box, I will do everything to rebel against that. One thing I don’t understand is how people want you to replicate your past successes. Being an artist should be about freedom and not just becoming one thing, because I think that’s terrible and boring.
Others say her look is reminiscent of Lorde, with her long, dark hair and dress choices.
5. She Was Discovered on MySpace at 14
When speaking about her beginnings in the industry, she told Complex:
I’ve always written songs, well, f**ked around with the idea of writing songs. Like most people at the time, I started putting up my songs on MySpace. A guy who was running these parties in East London [saw my MySpace] and hit me up saying, “I love your songs, you should come and play.
As a result, she began playing at raves in England. “Everyone at those shows was out of their mind on ketamine and tossing glitter around, so being only 14, I felt like I really had to prove myself,” she told Rolling Stone.