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PopDash Meets... Charli XcX

Introducing the new queen of goth-pop...

By Jamal Guthrie on Wednesday 30th November 2011

As the year ends and 2012 grows ever nearer we're already thinking about just who will shape the music of next year. Something gives us a feeling that Charli XcX is going to be a big name in the next twelve months and so we called her up to learn a little more about what goes into her catchy goth-pop sound. 

PopDash: For some of our readers who don't know, can you tell us about yourself?

Charli: My music is kind of dark pop, I guess you can put it under the bracket goth pop. In my head, it's emotional soul. That's where i'm sort of coming from.

PopDash: Who are you influenced by?

I'm really influence by people like The Knife, Kate Bush. I'm really into Salem as well. It's quite a wild range. I love French stuff as well. It's changed over the years as my style has changed.

PopDash: I read that you recorded an album when you were 14. What was that like?

Yeah, the whole thing stated for my when I was about 14. I started playing these warehouse raves, after I did that album and it got picked up by someone on Myspace. I was just using stuff from that album but i would never ever let anyone hear it. It's not very good. But I guess it kind of got me where I am.

PopDash: How has your style changed from then to now?

I guess the stuff that i was doing then, some of it was kind of rave orientated  because that was the sort of scene I was in. Lots of sirens and that sort of stuff and shouty things. I used to do this nursey rhyme rap sort of stuff. I guess now it's gone down a much darker road and I enjoy writing pop melodies and that sort of thing. I really enjoy creating visiual images for some of the lyrics I use and making it quite dark and beautiful. I guess that's where I'm at now.

PopDash: How do you balance gigging with being at the Slade School of Art?

It's good. They go kind of hand in hand to be honest. What I get from there is really helpful with my music as well. With videos and photo shoots i think it's really good to have a visually artistic eye as well to help you out in that sort of world. To build a world around what you're doing, for me I find really helpful.

PopDash: The video for Nuclear Seasons looks post apocalyptic. How did that come about?

Yeah, we were going down that road with he styling. My stylist is, like, obsessed with the apocalypse. She wakes up every morning prepared just in case. We wanted to make it really dark. I was working with the director Ryan Andrews and all his stuff is based in the future and kind of  inspired by Twin Peaks. We wanted to stick to something like that and worked with this witch house dude that uses VHS and projectors and that sort of stuff. I think it all fitted in really well.

PopDash: You've worked with Ariel from Diplo, are there any other big name producers we can expect to hear on the album?

Yeah, Ariel helped with Nuclear Seasons and Stay Away and he's on a lot of the album as well. I've also worked with Patrick Berger who did a lot of the Robyn stuff. It's Ariel and two Wwedish guys.

PopDash: do you travel to sweden a lot to record?

I've made two trips there, I like to work really fast, so we just bang it out and that's it.

PopDash: What have been your highlights of the year so far?

The other night i went on Nick Grimshaw's pop quiz and I won and I was really happy. Even though it means nothing, I was like 'yes! I've won a pop quiz!" So I was happy about that. I got to support Robyn earlier on in the year which was really cool. The support i've got from Annie Mac over the past few months has been really cool and getting to play her Annie Mac Presents show was really good as well.

PopDash: And hopes for the album and 2012 in general?

I guess, obviously, for it to go to number 1 would be amazing but to be honest i just really want it to be respected as a good body of work and good pop songs.

'Nuclear Seasons' by Charli XcX can be downloaded for free now.

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