Charli XCX hit the ground running at this year’s SXSW, playing multiple showcases and partying just as much. mxdwn caught up with the singer-songwriter amidst all the chaos.
photo by Dan Curwin
mxdwn: Tell me about your SXSW experience?
Charli XCX: Hectic, stressful, crazy, almost breakdown, but already amazing and fun as well. I peaked on the first night. I was gonna party so hard and be a fucking asshole, you know, just blow all my shit on the first day and then day two came and I was like, “fuck… I am so fucked.” But it was fun though. I got to do a bunch of daytime shows and the crowds were really cool and they were up for it.
mxdwn: How does a daytime show compare to your nighttime shows?
Charli XCX: Whenever we’re playing in the daytime I feel like I’m at a BBQ and I feel like everyone else feels like they’re at a BBQ. Then it’s like 4pm then people are a bit drunker. But at 2pm people are going to intelligently watch a band and they’re just having their first beer. And with nighttime there’s always way more partying.
mxdwn: If BBQ is what describes your daytime shows, what would the cuisine be for nighttime shows?
Charli XCX: I don’t think there is food at a nighttime show. I think it’s just champagne and maybe sweets – sour sweets.
mxdwn: Does playing more daytime shows reflect how you’ve changed as a musician? You’ve been in the game for a bit.
Charli XCX: I feel like even though I’ve been around for quite a long time; my music career as Charli XCX and as myself hasn’t really started since, like, a year ago. It started with my first single “Stay Away.” I feel like everything else prior to that was just me fucking around and it happened to be on the internet for all to see. I feel like a lot of people are fortunate enough to have that.
mxdwn: Tell me about your recent collaboration with Icona Pop. I know they were also at SXSW.
Charli XCX: It was the first time I went to Sweden and Patrik Berger sent me this track and asked if I liked it. And I just sat in my hotel room and literally wrote it in, like, half an hour. I went to the studio and was like “Is this cool?” And he was like, “Are you kidding? This is pretty cool.” But it didn’t feel right for me. I didn’t really want it. Icona Pop we both knew and they came down to the studio and they were really feeling it. I mean, it sounded so different from before. It was like a gay club anthem before; more Village People. And they switched it and put their twist on it. We actually performed it the first time at the Warner Brother’s party. That was a really cool moment.
mxdwn: What’s next for Charli XCX? It looks like you’ve got European and US tour coming up to support your latest record.
Charli XCX: Well, my record’s out on April 16. It’s called True Romance. It’s inspired by my romantic history and love and life. Then I’ve got a European tour coming up and my first headlining US tour in June.
mxdwn: What’s your philosophy on love?
Charli XCX: I don’t know. I’m on more of an orgasmic, heavenly, amazing love so that’s all I’m kind of thinking about but I’ve had my beef with love. Everyone has. I don’t know what my view is on love but I know that it’s really powerful. It can fuck you up.
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz