Rising pop superstar discusses plans for new album, and reflects on 2013
Samantha Coombes

14:41 5th December 2013

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Charli XCX has had quite the 2013 for a 21 year old. She released her debut album 'True Romance', had the pleasure of touring with Tennessee rockers Paramore across UK stadiums, headlined a six-week US tour before returning to London for a homecoming show at the O2 Academy Islington in London last weekend. We caught up with her whilst she was recovering at her parents countryside home in Hertfordshire to talk about her year and the next album before she planned to 'chill out, eat pizza and have a slumber party'...

"This is my first chilled moment and I'm really bad at chilling out as I always end up doing emails which is really lame. But I'm going to have a really lazy night tonight and eat pizza and have a slumber party."

It's about time the young star gave herself some much deserved 'me time' as this year has proved incredibly hectic - and nerve wracking, admitting her recent return to London was an emotional experience.

"I've got over that fear since London. Even though I'd just done this huge US tour for six weeks it really felt like it was the best show in the UK. I've never felt that kind of love before and it felt awesome. It made me cry afterwards!," Charli told Gigwise.

Her relentless six week tour of the gave her a taste of the real life of a pop superstar. She reveals that fans often chased her and had a strange obsession with lobbing Justin Bieber-themed gifts in her direction including perfume and singing doll (which is pretty creepy). But there were 'sweet gifts and letters': "They're amazing and creative. One of them made me a Superlove comic book which was actually really good. They'd drawn illustration and written a story about me being in Japan. Lots of weed gets thrown on the stage too."

But even after all the excitement of America, performing with Paramore and a kick ass London gig, Charli's highlight of the year was when Radio 1 playlisted her new single, 'Superlove'.

"That was really cool as it has never happened before. I was so excited about it. It was weird when I heard it on the radio for the first time in the car with my mum. I had a moment like Mariah Carey in Glitter when she hears her song on the radio in a taxi and gets out the car to dance on the streets of New York. I was like 'Mum! Stop the car!"

Watch the video for 'Superlove' below

The year's antics also brought many lows, but for Charli it was something she could build on: "It's the nature of this whole industry. Its so many highs and lows no matter where you are in your career. I felt like crying one day and the next I was on top of the world. But I liked that as it keeps me on my toes and keeps me guessing."

Now seeing 2013 out on a huge high, the bubblegum-goth star has already started work on her second album. Her writing process has been stepped up a gear since True Romance, with the last year pushing her to do things at a faster pace.

"I don't really have a writing method," she explained. "I've been writing a lot with Patrik Berger ('I Love It'). We'll start in the day, keep going until like 5am and then crash out on the studio floor. It's really intense. I really like writing fast though. That's my thing and the nature of the new record. All my best songs were written in half an hour.

"If you don't have anything interesting to say in half an hour don't bother. That's were I am right now."

That's not the only thing that will differ her next album to True Romance. Explaining she now reflects on her debut as a record 'capturing a moment in her life that reflected coming of age in a teenage bedroom covered in posters', she said her new album takes on influences from Japanese, French and New Wave artists including Brigitte Bardot, Bow Wow Wow as well as rock bands such as The Hives and Ramones. But her main concern was that her record sounded like her own version of pop.

"I never made pop music to chart or sell which sounds stupid as I need to make a living. But I'm only going to make music that I like and I'm proud of. So its pop but on my own terms."

She's not worried about everyone liking her album: "I hate the fact that there's an expectation for artists to play the same game on their next album. I liked the days of mass disguise and artistry where you can reinvent yourself like Bowie and Madonna. That's what I'm doing on this record and that's what makes it different to True Romance. 

"Some people will like it and some people won't. So bring it on."

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Photo: Justine Trickett