ARTIST PROFILE

Charli XCX

Name: Charlotte Emma Aitchison

Birthday: 2 August 1992

Fav Dish: Sushi, Fried Chicken

Charlotte Emma Aitchison known professionally as Charli XCX, is a British singer and songwriter.

Charlotte Emma Aitchison was born on 2 August 1992 in Cambridge, the daughter of a Scottish father, Jon Aitchison, and a Gujarati Indian mother, Shameera, who is originally from Uganda. Her father is an entrepreneur and former show-booker, while her mother is a former nurse and flight attendant. Aitchison grew up in Start Hill, Essex,and attended Bishop’s Stortford College in nearby Bishop’s Stortford.

She also studied at UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art in London, but left during the second year of her degree course.

Initially performing at warehouse raves in London, she signed to Asylum Records in 2010. Her releases include four mixtapes (Heartbreaks and Earthquakes and Super Ultra in 2012, and Number 1 Angel and Pop 2 in 2017), two studio albums (True Romance in 2013 and Sucker in 2014), and two extended plays (including Vroom Vroom in 2016.) The songs “Boom Clap” and “Doing It” earned Charlotte Emma Aitchison her first two top-ten singles on the UK Singles Chart as a lead artist; the former reached the top-ten of several charts worldwide. As a featured artist, she reached number one in the UK with Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 with Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”.

Music critics have noted Charli XCX’s music as mainly dance pop, electropop, and alternative pop. Her early recordings were described as a blend of dark wave and witch house. As her career progressed, she showcased several other musical styles such as gothic pop and synth-pop in her debut album, her second album was described as pop punk containing elements of punk rock, new wave and power pop. Her latest projects explored an avant pop direction, Vroom Vroom contained elements of eurodance, meanwhile Number 1 Angel showed influences of trap, hip hop, R&B, electropop, synth-pop and experimental pop.

Charli XCX’s influences include Britney Spears, Shampoo, No Doubt, t.A.T.u., The Donnas, Bikini Kill, Martika, Belinda Carlisle, The Cure, The Feminine Complex, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Donna Summer, Marilyn Manson, Bread, the Spice Girls, All Saints, Uffie, Brooke Candy, Lil Wayne, Kate Bush, Twin Peaks, Paris Hilton, Justice, Crystal Castles, Calvin Harris, Björk, Quentin Tarantino and Siouxsie Sioux. She has named singer “Siouxsie Sioux as her hero” and Rihanna as her “favorite pop girl.” The Hives, Weezer, Ramones and 1960s yé-yé music all influenced her second album. She has said that “the best artists are the ones who constantly change—Madonna, [David] Bowie”  and that her “dream collaboration would be with someone like Björk, Kate Bush, or even Dionne Warwick”.

Some of Charli XCX’s favourite songs are Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” P.M. Dawn’s “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss,” Uffie’s “Ricky,” Bow Wow Wow’s “Fools Rush In,” Serge Gainsbourg’s “Initials BB,” The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” Paris Hilton’s “Stars Are Blind,” and the Britney Spears songs “Gimme More” and “Piece of Me”. Charli XCX’s voice has been compared to that of Gwen Stefani and Marina and the Diamonds.

XCX experiences sound-to-colour synaesthesia. She states, “I see music in colours. I love music that’s black, pink, purple or red—but I hate music that’s green, yellow or brown.” She considers herself a feminist and wrote her song “Body of My Own” as a feminist statement. She also directed the 2015 documentary about gender equality, The F Word And Me, which premiered on BBC Three.

XCX divides her time between London and Los Angeles, California.

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