- © Dan Curwin
Charlotte Emma Aitchison (born 2 August 1992), better known by her stage name Charli XCX, is an English singer and songwriter.
In 2007, at the age of 14, Charli began recording her debut album on a loan granted by her parents. In 2008, she began posting songs from the album on her official Myspace. This caught the attention of a man named Chaz, who was running numerous illegal warehouse raves in London, which became her first true gigs. On 12 June 2012, Charli released her first original mixtape, titled Heartbreaks and Earthquakes, a one-track file consisting of eight songs. A second mixtape, titled Super Ultra was released in November of the same year. Charli's second studio album and debut major-label studio album, True Romance, was released on 12 April 2013, and peaked at number eighty-five on the UK Albums Chart.
In 2014, Charli released the single "Boom Clap", originally from the soundtrack to the major motion picture The Fault in Our Stars. The song was an international success, peaking at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart, 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the top ten in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. "Boom Clap" was later included on Charli's third studio album, Sucker, released on 15 December, 2014. Sucker also spawned top 40 UK single "Break the Rules", and top 10 UK single "Doing It" which featured British singer Rita Ora. Charli has been featured on two international hits, the first being Icona Pop's song "I Love It", which peaked at number 1 in the UK, and the top 10 in various countries including the US, Canada, Ireland and Germany. The second hit single Charli is credited to during her career is Iggy Azalea's breakthrough hit "Fancy", which peaked at number 1 in the US, and the top 10 in various countries including the UK, Canada, Ireland, and Australia.
Charli was born in Cambridge, England, the daughter of a Scottish father and an Indian mother from Uganda. She grew up in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire. She started writing songs when she was 14 years old. She attended Bishop's Stortford College and left the school in 2010.
At the age of 14, Charli began recording her debut album on a loan granted by her parents. In early 2008, she began posting songs from the album, as well as numerous other demos, on her official MySpace. This caught the attention of a man called Chaz, who was running numerous illegal warehouse raves in London, which became her first true gigs. Despite the illicit nature of these gigs her parents were supportive of her career and attended several raves with her. Two singles, "!Franchesckaar!" and double A-side "Emelline"/"Art Bitch", were released in late 2008 under Orgy Music. XCX's debut studio album, 14, featuring the former single, was never commercially released, although several promotional copies were issued and copies were given away at her earliest gigs. After being signed to Asylum Records in 2010, she took a break from music in what she describes as a "lost" period.
In May 2011, she released her first single in nearly three years, "Stay Away", followed by "Nuclear Seasons" in November, both produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and released exclusively in the United Kingdom. These singles gained attention from Pitchfork Media, where she gained Best New Track accolades for both tracks, with the former being ranked #35 on their Best Tracks of 2011 list.
On 12 May 2012, Charli released her first original mixtape, titled Heartbreaks and Earthquakes, a one-track file consisting of eight songs. She supported Santigold and Coldplay on tour throughout summer. Her second original mixtape, Super Ultra, was released exclusively through her website on 7 November 2012, featuring 8 separate tracks.
Charli helped co-write the song "I Love It", which would go on to be recorded by Icona Pop, with the track becoming a breakthrough hit for the Swedish duo, and Charli herself. After its January 2013 appearance in an episode of Girls, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100, eventually climbing to number seven on the chart.
Charli's second studio album and debut major label studio album, True Romance, was released on 12 April 2013. Charli explained the meaning being the album's title: "Every corner of my own romantic history is explored on this record, so for me, it's very raw, it's very honest, and it's very true." The album is named after Quentin Tarantino's 1993 film of the same name, which is sampled on "Velvet Dreaming" in Charli's Super Ultra mixtape. The album peaked at number eighty-five on the UK Albums Chart. The album failed to appear on any international main albums charts, but it did reach numbed five on the US Billboard Top Heatseekers and number eleven on the Australian Hitseekers Albums Chart. The album was received well by music critics, with an average score of 76/100 on Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
In June 2013, Charli confirmed she was working on her third album. On 2 December of the same year, she released the single, "SuperLove". The single reached number sixty-two on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Charli's first solo entry on the chart. The song was intended to be the lead single from her then-upcoming third album, but ultimately didn't make the final track list.
In February 2014, Charli was featured on Australian rapper Iggy Azalea's song "Fancy". In May 2014, "Fancy" topped the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming both artists' first number one single on the chart.
In May 2014, Charli contributed the song "Boom Clap" for the soundtrack to The Fault in Our Stars. The song was also released as the first single from Charli's third album, and eventually peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, it also peaked at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart. as well as certifying platinum in Australia. In August 2014, Charli announced the title of her third studio album to be, Sucker, which was released 21 October 2014. The second single from the album, "Break the Rules", charted within the top 10 in Australia, Germany and Austria. The third single, "Doing It", featuring fellow British singer Rita Ora, peaked at number 8 on the UK Singles Chart.
In September 2014, Katy Perry announced via her Twitter page that Charli would open all shows on the last leg of her Prismatic World Tour.
Charli's music draws from multiple genres, including: Pop punk, dark pop, electropop, indietronica, and witch house.
Charli has listed multiple influences in various interviews, artists include: Avril Lavigne, Björk, Britney Spears, Brooke Candy, David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Madonna, Quentin Tarantino, The Spice Girls, and Uffie.
Charli 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."
When Charli was around the age of 15, a promoter recruited her for some of her first live shows, asking her to perform at raves and warehouse parties in East London. When he asked for the name to use on flyers for the events, she told him to "just put 'Charli XCX'", which was her MSN Messenger screen name when she was younger.
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Jun 12, 2012