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Our favourite artists according to their biggest fans. 

On the release day of Charli XCX‘s sixth album, Brat, @fckyeahcharli compiles her most underrated moments and must-know music.

What album would you recommend as an entry point to getting into Charli?

I’d recommend her mixtape Number 1 Angel. The songwriting is pure Charli XCX core and the production is accessible, sugary and catchy with sweet melodies. It still maintains that electronic vibe everyone loves that is so unique to her.

Is there a song she’s worked on that nobody knows about?

It’s hard to say that there’s anything nobody knows about because her fans are so invested that at least a couple of people are aware of these songs. I’ll name four songs where she provides uncredited backing vocals or vocals:

Oz Vs. Eden by Lawrence Rothman 
OK by Madeon
Smile by Benga
Crystals by Clams Casino 

Who have been her best collaborators?

Some of her best collaborators are those who have not only created great music with her but have also pushed culture forward. Among them are SOPHIE, A. G. Cook, Danny L Harle, EASYFUN, Hannah Diamond, and essentially the entire PC Music collective.

What live remixes should we listen to?

A. G. Cook’s remix of Doing It
This was their first “official” collaboration, and it’s a hidden gem that not many people know about.

Danny L Harle’s ILY2 Euphoria Edit
A fantastic and energetic remix that brings a new dimension to the original track.

QT’s edit of Boom Clap
A unique and fun take on one of Charli’s most popular songs.

Are there tracks that contain samples we don’t know about? 

Fans might already know this, but I.D.L by Life Sim is interpolated on Track 10 from Pop 2. Additionally, Unlock It features the signature “beautiful” sample from A. G. Cook’s track Beautiful.

What’s your favourite Charli performance?

Probably when she performed at SXSW in 2016 alongside SOPHIE. Their set was full of tracks from the Vroom Vroom EP, plus other stuff SOPHIE and Charli were working on at the time, along with some unique edits. The performance looked insane, and Charli brought out QT as a special guest. I remember Charli posted on Snapchat something like, “My special guest for tonight tastes fizzy, looks bouncy, you can drink it,” and we were trying to decipher who it was. It was obviously QT, and they performed Hey QT on night two. Charli’s outfit for the performance was stunning — she wore latex and looked so hot with smoky makeup and a high ponytail. It felt like the show she was born to perform.

Who’s a surprising artist she’s a fan of now?

I wouldn’t say surprising, but many people seem to overlook the fact that Charli often mentions Lou Reed. She loves him because he wrote incredible poetry about unique New York characters who were deeply affected by drug culture, punk culture, and the culture of fame. Since her debut, she’s frequently cited Lou Reed as an inspiration, appreciating his ability to capture the raw essence of his subjects through his music.

Most random guest she’s brought out live?

For the Pop 2 Sydney show, Charli brought out Banoffee, a really cool Australian musician who also toured with her during the Reputation Tour as part of Charli’s band. They performed a remix version of Unlock It alongside Tkay Maidza. I still think about that performance because Banoffee’s verse was fire. Charli and Banoffee seem pretty close, yet her fan base hasn’t fully caught on to Banoffee’s music despite its quality. Recently they were DJing together at a party in LA, which further showcases their strong connection.

What would Charli bring on a night out with you?

Charli would likely bring along a pack of Marlboro Gold or Parliament cigarettes, her Laneige lip mask for keeping her lips moisturised throughout the night, and a bikini  just in case the night takes an unexpected turn toward a pool or beach. She’d probably have an extra phone charger.

Can you drop her best unreleased songs and where can we listen to them?

If you’re a hardcore Angel, you know where to find them. I’ll just mention her most known unreleased songs: Taxi, Come to My Party, Bounce, Rrring and a lot of the material she and SOPHIE worked on that never saw the light of day, as well as the XCX World project.

"Charli would likely bring along a pack of Marlboro Gold or Parliament cigarettes, her Laneige lip mask for keeping her lips moisturised throughout the night, and a bikini  just in case the night takes an unexpected turn toward a pool or beach"

What about some tracks she’s recommended over the years?

Lemon Incest by Serge Gainsbourg and Charlotte Gainsbourg
Pop the Glock by Uffie
Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinéad O’Connor
Saturday Night by Whigfield
Opus by Eric Prydz

What’s your favourite clip of someone else talking about Charli?

My favorite clip has to be of Raye talking about Charli. 

@varietymagazine “[Charli XCX] was the first artist to ever invest in me.” @Raye recalls how @Charli XCX ♬ original sound – Variety

Can you tell us a lesser-known fact about her? 

Despite her reputation as a rave girl, one of her very first music shows she attended was by My Chemical Romance.

Which artists got Charli into music?

Britney is obviously the blueprint for so many new-generation pop stars. When Charli was starting out, she frequently mentioned Britney as her inspiration to become a pop star and she still does today.

Growing up in England, Charli was heavily influenced by The Spice Girls. She was obsessed with their pop personas, and this likely influenced how she built her own pop persona. The style Charli embraced during her debut era, the True Romance era, was very reminiscent of The Spice Girls.

And in terms of production and sound, Uffie significantly influenced Charli. Discovering Uffie and the whole Ed Banger music collective/label on Myspace changed Charli’s perspective on music. Growing up, she wanted to create music like theirs — music to party to and play really loud.

What’s the biggest misconception about her?

That she only produces a specific type of sound and doesn’t explore other genres. This perception is particularly common among casual listeners or non-fans. Another misconception I’ve seen is that she’s not a good songwriter, which is a ridiculous statement. As Charli herself has said, “I think it’s harder to write really respected party music than it is to write a love song.” Writing catchy, fun music that resonates with people is a skill in itself. Just because her music isn’t always about serious topics doesn’t mean it’s not valid or well-crafted.

What’s the biggest misconception about her fans?

I think the biggest misconception about Charli’s fans is that they don’t respect her as an artist. While there have been instances where some fans have gone too far at meet-and-greets or live shows, it’s unfair to generalise her entire fan base based on these isolated events. As the person behind Charli XCX Updates, I’ve interacted with thousands of her fans from all corners of the internet. I am constantly amazed by how diverse her fan base is, not just in terms of age, nationality, and cultural background, but also in terms of creativity.

How would you describe Charli’s Brat era in three words? 

Raw, ruthless, clubby.