Charli XCX is an active girl. The British pop star hops on a call with me hours before her final US tour stop in Chicago, which is “in a minute,” she tells me on the phone, trying to make herself heard over the roar of a drill at electric nails (she redid her signature acrylic claws for the show).
The 29-year-old singer’s latest album, Accidentis a love letter to the 80s that Pitchfork called a “ruthless and intoxicating dream factory” – which verifies, once you hear Charli describe the surroundings of her most recent shows: “My audience knows how to party. They match my energy, and it’s really high octane and full of love.”
Thirteen years into her career, the singer – known for her love of camp and over-the-top performances – finally feels her platform is big enough to uplift other non-mainstream musicians.
Last month, Charli teamed up with jeweler Pandora to create Oasis, a two-day mini festival and party held during Coachella. As creative director and coordinator of the jewelry brand’s unofficial vibe, the “Vroom Vroom” songstress tapped her favorite female musicians, including Shygirl and Kitty Cash, to round out the lineup.
“There aren’t enough women in lineups, you know, around the world,” she says, referring to the dearth of female headliners at festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza and Governor’s. Ball. “For Pandora Oasis, I could just choose who I wanted to play and really allow the stage to be a platform for iconic female artists to do their thing and create that kind of girl power.” It’s all in a day’s work.
We sat down with Charli XCX to discuss her love of fried chicken, her latest “silly” coat and her touring obsessions that she constantly pursues in our latest edition of Your Fave’s Faves.
My favorite Pandora piece
In fact, I really entered the rings recently. They just made these really cute new silver heart rings, which I love. I have also layered necklaces and bracelets with different medallions on them, and these are my favorites.
What I eat between tour stops
Fried chicken. Anything I can get. It’s perfect.
An album that I constantly repeat
Honestly, probably mine. It sounds narcissistic, but I don’t know – I’m just really proud of it, so I listen to it all the time.
How I define my style
I really dress according to my mood, to be honest. So my style is constantly changing because it really depends on how I feel the morning I get dressed. I would say I’m really into this 80s vampire world right now, and especially when I’m on stage. I think that’s probably what inspires me the most right now.
The essentials of my tour
I always take ginger shots on the road, and it’s always really good. I love getting IVs. Honestly, just a good sheet mask is still pretty good too.
On finding creative inspiration for my album aesthetic
I feel like it’s more driven by the music. Accident was very inspired by a lot of music and characters from the 80s, so I think it really went from there. There was that kind of darker tone in some of the things that I was thinking about and some of the references that I was pulling from, so I think that led to this B girl being a key reference point for the album.
What Accident would smell like a candle
My makeup routine to go
Honestly, I’m not really good at putting on makeup when I’m alone, but I brush my eyebrows with hairspray and then I love a speckled lip stain. I really like a lot of Glossier lip colors simply because I think they apply very easily like a stain. Right now I’m really into the one called Leo.
My favorite gift to give
I feel like you can somehow get a nice personalized gift for anyone at Pandora. You can personalize all of their jewelry so much that you can really make it look like you know yourself or you can make it unique to the person you’re buying it for.
My best look from the music video “You Used to Know Me”
I think I would say the custom Mugler bodysuit just because it was so iconic.