Charli XCX Talks ‘Boys’ And Life After ‘Number 1 Angel’

By Sam Murphy

Charli XCX is back today with the second single Boys from her forthcoming third album and it's a doozy. It has Charli back in minimal pop territory singing about boy crushes and it comes with a video that nobody would've seen coming featuring just about every boy you've ever thought of. 

You're going to have to watch it to truly believe that she's managed to get Joe Jonas eating pancakes and Diplo playing with puppies shirtless but it's a true masterpiece and she didn't even have to step in front of the camera herself.

Despite not releasing the album yet, it's been a huge year for Charli who is still riding off her excellent mixtape Number 1 Angel, one of pop's shining moments. It's an incredible effort that has re-energised Charli thanks to the reception and some mental hardcore fan shows.

We got Charli on the buzzer to chat about the new single Boys and what's going on in her world post-Number 1 Angel.

Who has produced the track?
It’s produced by this guy Jerker. That’s a Swedish name so you’d say 'Yerk-er' which is lucky for him I guess. I remember hearing the song and being really into and having the video idea straight away so I knew I had to do it.

For people coming off the back of Number 1 Angel what’s the difference between that and this track?
I definitely think that Number 1 Angel was darker and more self-respective whereas this is more of a fun, pop song basically just about having boy crushes. So it’s definitely a lot lighter but boy crushes are really important so equally as important.

Would you say that this one connects much more to After The Afterparty?
I guess so. This is definitely going to be part of the album so in that sense, yes. But they’re both really different songs. This one is much more subdued in terms of the way that I usually sing and write but I enjoy that style as well.

Are you excited to get out there and perform it for the first time?
I think I’m probably going to start performing it in about a week. It’s always cool to be able to play new songs and see how they go down. Hopefully they don’t tank into oblivion.

The Number 1 Angel shows looked amazing. How much fun have they been to do?
So much fun, honestly. I felt really alive while I was doing those shows. I brought Brooke Candy and CupCakke with me. Those two girls are so powerful and fucking badass. It really felt like the most insane party ever. I’m so glad I did those shows. It was really important for me and my fans.

Do you think everything from the mixtape to the shows has re-energised you? I know you were getting frustrated with album delays but you seem to be much more chill about it now.
Yeah. Totally, because it’s cool to be in front of real hardcore fans who were obviously very excited about the decisions I’ve made and the music I was releasing. That’s why I do what I do, because I love it, but also because they really love it and they really care. When you see people who care, it makes you care more. That whole tour was really cool for me.

It must be cool for you to see your fans embrace this direction because it’s not a straightforward pop sound having SOPHIE on board?
Yeah. It’s definitely cool to see that people were into it and for me it’s cool to be able to experiment and work with all the people that I love. I always do what I wanna do and Number 1 Angel was the real pinnacle of that.



Has that changed the direction of the album or is that locked down?
No, it’s just made me wanna write more for the record. I was just in the countryside in the UK writing with Patrick Berger and A.G. and Noonie Bao. There’s no rush really. I just want to make sure that I write as much as possible. If you told me that I had to put an album out tomorrow it would be done but I also really love writing and I write all the time so I wanted to go in and do some more stuff.

Is it nice to be in a headspace where you feel like you can take your time and write?
Yeah, it’s so nice. Being on stage is really amazing and fun but being in the studio is a completely different experience that I really love and I do feel really at home there so it’s important for me to do that stuff.

The picture from your sessions with Alma last week looked awesome but are there any other particular sessions you’ve had that were really fruitful?
The Alma sessions have been really fun because she’s so crazy. We get on really well so it just descends into a party where we are playing LMFAO and the Macarena which is never a bad thing. That’s been really cool. That’s definitely the session that I’ve had the most fun in recently for sure.

You’re coming back down to Australia in December to tour with Sia. Have you seen her live show yet?
I actually haven’t so I’m really excited for those shows because I’m going to see it in all its glory. I’m so happy she asked me to come and be a part of this tour. I’m excited to meet Amy Shark and do this with MØ too because she’s next level. It’s going to be a really fun tour I think.

The last time we saw you touring here, you were touring Sucker. Is it always fun to unleash these new songs on new crowds?
It’s always great and especially in Australia I feel like I have a lot of fans over here that listen to all aspects of my music and now just the songs that are on the radio.

Where do you think you’ll be at that point in terms of releasing music. Will there be another single or even the album?
I think there will definitely be another single but the album will probably be 2018. But who knows, anything can happen.