LONDON (Reuters) - Not everyone who is on top of the fast-moving pop music scene has heard of Charlotte Aitchison, even by her stage name Charli XCX, but lots of people have heard her or her songs.
At 22, the English singer is also a seasoned songwriter, having written and featured on international smash hits “I Love It” with Swedish pop duo Icona Pop, and “Fancy” with female rapper Iggy Azalea.
“I Love It” hit No. 1 in Britain, and went two times platinum in the United States, while “Fancy” held No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, to go triple platinum.
Asked if she could live on the proceeds of those two tracks alone, Aitchison told Reuters, “I could be happy... It all takes like a really long time for everything to come through but yeah, I mean I’m definitely paying my bills. Thanks, Icona Pop!”
Despite appearances, though, success has not come overnight.
“I remember pretty much every year for four years of my life being like, the one to watch, and obviously it’s a great compliment but I was kind of over it by year two,” she said during a rooftop photo shoot in the heart of east London.
“I was like, ‘Aren’t people watching now?’”
Having released singles since 2008 she said she had almost given up her pop-star dreams to focus on song writing, finding it “exhausting trying to explain my vision to people when they’re not ready to hear it”.
But “suddenly pop music changed and I became part of that structure, weirdly enough.
“I think pop music has just become more emotional and audiences have become more intelligent. Younger audiences have become a lot more open to more variation in the music they listen to.”
Asked if she could sense that “Fancy” was going to become the sensation that it was, Aitchison said, “I thought that song was super cool.
“Iggy and I were really feeling that song and I think a lot of other people actually weren’t,” Aitchison said.
“And when she told me her idea for the video which really was all her ... I was like, ‘Wow, this is cool’ and I feel the video definitely really elevated that song to a stratospheric level.”
The hits were followed by Aitchison’s first major solo success, her single “Boom Clap”, a top 10 hit both sides of the Atlantic, selling more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.
She is now releasing her new single “Break The Rules”, out this week, ahead of her new album, “Sucker”, out next year.
“It’s a pop album but it has a punk element, a punk edge to it and it’s definitely ... the most raw and wild thing I’ve done, and definitely the thing I’m most proud of,” she said.
“It feels like I’ve really found my voice making this album which is so nice.”
Aitchison is on a tour of the United States and will be supporting Katy Perry on her 2015 European Tour.
Editing by Michael Roddy and Louise Ireland