A true pop star is a master of reinvention. Being able to ride the waves of hyper-trends and shifting cultural moods requires intense self-security. Charli XCX is a pop connoisseur in that sense, always in tune with herself and doing the unexpected, as she puts it: “Playing in contrast is so much more interesting to me than doing what people expect me, or the same thing over and over again. Staying light on her toes and uniquely Charli is what sets her apart, and it shines through in her edit for Pandora ME’s relaunch.
Pandora’The s ME collection champions personal freedom and choice, with endless possibilities and combinations to create unique jewelry you, completely. Chain bracelets and necklaces can be easily layered, and adorable charms amp up just about any look. Personalized engravable links are also available for optimal personality. The collection is rooted in simplicity and adaptability to the mood and unique personality of the wearer. Charli’s laser focus on creating the best pop music possible makes her a true person, whom Pandora honors and uplifts through collaboration. This unique synergy between Charli XCX and Pandora culminates in the singer’s new song snippet, “SWEAT,” and accompanying campaign visual, featuring the other artists who make up Pandora’s latest collective. As she begins releasing new music after her quarantined record how i feel nowCharli XCX sat down with ELLE.com to talk all things jewelry, pop music and what the future holds.
You always seem to layer jewelry when you perform on stage. Do you do the same when you relax at home?
Somehow. I’m a big fan of jewelry layering and will always wear a few necklaces: maybe five, maybe two. I’m more of a maximalist with it, and I think that’s why I really like the Pandora ME collection, because there are so many options on how you can wear the jewelry: you can layer it, and it goes really well together. You can personalize it, there’s a size I really like…and you can add charms or take them off. I can go from everyday life to a runway show and personalize jewelry to suit my mood, that’s what I really love about the collection.
You recently started working with stylist Chris Horan. How do you create looks with him? Is there a new style direction you plan to go in?
Chris and I immediately clicked. I think he was a fan of my music and I was a fan of his work, so it was just a heavenly deal. I wanted to explore something a little higher. I’m a messy girl; I like to party and go out and have fun. Sometimes I need to control my style a bit too because it can be a bit hectic, but that’s just who I am and that’s what I like. Chris can enhance that part of me and also show me more fancy things that I like. But basically the reason I think we work well together is because he understands that I’m an individual and I have my own vibe. He doesn’t treat me like a cookie-cutter version of someone to dress up, and that’s really important to who I am: self-expression and individuality. It comes across in everything I do, whether it’s my music, my partnership with Pandora, or my relationship with my friends. It’s about being true to yourself and unique and individual.
Your clip for “Good Ones” is indicative of a new era. How did you find it?
I guess I just wanted to completely transform into the most pop version of who I am, which is all inside of me. Also, I have this desire to always do completely contrasting things. The previous album, how i feel nowwas way more lo-fi – the way I’ve been going through quarantine with the fans, connecting with them and being very open… that’s completely opposite of my new music and what I feel about it. [The music has] much has been done behind closed doors; it’s quite the opposite of the DIY feeling of how i feel now, and I think that’s just because I like drastic jumps. Playing in contrast is so much more interesting to me than doing what people expect of me, or doing the same thing over and over again. On the video itself, I just have a fascination with funerals, and I always thought a funeral video would be really nice. Also, for me, at this time, I feel a bit dead inside, so I think a funeral provides the perfect setting. I feel dead inside, but alive. It’s a combo of both. I also wanted to work with Hannah Lux Davis, because I knew she would bring out the pop demon in me. It was a match made in heaven, or hell, I guess. Everything clicked and I felt more like myself than ever on the set of this music video, so I loved it.
Now that you’ve proclaimed hyper pop dead, where do you see pop music going in the next five years?
I think pop music is constantly evolving and growing and becoming more and more diluted, in a good way, by the inclusion of other genres and the influence of other genres. So it’s really hard to say. Pop music, to me, has always been personality driven, so I think the personality of the artists will really determine the direction that pop music will go. I think more than ever, personality is key to creating brilliant artistry. It always has been, but I think now more than ever, musicians are brands, which is amazing to me, because I just want to shop. The future of pop simply depends on who makes it, what it has to say and what it wants to use. But sonically, it could go anywhere, which is hugely exciting. I think after the pandemic, everyone is craving dance anthems. I hope I can provide a few.
“Good Ones” is already in heavy rotation among my friends. Is there anyone you haven’t collaborated with before that you’d like to team up with?
I think Pink Pantheress and I would make a great song together. I think she’s a really smart and interesting artist. I think his music is really, really good. Even though we’re not collaborating, I’m a fan and I really like what she does, so I can’t wait to see what happens next for her.
What’s next for you?
The first is the launch of the Pandora ME campaign, which will come with a song I did for the campaign. This will be another little snippet of music. And then the music, I guess…it’s just high-octane pop; it’s all you want from the greatest pop star of all time – that’s how I see it. How I would describe the sound or the future is: dangerous, volatile, sexy, stimulating.
Partnering with Pandora is something a real pop star would do.
Oh yes. Pandora is 100% pop.
It’s very “pop” jewelry, isn’t it?
Yeah. And they’re not afraid to be who they really are, which is the most important thing.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
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