Charli XCX: “Grimes and I made a techno song with no words”

She also spoke to Robyn and The 1975's Matty Healy about collaborating

Charli XCX is a total talent wrangler. In the past the queen of collaborating has tapped up a load of her musical pals to create tons of brilliant pop tunes. And her new album ‘Charli’, which is out next month, is no different. We’ve already heard songs with Christine and the Queens (‘Gone’) and Troye Sivan (‘1999’), and on the album we can look forward to team ups with Haim, Clairo and Tommy Cash amongst others.

But who else was she in touch with to try and get them on the album?

Watch our full video interview with Charli XCX at Reading 2019 above


“I was loosely speaking to Robyn, and I was also loosely speaking to Matty Healy,” she tells NME backstage at Reading Festival, after her stellar show on the main stage.

“And also Grimes and I did make a song for the album, and we really liked it and it was really good, but we made a techno song with no words. And I was going to put it on the album and then I just spoke to her and was like ‘should we not be writing a pop son’, and she was like, ‘Yeah we should write a massive pop song’. So we were like we’ll come back to that, cause it was like a techno banger. Hopefully we’ll be able to revisit that.”

So we may hear the Grimes tune in the future, but will we ever hear the The 1975 one?

“I hope so! We sent some ideas back and forth, and I’m such a fan of him [Matty] and the band. They just get it, and they don’t get it at the same time, which I think is the best way to make music. And I think he’s such a smart lyricist, it’s just very smart and also fun, and I feel like they really love pop music. And I love that, and I’m so inspired by that energy and that uniqueness. So yeah, I don’t know what’s going on. But I really admire their song writing, so hopefully something will come of it.”

Charli XCX at Reading 2019

Aside from yielding some Class A bangers, collaborating with people has also been known to help XCX with her writer’s block. “That’s exactly what happened with ‘Gone’ with Christine and the Queens,” she explains. “I was having such writer’s block and I wrote this rough idea and I couldn’t come up with a chorus and so I sent the demo of ‘Gone’ to Chris, and within 15 minutes sent me back this amazing chorus. And I was like, yes, this is it.”


Looking forward, after the album is released in September XCX is embarking on a US and European tour. Over the past few years XCX has put on ‘Pop 2’ shows – which are wild parties that feel less like a gig and more like a rave, with special guests and rarities played live. She’s now planning to bring this energy to the entire tour.

“I don’t want it to feel like a gig, because I kind of hate gigs. I like parties, and I want my shows to feel like a house party or a rave, rather than going to a concert to see an artist,” she explains, adding: “I want it to feel like there’s now barrier between me and the audience, and I want it to feel like we’re all at a rave together.”

Watch our entire interview with Charli XCX above.