In addition to being one of today’s most exciting and deeply queer pop stars, Charli XCX is the songwriter behind two of the biggest international hits of the past decade: Iggy Azaela’s Fancy and Icona Pop’s I Don’t Care. He appears on both songs, which had sold a combined nine million copies as of 2015, the same year Charli turned 23. In I Don’t Care, she screams the chorus: “I don’t care! I love it!” This song was Charli’s first big international hit and it’s also her statement of principle of hers. In truth, she doesn’t care and, I can’t stress this enough, she loves it.
Just this summer, for example, a freak storm prevented him from landing in Chicago for a scheduled performance at the Pitchfork Festival. Each plane was diverted to St. Louis, Missouri, a nearly 300-mile, five-hour drive. Surely a less committed artist would have cancelled. Not Charlie.
“We had to wake up very early,” the self-described workaholic told BBC Music. “We had to rent a car and drive to Chicago, and we were driving through a storm the whole time. Then we stopped at KFC and got a bunch of buckets of chicken, and then we felt so disgusting and embarrassing…it was a wild ride.” That trip culminated in a fantastic, frenetic performance that made it impossible to know that he had spent most of his waking hours crammed into a car and eating fast food.