Here's How Charli XCX Used The Internet To Accomplish Pop Superstardom
Charli XCX is what happens when sonic gold meets the internet.
I first realized this when I stumbled across the British singer's early synth-pop record "Dance 4 U." The track was featured on Charli's Super Ultra mixtape, which she released back in 2012.
For some reason, the euphoric vocals, the heart-pumping bass surrounding the airy synths and the gnarly ode to Justin Bieber caught my ear enough that I had to bookmark a link to the song.
Now, being a guy who rarely listens to the radio and relies solely on unearthing sonic gems on the web found by luck, I felt I had discovered something special.
I proved myself right after listening to all of Super Ultra, before feeling obligated to follow Charli along for the journey to the top of pop music she was bound to embark on.
Since then, I've only had to blink my eyes a couple of times before realizing the incredibly talented "Dance 4 U" singer I once thought was the internet's best-kept secret is now a global pop sensation.
Not only was she making waves in pool many industry greats have graced before, but she was even catching the attention of those you wouldn't expect.
Tommy Lee was a really big fan of one of my early songs. The first song I ever released actually, called "Stay Away." He came to one of my shows when I was really young. That was awesome.
When I first "met" Charli XCX, whose real name is Charlotte Aitchison, it was through a grainy mixtape cover with pink glowing letters and lightning strikes running through it.
When I actually met her was at the SoBe® 21st Birthday Party at SLS Las Vegas, where she headlined alongside Tinashe.
Labor Day Weekend was the perfect canvas for the British pop sensation to take over Sin City for a birthday bash most people wished would last forever.
More importantly, the artist I once thought was underground had now fully flourished into the spotlight right before my eyes -- and rightfully so.
Sporting a bright yellow bikini, vibrant orange nail polish and equally-jarring orange lipstick, Charli reminded me, as well as everyone else, what it means to evolve with time.
Now that I think about it, a birthday party was a fitting setting to celebrate Charli's rapid comeuppance.
Since being "discovered" by a promoter named "Chaz Cool" on Myspace and using the name "Charli XCX" on MSN Messenger (yes, that's where she got her stage name), pop music's new torchbearer has made her way out of the East London warehouse parties and into the big leagues.
I started my career on Myspace so, you know, even in the beginning I was on the internet. I've just grown and grown from there really. Being able to interact with my fanbase so regularly, that's been such a crucial part of me growing as an artist.
Whether you know Charli from her work with other artists, which include Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" and Icona Pop's "I Love It," or from her own hits "Boom Clap" and "Break The Rules," there's a huge chance your eardrums have been blessed with her distinctive, unmistakable sound at some point.
Charli takes artist collaboration seriously, saying,
I have to love their ideas. I just have to be into them.
Boasting a collective 29 million singles sold worldwide, four SESAC Pop Awards, a SESAC Songwriter of the Year award and countless other accolades that prove her immense evolution as an artist, it's no secret Charli XCX has staked her territory in the pop music universe once and for all.
The proof? The electro-pop mixtape queen I knew as a major label-worthy prospect has officially punched through the hypothetical liquid crystal display that is the internet... by establishing her very own record label.
After honing her craft, headlining major events from late-night shows to music festivals, working on hit records alongside pop's heavy-hitters, and covering the front pages of the music industry's most respected publications, the two-time Grammy nominated artist is now giving others a platform to showcase their passion.
I've wanted to start a record label for a while.
Her new experimental pop label is called Vroom Vroom Recordings.
Vroom Vroom Recordings is my new, experimental pop label and it will combine my love for bubblegum pop with mystery and darkness. The artists coming up through it will be sharp, potent, deadly and, ultimately, will leave their mark on pop music.
It makes sense as to why Charli would want to create a platform for talented newcomers with a story to tell.
After all, she is one of a few self-made artists who have managed to plant a seed and watch it grow on a global scale.
I think record labels are in a really interesting space right now where they're really looking to sign artists who are already formed. Artists who already have fanbases, people who already have profiles. Sometimes people don't have that and sometimes people need someone to work on them becoming an artist. I'm down to help people who I think are really talented.
And, to think, Charli started out writing songs at the age of 14, just before she began sharing her work on Myspace and staying true to her internet-given stage name in the most literal sense.
I had the blogs writing about me before I even got radio play.
Evolution is a crazy thing... And it's not even her birthday.