DETAILS: When you were 14, a stranger invited you to play at an East London warehouse party after hearing your songs on MySpace. Weren't your parents worried?
Charli XCX: They were like, "Cool! Let's all go!" My mom dressed up as the Cheshire Cat and my dad went as the Mad Hatter. I remember saying to my parents, "I know what I'm going to do for the rest of my life: I'm going to live in a squat in East London and throw parties."
DETAILS: What changed your mind?
Charli XCX: Don't get me wrong—that scene helped me become who I am today. But everybody in it is playing a game. It's all about great outfits and glitter, being a name for a week and dropping off the face of the earth because you tragically died of a ketamine overdose in the bath.
DETAILS: Is it true that you started writing songs when you were 8?
Charli XCX: Yeah, I guess it's true, but that's what every fucking kid did at that age. I was in the playground like, "Let's imitate the Spice Girls and form a girl group!" I would go home and sing into my hairbrush and act like Britney Spears. I was no Mozart.
DETAILS: Your real name is Charlotte, so it's clear where Charli comes from. What about XCX?
Charli XCX: It stands for Kiss Charli Kiss, which is fucking lame. It used to be my handle on MSN Messenger. Then I got signed and thought, "Maybe I need to make it cooler," so I told the record label it stood for X-rated Cunt X-rated.
DETAILS: How would you describe your forthcoming debut album?
Charli XCX: It's a split between dark, mystical pop and this glorious, magical, hip-hop angel music. Everything I do is based on my favorite visuals, whether it be Clueless or The Craft or Wednesday Addams or Baby Spice. I'm more inspired by photography and music videos and films than by other musicians.
DETAILS: Did you enjoy opening for Coldplay on their recent tour?
Charli XCX: I felt like the Princess of Pop! But I did the most embarrassing things. One time, I gave Chris Martin a My Little Pony for good luck. He said, "Oh, you should keep it," but I was like, "You guys probably need it a lot more than I do." I said that to Coldplay!