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> Charli XCX can be huge in every territory in the world, Source: MW
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Rudolph
post Jan 22 2015, 06:04 PM
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There is a great article on Charli XCX on MW. Read on....

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Ben Cook: 'Charli XCX can be huge in every single territory in the world'
Source; MW
by Coral Williamson


There’s a song on Charli XCX’s new album, Sucker, called London Queen. In it, the singer tells her mum she’s not coming back to the UK until she can fill their shack up with “all gold plaques”.

As a taster: Iggy Azalea’s Fancy, the hit single the Brit star co-wrote and features on, is 5x platinum in the US and gold back home in the UK. It’s 3x platinum in Canada and Australia, and platinum elsewhere to boot. It was also the most streamed song on US Spotify in 2014.

The 22-year-old’s own track, Boom Clap, which appeared in teenage drama/romance flick The Fault In Our Stars, is also platinum in the US, Canada, Sweden and Italy, gold in New Zealand and silver in the UK.

It’s safe to say that at the rate she’s going, she’ll need a bigger place to store them all. Charli XCX is a global phenomenon. This year, she’s reportedly writing songs for the likes of Rihanna, although there’s no word on whether that will include a feature spot as well.

Speaking to Music Week, Ben Cook, head of the young star’s UK label, Atlantic, holds the singer in high estimation. “She’s never been bound by the parameters of what a pop song should say lyrically,” he says. “She always had these quite out-there ways of approaching things. As she’s grown up, she’s had this precocious performing style. Those two things together have produced an artist that is completely fearless and wholeheartedly creative, and unusual with that.

“With [Icona Pop track] I Love It, she had this song that she didn’t feel she wanted on her first record; something clicked and all of a sudden within a few months of that she’s in the studio writing Fancy, coming up with a lyric with a word that’s never been used meaningfully before.

“Her turn of phrase is really unusual, and it’s all a product of those early days. It completely flips pop music. She’s writing for the top talent. She’s the hitmaker du jour. She’s written those definitive songs like I Love It and Fancy, but [can] also now establish herself as a global superstar.”

It’s hard to reconcile this pop sensation with the same artist that humbly told Music Week in June last year: “I feel like it’s really hard to break the UK. I’m not big out in the US, but I’ve done two full headline tours there. In the UK, I’ve always felt so much more nervous and apprehensive because even though I’ve been played on radio, it’s always intimidated me. But it’s where I’m from and I want to be successful here.”

Cook is keen to emphasise that Atlantic has long-term plans for their singer. He says: “Charli has had a cultural effect across the world already; I think she’s going to do that again and again and again. Her creativity and individuality are going to keep giving us great records for years, and we want to be in business with her for a very long time.”



Have you found it hard to balance her songwriting success with her personal work?

At the minute, she’s got a limitless vein of songwriting talent, and her own songs are as strong as the ones she’s writing with others. If it was anything but that, it would be a challenge, but she’s got this incredibly rich vein, and long may it continue. Some of the relationships she’s formed and the learning she’s taken from those experiences have definitely been harnessed in everything she does for herself.



Was her featured spot on Fancy with Iggy Azalea the beginning of things in America?

Everyone needs an ignition point. If you look at all of our artists – Ed [Sheeran], Charli, Plan B - there’s always an ignition point, but you have to have your foundations in place first. You have to understand who you are as an artist and have your stall set up beforehand.

Yes, Fancy’s clearly the pre-cursor to [Charli XCX’s] own success but there was all that other stuff in place first. Two years before that, Chris Martin had brought her out for a Coldplay stadium tour. She’d had a really critically-acclaimed record [2012’s True Romance], she’d been picked up by various fashion houses to soundtrack their catwalk shows. There were all these other layers in place already, and Fancy was another layer - a really important one that took her into the mainstream’s consciousness. Certainly in America, she’s well on her way to being a real superstar.



Were you expecting her popularity in the US to blow up as much as it has?

We were expecting that. The natural home of global pop music for the last decade or so has been the US - look at Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. She keys into a lot of that very naturally. We could see something was going on there, being this cool British kid, there’s an exoticism for that that doesn’t exist here in the UK as much for British artists.

That was there for the taking and I guess we didn’t know it would be quite as big, quite as quick, but Fancy into Boom Clap was a one-two suckerpunch. Fancy set her up and all of a sudden social started to go crazy. Then Boom Clap hit and it came on top of a meaningful film [The Fault In Our Stars], particularly in America. That expanded that burgeoning American audience for her. I think it was the biggest Top 40 airplay record of last year [it debuted at No.1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 and Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts]. Our expectations are that she can be huge in every single territory in the world, not just America.



In terms of strategy, did America become a priority at any specific point?

We took a very clear decision around what was happening with Boom Clap that we would devote the right amount of time to such a big market, while still engaging people elsewhere. It was the right thing to focus on America. That’s had a great result, and now it’s time to roll it out as she does the Katy Perry tour in Europe and the rest of it.



In terms of Europe, have different countries had different campaigns?

In each territory, what we’ve had that’s been really fortunate is a great campaign with sync and with other partners. There’s been a great campaign with Break The Rules in France [appearing on an advert for Eau Jeune’s Double Je perfume] so that’s been driving that. There’s another great ad with Break The Rules in America for a hamburger company [Carl’s Jr All-Natural Burger].



So has sync been a big part of campaign plans?

I Love It was such a sync-friendly song and lyric hook that really opened up the world of sync for Charli. She can soundtrack things really well. That set the ball rolling and it’s been very productive ever since. It’s certainly one of the things we focused on: “Let’s try and produce sync campaigns around our single campaigns”. When I Love It was in [US TV show] Girls, that was the ignition point for that song, and there’s been a bunch more since.



What other campaign plans do you have?

Charli’s got a lot of her own touring to do, there’s a number of things I can’t announce yet but we’ve got a really strong diary and it’s really exciting watching each territory turn on to Charli. We’ve had huge hits in Australia, France and Germany are really kicking off, then America is going and the UK is coming into view now too. For each territory, we have a very long-term view to make Charli a global force.



Has pushing the album back in the UK several times been a problem at all?

You always respond to the opportunities on the ground; we like to remain light of foot, flexible and adaptable to changes that are occurring and to opportunities we produce with our artists. Release dates are really only a product of that. In America a bunch of TV was looking likely - SNL, The Today Show, Letterman - so we took a view to focus on that, make sure we’re giving the right time in territories at the right moment for all of them.




What are your realistic hopes for Sucker in the UK?

We’re really ambitious with Charli, that she can engage in the new economy really strongly. Boom Clap was the 14th biggest streaming record of the year in the UK last year - compared to her sales, it wasn’t the 14th biggest selling single. Charli exists in the future economy. Like some of her counterparts, I think she’s going to produce great penetration and great consumption but I’m not sure it’s all going to be on albums.

Obviously we hope we get a huge album. I’m not going to sit here and give you a number, put it that way. As we move towards a streaming measure of recorded music consumption, I think she’ll excel in that world. We’re in the star business with Charli; everyone wants her on the front cover of their magazine, her music in their adverts. It’s a different kind of environment that Charli occupies. It’s not apples and apples - each artist has different metrics to measure their success.



Will you be aiming for the singles chart then?

Absolutely. One thing Charli does with incredible flair and regularity is write massive hits.







Dave Bianchi: ‘She’s vitally honest. Even punk bands don’t do that anymore’

Various Artists Management’s Dave Bianchi has managed Charli XCX since she was 15. He tells Music Week who’s really in charge:

“Honestly, I think I’ve always known that there was something about her that was going to translate. I never had any doubt and I’ve been telling record companies since she was 18 and getting signed. It working in America before the UK, on the scale it is, is simply down to the amount of time she’s spent out there. We made a decision, Charli and I, that we’d start in America first, which is not the normal thing to do for a British act. But we had a lot of love early days from the likes of Pitchfork and Fader, the kind of people that help move things in that country.

“Looking at someone like Paloma Faith, who’s selling albums with an older audience, that makes sense. But looking at the younger people, like Miley [Cyrus], they don’t achieve sales like that because their fan bases don’t buy like they used to. They stream and they listen in other ways.

“I think she’ll be a successful artist for the rest of her life. The thing about her, as opposed to anyone else in her lane, is that she’s solely responsible for the creative of all of this stuff, from the artwork to the videos to the songs. It’s her. She works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and when you’ve got someone that dedicated, you win. She’s going to win on all fronts.

“I’m a 42-year-old man and she’s my boss. She runs this thing. The way she conducts herself in interviews - she never gives the standard company line people expect her to. She’s completely, vitally, honest. Even punk bands don’t do that anymore.”



Julie Greenwald: ‘She’s a real chick, a badass’

Atlantic Records chairman and COO Julie Greenwald discusses how Charli XCX is “the full package” to a US audience:

“Her profile, from the moment we dropped Boom Clap, which is on The Fault In Our Stars soundtrack, got her so much attention with fans and media. People loved it because it was like a cooler pop song. She’s a real chick, a badass. She has a lot of influences and the greatest thing about her is that everyone knows she’s a writer.

Because she was [contributed to] Iggy Azalea’s Fancy and Icona Pop’s I Love It, it got out that she’s not just a singer, she’s a gifted [writer] – the full package. Once we played the full album to people, we were able to secure [magazine] covers and she got something like six by the time her album came out.

“The Fault In Our Stars was a very important, cultural movie over here in the US. [The placement] was the perfect combination of the right scene and song. It exploded! Everyone started buying the single and realising it was by Charli XCX, the girl that was on Fancy with all this attitude. They started connecting the dots and we followed up telling people that Fancy wasn’t her first hit, she wrote the Icona Pop record.”
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*Tim
post Jan 22 2015, 06:19 PM
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Not if she keeps on releasing songs like Break The Rules and Doing It (which I like but it's just not going to smash)

#SorryNotSorry
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jjake
post Jan 22 2015, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE(*Tim @ Jan 22 2015, 06:19 PM) *
Not if she keeps on releasing songs like Break The Rules and Doing It (which I like but it's just not going to smash)

#SorryNotSorry

HEAR HEAR

'sucker' is a total mess of styles with the sum product, to my ears, not really appealing to anyone?

for all this discussed vision she needs to focus her music and stop being so self-indulgent, though based on what atlantic are saying this will happen with the third record...
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*Tim
post Jan 22 2015, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE(░░░░ @ Jan 22 2015, 07:30 PM) *
HEAR HEAR

'sucker' is a total mess of styles with the sum product, to my ears, not really appealing to anyone?

for all this discussed vision she needs to focus her music and stop being so self-indulgent, though based on what atlantic are saying this will happen with the third record...

Sucker really does sound messy as far as now.
Boom Clap was great, but Break The Rules was just tragic in all ways and Doing It is good but just not something that's going to smash globally.
I absolutly have no idea what to expect from this album. Also judging by Doing It, it really seems like the people are just not here for her

(Granted I did not hear True Romance yet)


This post has been edited by *Tim: Jan 22 2015, 06:40 PM
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Liаm
post Jan 22 2015, 06:47 PM
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Sucker is quite an odd one sonically, it's not awful per se (I quite like it) but it feels very samey to me and yet still lacks cohesion or a sense of direction.

True Romance was better, she'll never top Nuclear Seasons.
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sorryislayed
post Jan 22 2015, 07:37 PM
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I don't know why people don't love SUCKER. It's simple, to the point lyrics with catchy beats. Every song is different and I really can't get enough of her new pop style.

I hope she gets a lot bigger than she already is. She really needs recognition!


This post has been edited by Jamesus: Jan 22 2015, 07:38 PM
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Doctor Blind
post Jan 22 2015, 07:42 PM
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QUOTE(Liаm @ Jan 22 2015, 06:47 PM) *
Nuclear Seasons.


My Christmas #1 for 2011. wub.gif


I think she will top it one day, I still have hope. "Sucker" won't be that moment unfortunately - though I do love it.
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♡ Heezus Froot ♡
post Jan 22 2015, 07:47 PM
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QUOTE(*Tim @ Jan 22 2015, 08:19 PM) *
Not if she keeps on releasing songs like Break The Rules and Doing It (which I like but it's just not going to smash)

#SorryNotSorry



I disagree! I think Doing It is just what the UK charts need right now and the collaboration with Rita Ora will only help.

Sucker is a great album, but it will obviously struggle to sell.
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*Tim
post Jan 22 2015, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE(♡ Heezus Froot ♡ @ Jan 22 2015, 08:47 PM) *
I disagree! I think Doing It is just what the UK charts need right now and the collaboration with Rita Ora will only help.

Sucker is a great album, but it will obviously struggle to sell.

have you tracked Doing It's pre-order so far? It's barely been top 1500 with major radio backing. What Are You Waiting For realness


This post has been edited by *Tim: Jan 22 2015, 07:59 PM
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sorryislayed
post Jan 22 2015, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE(*Tim @ Jan 22 2015, 07:57 PM) *
have you tracked Doing It's pre-order so far? It's barely been top 1500 with major radio backing. What Are You Waiting For realness


LMAOO! All this track needs is a push in the form of a performance on The Voice UK. Once the general public hear it this will go in the top 10 at least.

BOOKMARK ME sleep.gif
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Jan 22 2015, 09:52 PM
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QUOTE(*Tim @ Jan 22 2015, 07:57 PM) *
have you tracked Doing It's pre-order so far? It's barely been top 1500 with major radio backing. What Are You Waiting For realness


Probably because they're selling that pre-order as two songs for £1.98. Who in their right mind is going to pre-order it given that, really?
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Juranamo
post Jan 22 2015, 10:13 PM
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QUOTE(mr_aly @ Jan 22 2015, 09:52 PM) *
Probably because they're selling that pre-order as two songs for £1.98. Who in their right mind is going to pre-order it given that, really?

This. Very few people want to pay full price for a remix they are not interested in/haven't heard imo. I do like that it's first week sales will be quite unpredictable and I can imagine it having a first week trajectory similar to the old EP pre-orders on the iTunes singles chart!

The article sums up everything I love about her as an artist. She knows how to write such brilliant songs and seems really authentic and like she is trying to push as many boundaries as possible. I can really see her slow burning rise in popularity helping her to last in the business a great deal longer.
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Joe ho ho!
post Jan 22 2015, 11:57 PM
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'Doing it' is looking to get incredible airplay support. It's very rare for a song to be on the R1 A list TWO weeks before release. I think it's destined to be a hit.

The pre-order price throws a spanner in the works because its difficult to track its popularity. 70% of people who'd have usually pre-ordered it are probably going to wait and buy one song instead of paying for a remix they haven't even heard as well.


This post has been edited by Joe.: Jan 22 2015, 11:59 PM
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