Considering that rising pop-music sensation Charli XCX is only 22, it's not surprising she cites Britney Spears as one of her biggest early inspirations. But the English-born singer-songwriter cites another influence that might be unexpected, especially for fans who know her for co-writing such pop hits as Icona Pop's "I Love It," "OctaHate" by San Diego's Ryn Weaver, and "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea (on which Charli also sings the chorus).
"Making my first record, I was really inspired by all the color palettes Sofia Coppola has in her films," said Charli, speaking from a recent European tour stop. "The scenes in 'The Virgin Suicides' where Elle Fanning is ice skating are really amazing."
And how, exactly, did this cinematic work impact the songwriting of Charli, whose own hits include such swagger-fueled numbers as "Boom Clap" and "Doing It?"
"Lyrically, it helps me seeing those kind of images and (absorbing) that kind of atmosphere," she replied. "On my first album, I felt like, if it was going to be turned into a movie, it would have been directed by Sofia Coppola. She creates this kind of pastel-colored palette that's very whimsical, but also very stagnant. And that's really how I heard the record."
Charli performs Tuesday at Observatory North Park on a double-bill with Jack Antonoff, the leader of the New York band Bleachers. It's the opening date on their joint . (See below for ticket details.)Charli and Jack Do America Tour
Here are excerpts from our interview with the woman born Charlotte Emma Aitchison.
Q: Are you a workaholic?
A: I think so. Because, whenever I stop working, I freak out; I worry that everything is going well.
Q: If someone called you a "rock star," would that be good or bad?
A: Hopefully, I'll become a rock star - but don't take that in isolation, because that sounds terrible. I think it's cool to be a rock star; I don't think there are many. There aren't many who speak out and take risks. And I think that's important.
Q: Is becoming a rock star a goal of yours?
A: Not I!
Q: What has surprised you most about being thrust in the public spotlight?
A: I know it sounds very obvious, but people judge you for everything you do and take your words out of context. People get so infuriated if you have an opinion they don't agree with. Which is fine, because I don't agree with everyone's opinions, either. But it's totally shocking to me how irate people get.
Q: Have you seen "Amy," the Amy Winehouse documentary?
A: I haven't, but I want to.
Q: You seem fairly grounded. Would you credit that to your upbringing?
A: Yeah, I guess so. It's not something I've really thought about. I am grounded. I take everything with such a pinch of salt. I don't take what I do too seriously, because I don't have a serious job! I love what I do and think it's important. But I'm not saving anyone's life.
Charli XCX & Bleachers present Charli and Jack Do America
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Observatory North Park (formerly North Park Theatre), 2891 University Ave., North Park