Diary of a Pop Star: Charli XCX on the Electric Energy of Her Triumphant Homecoming Show
As Charli XCX gears up for the release of her fifth album Crash in 2022—a record that will see her make a fully-fledged return to thunderous, high-octane pop—she’ll be taking Vogue behind the scenes of the day-to-day life of a music star. Here she walks us through her return to live performance in London after a mostly locked-down pandemic in the U.S., in which she performs her period-defining album, “How I’m Feeling Now,” written and released within a six-week period in the spring and summer of 2020.
Arriving back in London for the first time in two years felt almost foreign. A place I used to frequent so often suddenly felt like a brand new playground, an entirely new city for me to be sleepless in, to run laps around, and to make memories within. As nightlife havens around the world slowly began to reopen their doors and basement dance floors started getting sticky again, it almost felt poetic that I had returned to my home city to give a live performance of an album made in five weeks during the peak of lockdown, when moving through crowds and screaming joyously in each other’s faces was simply not an option—an illicit pastime of the olden days that then felt so far away from the new isolated reality we found ourselves trapped in.
I had been very cautious with my traveling throughout the past few years, only leaving the U.S. once in June 2021 to travel to London for work. Returning last month felt completely different, probably in part due to the mass arrival of friends and collaborators all within the space of one week. In a weird way, this trip felt like our homecoming, with multiple birthdays, parties, and exquisite live shows, which all helped add to the already celebratory atmosphere of the city.
I already knew that getting back up on a stage in London was going to be an out-of-body experience. My headline shows are always electric—I give everything. I surrender every molecule of energy within my body and I leave it all on the stage. I won’t lie: I’m a fucking star when I perform. Of course, everyone has their own specific taste, but if you like the kind of music I make, then honestly there’s no one who can do it better than me. And I knew that in London, post-pandemic, in a tiny sweatbox venue with constant strobe lights and never-ending smoke clouds, the show I was about to do was going to be emotionally overwhelming and totally mind-blowing.
Published at Sat, 06 Nov 2021 20:58:14 +0000