Making it up as you go along: Charli XCX

Watch the singer unpack the best Charli memes in the sixth episode of Making It Up As You Go Along

Charli XCX is the sound of pop right now. For September 2019, the prolific auteur is guest editing Dazed. Head here to check out the fashion brand she’s spotlighted, her list of dream collaborators, a visit to her home in LA, a video of her reacting to fans’ memes, plus way more.

Charli XCX, who takes over the Dazed site as our guest editor this week, is a musician defined by contradictions, and proudly so. Her synthetic, saturated sound bears the hallmarks of archetypal hyperproduced pop – 80s glam rock drums, shimmering power synths, and moody autotuned vocals. But Charli is also at odds with the pop machine, crafting forward-thinking sounds with collaborators from the underground, the fringes, and contemporary pop iconography alike. 

Charli is her third major label album and first LP in five years – though the last half-decade has been peppered with mixtapes, guest spots, and unreleased rips surfacing on YouTube – released last week. It’s an album of electropop party anthems and experimental ballads, with more anxiety-fraught, intimate lyrics than ever before. Sonically and emotionally, it’s the most honest proclamation of Charli the artist and Charli the person yet.

Alongside a killer discography, what makes Charli so great – an artist we have never had any choice but to stan – is her nebulous sense of humour and love of a good meme. So, for our latest edition of Making It Up As You Go Along – the YouTube series where we give artists a box filled with random topics to pick out and discuss, no matter what their knowledge on the subject is –  we scoured the Internet for some of the best Charli memes for her to unpack.

Previous episodes have seen Lil Nas X on yeehaw culture, drag queen Crystal Rasmussen on Beyoncé, Doja Cat spilling on her unlikely crush on Kermit the Frog, Harry Freegard on LGBTQ sandwiches, and Drag Race superstar Soju, who introduced us to the wondrous phrase “strictly dickly”.  

From getting cReAtIvE with caps, to ultimate stan subsection “the intellectual gays”, hijacking the Coachella line-up, and carrying the pop industry on her back (it’s alright though, she tells us: “I get weekly massages”), our latest episode is a journey down the depths of a XCX-powered Internet hole. Just don’t overthink it, Charli warns: “when you think about what a meme is, you get an existential crisis”. Hard relate. Watch the video above.