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Charli XCX and Christine and the Queens

Charli XCX plans to dismantle the patriarchy with Christine and the Queens


At the NME Awards on Wednesday night, Charli XCX and Christine and the Queens spoke of tackling sexism in the music industry and the need for change to “come from the ground up”. 

The pair spoke backstage shortly after presenting Robyn with the Songwriter of the Decade award, and touched upon the need for gender-balanced festival line-ups following this week’s male-dominated Reading and Leeds Festival announcement.

“They just need to book more women, but the thing is that this conversation has been going on for so long,” Charli said, adding: “I feel like this literally happened last year with Reading and Leeds. The line-up came out and everybody was like: ‘There aren’t enough women on this line-up.’ Nothing has changed. Nothing. What can be done? It’s our responsibility to talk about this and be as open as we can.”

She continued: “The change needs to come from the industry itself and the ground up. Yes, the festival needs to book females but the industry as a whole needs to recognise women working within it: producers, writers, A&Rs, executives, anything.”

Chris echoed Charli’s sentiment, saying that women are judged much more for their achievements than their male counterparts. She said: “It’s exhausting. It’s even just the small details. Every day in every woman’s life, those small details do matter a lot – in music and everywhere else. We still have a lot of work to do to untangle the patriarchy.”

The two artists recently collaborated on the track “Gone”, released as part of Charli’s eponymous third album. Speaking at the awards, the pair teased that they could work together again soon. “Maybe it’s too early to say but it’s addictive to work with you,” Chris said to Charli when asked about future collaborations, “so I would gladly say yes – it’s not a no!”

Watch the full interview below.