Charli XCX (born Charlotte Emma Aitchison, August 2, 1992) is a British singer and songwriter. Charli was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire and started writing songs when she was 14 years old when she began recording her debut album on a loan granted by her parents.
In early 2008, she began posting songs from the album, as well as numerous other demos, on her official MySpace page. This caught the attention of a man named Chaz, who was running numerous illegal warehouse raves in London, which became her first true performance appearances.
Two singles, “!Franchesckaar!” and double A-side “Emelline”/”Art Bitch,” were released in late 2008 under Orgy Music. XCX's debut studio album, “14,” featuring the former single, was never commercially released, although several promotional copies were issued and copies were given away at her earliest shows. After being signed to Asylum Records in 2010, Charli XCX took a break from music.
Charli XCX was featured on two singles in 2011, “End of the World” by Alex Metric and “Lost in Space” by Starkey. In May 2011, she released her first single in nearly three years, “Stay Away,” followed by “Nuclear Seasons” in November, both produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and released exclusively in the U.K. In late 2011, a five-track promotional sampler of her debut album surfaced. All tracks were early demos, including an early version of “You're the One,” titled “In the Dark.”
In February 2012, Charli XCX released two free tracks through her website, the holiday-themed “Valentine” and “I'll Never Know.” She wrote and provided two tracks including “How Can I?” for the indie horror film “Elfie Hopkins.” She also released two free mixtapes via SoundCloud, containing tracks by her female and male influences, the first titled “Super Girls, SuperLove” and the second titled “I Like Boys Who Cry.”
In May 2012, she released her first original mixtape, titled “Heartbreaks and Earthquakes,” a one-track file consisting of eight songs, including “How Can I?” In June 2012, she released her debut EP “You're the One” in the United States, featuring the title track and “Nuclear Seasons,” as well as remixes of both tracks. The EP was later released in September in the U.K. and Australia. Her second original mixtape, “Super Ultra” was released exclusively through her website in November 2012.
Charli XCX wrote Icona Pop's song “I Love It,” which became a breakthrough hit for the Swedish duo in 2012, peaking within the Top 10 in numerous countries, including the U.S. serving as the theme song for the reality program “Snooki & JWoww.”
Charli XCX’s second studio album and debut major label studio album, “True Romance,” was released in April 2013 and peaked at #85 on the U.K. Albums chart. The album failed to appear on any international main albums charts, but it did reach #5 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums chart.