Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2021

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Charli XCX


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CHARLOTTE EMMA AITCHISON, known by her stage name Charli XCX, started performing in her early teens at DIY London raves.

She signed to Asylum Records in 2010 at the age of 18, but never confined herself into the mainstream. While enjoying massive success with chart busters, she used to release Tumblrcore mixtapes for free. “I’m an upgrade of your stereotype,” she has declared in ‘Femmebot’ from Pop 2, her 2017 avant-garde mixtape.

In fact, this 28-year-old singer and songwriter is very much inclined to mixtapes as she continues to try and figure out exactly what kind of artist she wanted to be. “Is the album even valid for me as an artist any more? I’m not sure,” she has said.

“I think there’s an opportunity to do something really cool and fun, and I’m still figuring out what that will be. But I don’t think it will suddenly be totally sonically different from the mixtape stuff.”

Her quarantine album How I’m Feeling Now, released last year, has been acclaimed for perfectly capturing the experience of self-isolation and loneliness in 11 experimental synth-laden tracks. She has also chronicled this period on film, as a documentary on the making of the album. The docu-feature, titled Alone Together, has seen its premiere in March 2021 at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival.

“The documentary tells the story of not only the five-week process surrounding the making of my album, How I’m Feeling Now, but also all the emotions that creating, connecting and living in a quarantine, and in basically a new world evokes for people across the globe,” Charli wrote on Instagram.

Her previous album, Charli, which came out in 2019, has been a huge hit, reaching the top 20 in the UK charts. Reflecting an artist ready to commit to self-examination,

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