Backlash Over A Changed Song Title Prompts Charli XCX To Reflect On The Artist-Fan Relationship

Back when physical media was the primary way fans consumed music, once you released a project, almost everything about it was set in stone unless you decided to re-release it. That has changed, though, in the streaming age, when it’s easy to make alterations by updating some files or other info. Perhaps most famously, Kanye West made alterations to The Life Of Pablo and Yeezus in 2016, after the albums had been released. Now Charli XCX has engaged in some revisionist history of her own and was left surprised by the negative reaction.

Over the weekend, the title of Charli’s Pop 2 track “Unlock It” (which features Kim Petras and Jay Park) was updated to “Unlock It (Lock It)” on streaming services. There was enough backlash over the minor alteration to prompt a thoughtful response from Charli. She tweeted in response to a fan account tweet noting the change, “wow everyone’s so mad. its not that deep ?” In subsequent tweets, she went on to ponder the relationship between artists and fans:

“the artist fan relationship is a really interesting one. like, the reason one becomes a fan in the first place is because of an admiration for the artists unique point of view and choice of creative decisions and statements. but sometimes, somewhere along the way a sense of ownership over the artist develops.. i guess because there’s a true connection and understanding between fan and artist. a bond is formed. the fan defends and loves the artist and the artist loves and cares for the fan. but when the artist deviates creatively from what they’re known for, there is sometimes a sense of betrayal for some fans. but it’s just development. a good artist constantly evolves & challenges their audience, because they know their audience is smart enough to be challenged.”

Meanwhile, she recently teased her upcoming work by noting, “Next album is gonna be POPTASTIC and I’m feeling very inspired.”

Find Charli’s tweets below.

Charli XCX is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.