While Charli XCX has been working in music since she was a teenager, the singer’s 2013 track “I Love It” with Icona Pop is what really put her on the map. While the song served as her breakout, Charli recently revealed she didn’t even like it when she was writing it.
Charli sat down with Red Bull in one of her last in-person interviews before the pandemic. During the nearly hour-long conversation, Charli discussed her career, influences, and songwriting processes. The singer described how she penned “I Love It” in just 20 minutes while sitting in a hotel room and thought the track was the “worst song ever”:
“I actually really thought ‘I Love It’ was the worst song ever. I honestly didn’t even know what it was about when I wrote it. I wrote it in like 20 minutes in a hotel room with my boyfriend sitting there. He was like, ‘What are you doing?’ And I was like, ‘Oh I wrote this song. I don’t really get it, but whatever.’ He was like, ‘Yeah it sounds bad.’ So then I was like, ‘Okay. I’m going to stop making this.’ And then I spent hours making this other song.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Charli said that when she first broke into the music industry, she wanted to be the next Britney Spears. “When I was younger, I think it was Britney Spears [who] really blew my mind, especially the ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ video,” she said. “I remember being at home and just thinking that I’d never seen somebody so glamorous and cool and fun. It was real, but I really bought into the dream.”
Continuing to talk about how Spears influenced her artistic vision, Charli said, “When I entered the music industry, I was like, ‘I want to be Britney.’ I didn’t really know and there was no other route for me. I was like, ‘This is what happens when you sign a record deal. You become Britney. That’s the only path.’ And then I signed the record deal and I was like, ‘Oh. I’m not Britney.’ But before being in the music industry, I didn’t realize there was so many different paths.”
Watch Charli discuss writing “I Love It” in a conversation with Red Bull above, around the 24-minute mark.
Charli XCX is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.