There’s seriously no stopping music’s new pop punk princess. Charli XCX‘s ascension to A-list stardom in early-2013 may have been boosted by her hit collab “I Love It” with Swedish duo Icona Pop, but her rise to fame was already five years in the making by then. At the young age of 14, Charli began recording her debut album with a loan granted by her parents and a moniker that was really her MSN screen name. Seven years later, that mysterious “XCX” suffix has stayed with her as she makes her home at the top of the charts. Welcome to the world of Charli XCX.

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Here to promote her sophomore album “SUCKER“, Charli met with members of the media from here and abroad (hello, Rolling Stone Indonesia!) in a press conference hours before her live show at The Coliseum @ Hard Rock Hotel, Sentosa. Her head-scratching choice of an orange, green, and white colour scheme made sense when she later revealed that her get-up was inspired by Velma from the Scooby-Doo animated series.

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Hosted by the bubbly Kimberly Wang from 987fm, the press con was kickstarted with the uniquely Singaporean question that no artist can escape from – food. Charli revealed that she took a liking to the meal her entourage enjoyed the night before, at a very well-known Chinese casual dining restaurant: Din Tai Fung.

Staying relaxed and “chill” throughout the half-hour session, the 22-year-old answered the many questions coolly. Here’s her thoughts…

On the difference between her two albums “True Romance” and “SUCKER”: “(On True Romance) I was still finding my feet as an artist. I was insecure about what people taught of me and I was trying to make a cool record. With SUCKER I’m more fearless. I didn’t think about what people thought of me (and) I just wanted to make a straight-up pop record that was bold, instead of a safe record.”

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On how much she has grown artistically since starting out: “I started making music when I was 14 and now I’m 22. (I think) I’ve grown as much as a normal teenager would have, (although it is) stressful (as) all eyes are on you while you’re growing up. I was worried about what people thought of me but now I don’t think about it anymore. It’s liberating.”

On her biggest takeaway from the experience so far: “Just being able to travel the world, working with people who inspire me, (and) to be in demand for other artists as a songwriter. I like being able to affect pop music from behind the scenes.”

On her favourite country: “I love Tokyo, I just had two sold-out shows there. (Also) France. Every country has its own culture and different people and I think that’s cool.”

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On how her MSN name became her stage name, and whether she has any other usernames that weren’t as cool as “Charli XCX”: “I had one that was “keepoffthegrassxo”. Back then I panicked and chose Charli XCX and it kinda stuck.”

On whether she would change her stage name: “No. It takes too much effort (and) I’m happy being who I am now.”

On style icons: “I love a lot of characters in movies! I really like Courtney Shayne in Jawbreaker, Cher Horowitz in Clueless. I also love 90’s Mariah Carey and 90’s Britney. Also, Chanel (in the) 90’s.”

On her top three most iconic Britney Spears songs: “Great question! I love “Email My Heart” (because it’s) such a great concept for a song. And I love her reply when people asked what the song meant, she said something like (Britney impression) “cause like everyone has an email” and I thought: this girl is a genius. I think it’s a great song (especially) back when Britney had this soul voice. (Number 2 has to be) “Piece Of Me” because the production is so next level and the whole Melodyne (a pitch-correction software) concept of her vocals is very clever (and) the lyrics are amazing. (I think) “Work Bitch” was an underrated record, the video is incredible, you know when she’s on the podium with the sharks?”

On collab-ing with Britney Spears: “I know that Iggy (Azalea) is working with Britney and I’m so jealous. Who knows? I would love to write songs with her!”

On whether people are proud to call themselves “pop fans” today (Charli stated in a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone that she felt pop was “shit” but it was slowly getting better): “I think it’s definitely changed over the five years. Pop music has become enriched with some incredible artists who bring a different meaning to pop. (They) bring music from genres outside (of) pop. In the 90’s people were more divided on pop like it was “dirty” word. There will be always be critics but people have more time for pop now. Even “left field” publications write about pop music so I think that’s great.”

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On her sound-to-colour synesthesia: “I see “SUCKER” as being the colours red and pink, and I see “Boom Clap” as silver. The first record was purple, because I felt it was subtle and “bruised”. Other purple artists are like The Cure. Orange is my favourite colour right now (points to Velma-inspired sweater).”

On whether she would visit Indonesia: “I don’t currently have a planned concert to Indonesia. I’ve never been before, I would love to!”

On her near-death experience while filming the “Drop That Kitty” music video with Ty Dollar $ign and Tinashe: “I think I overuse the words or phrase “I nearly died!” and it gets taken out of context. I didn’t nearly die. I think that was me being very dramatic. But basically, I can’t really ride a bike. I discovered while shooting the video. (It was my idea that) We should all be on motorbikes that’ll be really cool. I didn’t realy realise they’ll be one of those “chopper” ones and I was being all cocky like “yeah I can ride this, no problem”. And literally within like two seconds I crashed onto an oncoming car. (Then) They put stabilisers on the back for me which I think isn’t really cool. I was in a hip-hop video on a bike with stabilisers on… not looking very cool. But yeah I made it through.”

On her “girl-centric” music videos and what’s left for the “dudes”: “Oh my music is for everybody. I don’t think you have to be girl to appreciate girl power or pussy power. You just have to be a badass and you have to be down for females to be badass too.”

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P.S. Just look at these cute lollies they were handing out at the reception counter!

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Many thanks to Warner Music