Charli XCX on Wild Nights Out with Rita Ora, Writing 'Fancy' In 30 Minutes and Having a Bikinis-Only Dress Code
Charli XCX has just come off stage at the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas after performing a killer set in almost 100-degree heat.
“I literally nearly died it was so hot,” she tells PEOPLE with a laugh, dressed in a yellow bikini and matching knee-high boots, having just refreshed herself with SoBe, the beverage she’s helping celebrate turn 21 this Labor Day weekend.
Despite the scorching weather, the singer/songwriter breezed through hits “Boom Clap,” “Break the Rules,” and was joined on stage by singer Tinashe to perform their song “Drop That Kitty,” without breaking a sweat.
But then XCX, 24, is used to feeling the heat, especially when it comes to burning up the charts. She plays it cool when PEOPLE asks how much her life changed after writing the worldwide smash “Fancy” with Iggy Azalea.
“I think really behind the scenes, [more] than my life,” she says, about the 2014 song of the summer. “It did change my life in the sense that, I was definitely exposed to a lot more people, you know I was writing with bigger artists, and I guess I just partied a lot more after “Fancy” which was really cool.”
The career gear-changing track wasn’t, it turns out, that hard to write either. “We wrote it in like half an hour,” she remembers. “Iggy had like done her rap so I just came in the studio and put the chorus down so that was it – it was a really quick process.”
This summer, XCX (whose real name is Charlotte Emma Aitchison) helped write another massive tune – “Same Old Love” for Selena Gomez – which hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. “We hung out in London after she cut that song. I really respect her a lot, she works really hard, she’s a cool girl,” XCX casually reminisces.
However, for her next record – which she can’t talk about except to say it’s the “most pop thing” she’s ever done, and that it will be out next year with a single to come this year – XCX could be veering away from more collaborations.
“To be honest I feel like I’ve collaborated with a lot of people, so I feel like I wanna just do this myself. There’s this rapper Lil Yachty, so maybe him.” What about if Taylor Swift came knocking on her door asking to write together? “I mean, she’s like a huge artist. It is definitely something I would think about but I just wanna focus on my own stuff but who knows.”
One artist she still keeps in touch with is Rita Ora, who lent her vocals to XCX’s single “Doing It” last year. “I love hanging out with Rita – she is probably like my only famous friend or whatever. She just feels like someone I grew up with – she’s very down to earth and I love that. She knows how to party.”
XCX confesses that the pair once crashed an 18-year-old’s house party in Chicago. “We just showed up and took over their house, and they were like, ‘What the f— is going on?'” she chuckles.
When it comes to her dress code for parties and going out, the British singer jokes that right now swimwear is her go-to look: “I’m just really into wearing bikinis at the moment. Like I’ve been going to clubs and stuff in bikinis and skirts, that’s my new thing. I don’t know how that’s going to work when I go back to the U.K… (Laughs).”
Somehow, we’re pretty sure she’ll carry it off.
Charli XCX performed at the SLS hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday over Labor Day Weekend, for SoBe‘s 21st birthday party.