Charli XCX Jokes Her Tour Is Both a 'Party' and a 'Sweatbox' as She Calls Her New Album 'Classically Pop'

Charli XCX will take part in the Live From the Upside Down concert, celebrating Stranger Things season 4 in collaboration with Doritos

Charli XCX
Charli XCX. Photo: Frito-Lay

Charli XCX channeled her inner '80s diva in the making of her latest studio album Crash and she's done it again — but this time with a little bit of help.

During a conversation with PEOPLE about her involvement in the Live From the Upside Down concert to celebrate Stranger Things season four, the "Yuck" singer revealed why this collaboration was just right.

"At the moment I'm very inspired by a lot of '80s music. My current record Crash was really heavily inspired by that, both sonically and visually," the "Boom Clap" singer, 29, says.

She continued, "The whole theme of this Stranger Things (premiering May 27,) Netflix, Doritos collaboration felt very right for me, and also the other artists who are involved are just kind of like '80s icons."

Charli XCX
Charli XCX. Frito-Lay

The concert, which will take place virtually on June 23, is meant to take viewers back in time to an experience like no other.

"The story goes that back in 1986, a tour bus crashed near Hawkins, Indiana, headed to Doritos Music Fest '86 — the greatest concert that never happened," the press release states. "The musicians disappeared into another dimension and the show was canceled… until now."

The concert will feature performances by Soft Cell, who will sing "Tainted Love" — and whom Charli says she listened to "quite a lot" growing up — as well as the Go-Go's performing "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips Are Sealed" and Corey Hart jamming out to "Sunglasses at Night" and "Never Surrender." Charli will also make an appearance, collaborating with one of the bands listed.

In order for fans to access the concert, they will need to pick up a bag of Doritos or Doritos 3D Crunch with the limited edition Stranger Things packaging or visit to reserve their ticket.

Aside from her upcoming concert at the Upside Down, Charli has also spent most of her time on the road the past few weeks for her Crash tour.

"This is definitely the most high octane tour that I've done. I really put everything into this production and I was doing choreo for the first time, which has been quite a huge learning curve for me," she says. "I really, really respect and admire artists who also dance as a part of their art, because it's such a way to use your body to express yourself."

She also appreciates the reaction she's received from fans at her shows thus far — and describes the events as a "party" and a "sweatbox" — "for sure."

As Charli reflects on the release of her album now that she's wrapped up her shows in the United States, she says the experience was "more than what I thought it was going to feel like."

"I feel like with this album, I did something that my fans didn't really expect of me. I had spent the pandemic creating an almost rave-inspired album in some ways. Then to really come back with something that's so much more classically pop was a little bit unexpected," the True Romance songstress says. "But I think that's a good thing. It's a good thing to not do what people predict of you."

And though her schedule is full speed ahead with her upcoming shows in the United Kingdom, Charli's had a few moments to herself and used that time to pick up new skills.

"Honestly, my time off is definitely kind of limited at the moment. So I just try and zen out as much as possible. I try and hang with my friends," she says. "I love to go swimming. I look after my dog, I try and... I just put a bar in my house. So I'm experimenting with my cocktail shaking skills and stuff like that — and seeing if I can become like a low key mixologist, I suppose!"

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