Charli XCX: 'I wake up with a ball of anxiety in my chest most days' - Music News

Charli XCX joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music to discuss her new song “i finally understand”, her relationship and how it has influenced her music, being a workaholic and more.

On how her new song ‘i finally understand’ was influenced by her relationship...

"You know it's funny like I haven't thought about the questions that might come up around this song and obviously I'm doing my first interview about it with the most hard hitting music journalist. You. But the song is basically about me and my boyfriend are quarantined together during this time. I'm conscious that I've spoken about this a lot and I don't want people to be like 'shut up about your boyfriend'. Like me and my boyfriend, me and my boyfriend. Because this is my situation. You know, I'm writing about what I know and we're quarantine together and our relationship wasn't in a brilliant place prior to quarantine.”

On her relationship prior to quarantine...

"You know, we were, I'm not going to say like at the end of the road, but close to it, we were living on separate sides of the country even though we were physically far apart, we were emotionally quite distant as well. And this time period, I'm extremely lucky that it has brought us physically close together because now we're living in the same house but also emotionally, and I finally understand that this person is somebody who I can trust with my life and I will have my security and protection at the front point of their heart no matter what. Yeah. I feel so lucky to have had that experience. And realise that. So that's what it's about, very emo. And you know what, it's like one of those things where I think it's coming up on like 60 days now where we've been isolated together. And if you'd have told me that two months ago, you're going to spend 60 days solid with this person who you're in a relationship with, I would have been like, are you joking? I don't think that's possible. But actually it's been really great and I think it's like proven to me that sometimes in life you just have to throw yourself into something without thinking about what the consequences, what might happen, what could go wrong, what could go right, like just do it. You know?"

On how the current situation has influenced her songwriting…

"I mean, yeah, it's like one thing I have go about is like how do you express that you're in love with someone 10 different times on an album without just sounding like sycophantic you know? I've been really working with that like quite a lot and yeah, there are some songs which are about like give me space but like that, you know a lot of the songs are very positive and this track, when I heard this track, it was like a palmistry track that he sent me and actually he sang this rough melody sketch I wrote. I was just immediately so captured by it and I've always wanted to do something with Palmistry. So I think in the old world, the old world, I probably would have made this song like a straight up party song. I don't remember what parties are like now."

"Yeah, I always thought I made really personal music, which I stand by. I always found that my music about partying was very personal because it's always emotional to me because I suppose as you say it was like a distraction, but I think there is something really kind of pure about talking honestly about the things that are going on in your life and I know that that sounds so songwriter 101 but I've never done it"

On being a workaholic and making an album in quarantine…

"It's been up and down like most things during this time, especially the first two or three weeks I was very focused, really happy. I'd found my purpose in this time. I'd found something that I loved to do and I desired to do the second I woke up. And then like week four and now I feel anxious and overall I just realised like this quarantine time has kind of reconfirmed something that I already knew about myself, which is that I am a workaholic and not just to like I love my job, I want to do it all the time, but a self punishing kind of like work myself into the ground, can't sleep at night, punish myself if I don't complete things that are on my list, like get angry if things don't go the way I want. Kind of a workaholic. I don't regret doing the album at all. I'm extremely happy that I'm doing the album because it's provided something for myself, but also for my fans, and it's brought us extremely close together. But it has left me with this question like one, will I ever be able to truly relax and switch my brain off? And that probably doesn't sound like that big of a deal to some people, but it's really stressful because I wake up with a ball of anxiety in my chest most days, especially these past couple of weeks. And I want to know will that ever go away? And then also can I be happy without experiencing the flip side of what happiness is? The stress, the sadness, the rage. Can I balance myself out and just feel neutral? Or do I have to experience the highs and the lows? And I think that's something that like a lot of people are probably always going through, but particularly going through during this time. But yeah, that's what I'm feeling, basically."

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