Boom Clap For Charli XCX And Her Fight For Feminism In Music

Charli-XCX

Forget the slow clap, we’re fans of the Boom Clap because to us those two words represent something bigger that is happening in the music industry. We have reached a point yet again in music where women are branching out, making a statement and going against the grain in the name of independence.

British singer Charli XCX, who released ‘Boom Clap’ and lent her vocals to the Iggy Azalea track ‘Fancy’ is not your average pop star. She is a throwback to early 90s British females who shocked the world with their loud, brash and pull-no-punches attitude. We’re talking about Shampoo, The Spice Girls and even punk singers from all over such as Siouxsie Sioux, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill and more. These are the women who have defined the female voice throughout the course of music history.

They have shared angst, pain, love, punk and rebellion. Today’s crop of female stars who have broken out of the typical sweet-girl mold that labels often want them to be, are holding up their lineage in a way that is relevant to today’s young women.

In an interview with Complex magazine to promote the release of her third album ‘Sucker’, Charli XCX is talked about as a force to be reckoned with.

“loud, unapologetic and unabashedly charming” is the way she is described. She talks about what it looks like to be a woman in control of her own career, and shares her opinions on why she believes Iggy Azalea is one of the best things that happened in 2014.

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It’s clear she has an admiration for controversial female music stars as she believes women like Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj are the defining feminism in music.

“Let me just say that it’s really amazing that feminism became such a talked-about topic in 2014, and I hope it continues. I think it’s amazing that Nicki was on the Forbes list. I think it’s amazing that Beyoncé full-on used the word on massive 20-foot screens in front of TV audiences of millions. It’s really cool that such high-profile female artists are really doing that and are such straight up bosses,” she said.

Critics are saying her new album which is decidedly more pop than punk may alienate some of her more hardcore fans, but Charli says it’s more about showing another side of her feminine self.

“I always felt like it was very feminine, but not in the stereotypical sense of the word. I felt like it was feminine because it was angry. It’s raw, and it’s passionate. I think it’s cool, especially for young girls, to be able to feel like they can be angry and that’s fine. That was kind of a thing for me in hindsight with the record.”

She also makes a point of saying sexuality to her isn’t about trying to please or impress men, and she wants to show other young girls that there are other ways to be in control and badass that don’t always have to revolve around using your sexuality.

“You can be angry and be sexy at the same time. You can be punk and be sexy at the same time. And you can also be half naked and be really sexy, as long as you’re doing it for yourself and not for a guy. That’s something that’s become really apparent this year, these high-profile women who are feminists are empowering to women because they’re in charge of their own careers and make their own decisions. I think that’s really cool.”

One of the things that has led her to become a strong-willed woman in her career is the way she is sometimes treated by music industry execs.

“I have to fight, like I have to fight with my record label to get what I want. People treat me like a little girl still, even though I’m in the position I’m in. And I think that’s the case for people who are way more successful than me. I think that’s just a factor of being a woman in the music industry, which sucks, but it’s cool that people talk about it.”

Charli-XCX

One person that did just talk about it was Bjork, who points out the stark double standards when it comes to crediting men vs women in the biz. She said when someone like Kanye West produces beats for his own albums, no one questions it. But when a women is credited for writing or producing, there is an automatic assumption she must’ve had help. While Bjork has seen this happen a lot in her career and is in a place to know how to battle it, Charli is seeing it from a relatively new perspective but already she is speaking out about how ridiculous it is.

“Recently, I’ve been arguing with a producer who just keeps playing my songs to people I don’t want him to play them to. It’s like, I don’t need you to do that for me. And he’s like, ‘Sweetie, there’s an art to playing songs for people.’ I’m like, fuck you dude. Seriously. If I want to play my fucking songs for people I’ll fucking do it. I don’t need you to fucking patronize me. If I want you to play a song for someone, I will let you know…But don’t treat me like a little girl. Don’t patronize me and talk down to me just because you’re a 40-year-old man and I’m a 22-year-old girl. Not cool.”

As for the all-important Iggy Azalea question, don’t expect Charli to diss her fellow females in music any time soon. She’s alludes to the fact that there are many other controversies out there against Iggy (racism, for one) but solely focuses on what she is doing musically, and how proud she is that the two of them made a song that got nominated for a Grammy award.

“All I can say is that Iggy’s a very hard-working, sweet person. She uses rap in a different way, that’s how I see it. I’m not saying anyone else is wrong, I’m not saying anyone is better than anyone else, because I’m so aware that with this kind of argument you can get dragged into so many different lanes. For me, when I see Iggy, I see her using rap as a tool to make pop music. I think she’s aware of that. She’s in control of what she does, and that’s great.”

Nicki Minaj is the biggest selling female hip hop artist, and her career has been controversial from day one. Iggy Azalea has had more press coverage for being controversial (and hated in some cases) than her music. It’s a shame that this is what women are up against in music, because all you’d have to do is create a list of male rappers and dig into their backgrounds to find a string of excuses to hate them and diss them publicly. T.I went to jail. Anyone? Anyone??

Music is universal, and since its inception, pop music has always been controversial, dating right back to the presence of the Beatles and their loud rock n roll, and Elvis Presley’s shocking hip-thrusting. For women the battle is still very real, whether you are at Bjork or Beyonce status, or relative newbies like Charli XCX and Iggy Azalea.

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Charli XCX Interviews Female Musicians For A BBC Documentary About Feminism - GirlTalkHQ

  2. Pingback: Artist & Producer Tiffany Miranda Started 'Girls Make Beats' Org. To Disrupt The Male-Dominated Industry - GirlTalkHQ

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