Charli XCX: Music makes me feel safe and ‘at home'

The singer has spoken about her mental health struggles, distancing herself from social media, and why she pulled out of the Afterparty festival.

Charli XCX has spoken about her mental health struggles and said she feels like a “time bomb” when she is not making music.

The Cambridge-born singer, whose new album, Crash, will be released on March 18, features on the cover of the April/May issue of Rolling Stone UK.

The 29-year-old told the magazine she feels “explosive”, but that when she is making music she feels “safe” and “at home”.

Charli XCX appears on the cover of the April/May issue of Rolling Stone UK (Jack Bridgland/Rolling Stone UK/PA)

“I feel very explosive right now,” she said.

“I feel very on the edge, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a very bad way.

“I feel really good when I’m rehearsing for tour – I feel like that’s where I’m supposed to be, when I’m moving my body, when I’m bringing this music to life via movement and dance and singing, and I feel really safe and really at home there.

“And basically anytime I’m not doing that, I feel like a time bomb.”

The Grammy-nominated singer announced on Twitter on February 10 that she was distancing herself from social media after receiving negative comments online.

Charli XCX has spoken about her mental health struggles (Jack Bridgland/Rolling Stone UK)

She told Rolling Stone she had already been “feeling quite low” and was even more hurt by the negative comments about her song Beg For You.

She said: “I suppose I felt a little bit hurt when I heard that people didn’t really like the song.

“I think at a time when I was already feeling quite low, that kind of rhetoric honestly just really hurt my feelings.

“There is this misconception that people in the public eye are able to take any shit that you throw at them.

“Yes, we do have to learn how to handle negativity and criticism because it comes with the territory, but, at the same time, everyone’s a f****** human being.”

Last month the singer tweeted two screenshots of her notes app, with a long message detailing how she has struggled with social media, writing that she was “trying her best” but still felt a lot of dissatisfaction coming from users on the platform.

In the magazine interview, she said: “I guess on that day that I messaged that, I felt more human than ever.”

Charli XCX, real name Charlotte Emma Aitchison, also faced a backlash from her fans for pulling out of Afterparty, a March music and arts festival in Las Vegas which required all its attendees own one of 1,500 NFTs.

NFT, which stands for a non-fungible token, are a type of digital file that represent a single unit of value and are individualised so they cannot be exchanged for another asset, only for themselves, such as artwork.

She said: “(Fans) were angry about that and giving me a lot of flak for that, which, yes, that’s sad but whatever…

“I pulled out of the festival, that was my decision that I made, and I didn’t feel the need to announce it or let them know, but I did pull out.”

– The full interview will appear in the April/May issue of Rolling Stone UK, out on March 17, and can also be found online.

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