The First Time: Charli XCX on Spice Girls and Other British Pop Stars
Brit pop’s leading bad girl is back. After supporting Taylor Swift on her epic Reputation stadium tour, Charli XCX surprised her fans this fall with the single “1999,” featuring singer-songwriter Troye Sivan. The video highlights some of the biggest cultural touchstones of the Nineties, including AOL, the Spice Girls and 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. She promised her “Angels” that she’d release a new album in 2019 — which would be her first in five years — but on one condition: “If [‘1999’] goes top 10 I’ll make another album and drop it next year,” she recently wrote on Twitter. In the meantime, Charli was happy to reminisce on the pop music that defined her childhood in the latest installment of Rolling Stone‘s “The First Time.”
“I don’t even remember the first time [I saw Spice World],” she told Rolling Stone. “I literally watched that movie over and over and over again for three years solid! My favorite scene is the alien scene [when the Spice Girls] go to pee in the bushes, off the tour bus. They get lost in the woods and … these aliens [get] beamed down from a spaceship and one of them touches Geri [Halliwell]’s boob.”
Charli proceeds to describe the first Spice Girls single she bought, as well as other artifacts from the Nineties, such as Buffalo Jeans. She also recalls her crushes on members of English pop groups like 5ive — “Five bad boys with the power to rock you’ was their tagline,” she says — plus Hear’Say, which first formed in 2001 on the U.K. television show Popstars.
She also divulges the first time she ever got drunk: “I was drunk on Bailey’s,” she says wryly. “It was very 14-year-old in the countryside. [Your] parents go away and you raid the liquor closet.
“When you’re that young, hangovers don’t really happen,” she continues. “You’re like this invincible human being. Then you slowly begin to disintegrate… and you can’t take it anymore!”
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