Charli XCX: ‘Boom Clap’ Nearly Went To Hilary Duff
It’s been a good year for Charli, even if her girl crush Hilary didn’t want her song
By Georgina Langford
Forget Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX has got a slightly more unexpected girl crush: she’s obsessed with Hilary Duff. To the point where there was a time when ‘Boom Clap’, Charli’s love song addition to the The Fault In Our Stars movie soundtrack, nearly ended up on Hilary Duff’s new album.
“I’ve had that song for about a year, I wrote it with Patrick Berger,” says Charli, referring to her songwriting collaborator and partner in crime on the smash hit ‘I Love It’, sung by Icona Pop. Berger has worked with Hilary Duff before, and when her people got in touch with him about her new record, Charli freaked out bigtime.
“My number one project as a songwriter is to write for Hilary Duff, so when I heard about this, I was like, ‘f**k! Are you serious?! This is my ‘in’! I’m going to make a Hilary Duff album!’ So we sent over ‘Boom Clap’, but they came back and were like, ‘this isn’t cool enough for Hilary.”
There is a look on Charli’s face of genuine dismay as she continues to recount her tale of rejection-by-Duff. “I was like, crushed,” Charli sighs. “I thought I was a cool writer, but maybe I’m not. Hilary didn’t want my song. What a life-ruiner.”
But these things have a way of working out just fine, which means Hilary’s loss is The Fault In Our Stars gain. ‘Boom Clap’ is a slice of perfect pop, with heartfelt emotion and a truly banging chorus. It’s the perfect follow up to ‘Fancy’, the smash hit that Charli co-wrote and performs with Iggy Azalea, complete with Clueless parody video and a #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
2013 onwards has been a good time in the career of Charli XCX. Her pop masterskills are finally gaining recognition, after ‘I Love It’ became one of the biggest tracks of the last few years. She recently picked up a SESAC award for Best Song – although she hadn’t prepared a speech, so she just said “’shout out to Britney Spears!’, and then I ran off the stage,” Charli remembers, laughing.
There’s room on Charli’s mantelpiece for more awards, though, and she thinks that “’I Love It’ should have been nominated for Best Dance Song at the Grammy’s. Maybe it’s really crude to say that, but it would be cool” she smiles. Closer to home and projecting towards the 2015 Brit Awards, MTV is already excited to see what Charli will wear, should she receive a well deserved nomination. She grins: “I don’t know what my outfit would be, but I do know it will be epic as f**k.”
When crafting her masterpieces, Charli is firmly against using a set formula or method for her songwriting. “If I had a method, I think I’d freak out. For me it’s always spontaneous, and that’s how I write my best songs. I do like writing at night, however.”
‘Boom Clap’ is a particularly spontaneous, uplifting love song. “It’s just about being epic-ly in love. Being totally immersed in passion and feeling really safe and really alone with that person” she explains. “Although I always hear a tinge of sadness in it, that song has quite an acute feeling,” Charli adds, revealing that she is an emotional person who cries “all the time. At ANYTHING. Movies, songs…’Wishes’ by Beach House makes me cry, and I cried at ‘Dancing On My Own’ at a Robyn gig once. I told her that, and she was like ‘cool…that’s really weird.’ But it’s Robyn, she can say that because she’s a badass bitch.”
On the subject of crying, The Fault In Our Stars looks set to be a massive bawl-fest, and Charli is pleased that ‘Boom Clap’ is “at a really nice moment in the movie, although I can’t tell you exactly what point or I’ll get in trouble” she teases. “I’m excited that people are going to hear my song,” she continues, “and that it’s part of a really good teen movie, because we haven’t had one in a while [Charli’s personal faves are Charlie’s Angels, naturally, and The Craft]. The Fault In Our Stars feels like The Notebook.”
Tissues at the ready, people – although everyone knows that because we’ve all read the book already. Well, nearly everyone…”I have it here!” Charli laughs, desperately foraging in her handbag. “I’ve been carrying it around with me, and I’ve nearly finished. I saw the movie before I got the book, and the movie made me cry, it’s amazing. It’s going to affect a lot of people.”