“Even though pop music is great, some people are still a bit embarrassed to say that they like it, so it will be really great if we can change people’s perception of it,” the similarly DIY-leaning pop artist Charli XCX said this year. And in a recent article for this site, Carrie Battan detailed some of the shifts that have already taken place, tracing the paths currently being forged by Sky Ferreira, a former major-label pop star gone fascinatingly rogue, and Solange, an artist more content to redefine pop and R&B on her own terms, rather than those of her famous sister.
-lindsay zoladz in her ordinary machines column on pitchfork
sky ferreira is not a former major-label pop star, she is a current major-label pop star, and there’s nothing DIY about charli xcx. she’s on atlantic or whatever, and she works with outside producers and songwriters on everything she does. like, i love “everything is embarrassing”, i fundamentally do like the idea of projects like those two curating input from outside songwriters and producers the way that radio-focused major-label capital-P pop projects do, but with an eye towards making something that’s more about art and not afraid to risk reaching a smaller audience. like i actually think projects like this, with sky recording songs by cass mccombs and dev hynes or maybe in the future people like caitlin rose recording songs by chris owens or whoever, are really exciting on a lot of levels
but like, please do not mistake charli xcx for grimes. do not talk about a major label pop project who shares co-writers and producers with justin bieber as if they’re at all comparable to someone who writes, records, performs, and produces everything herself. charli xcx is not the result of like an indie/DIY artist allowing themselves to be influenced by stuff that came out of the major label top 40 pop machinery. charli xcx is the major label top 40 pop machinery allowing itself to be influenced by grimes. charli xcx is the major label top 40 pop machinery recognizing that everyone seems to like this grimes person a lot and responding by spitting out a mangled, grotesque approximation of it in an effort to sell you something they own.
see also: twigs