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Charli XCX Pop2 Credit Charlotte Rutherford

Here's who needs to be on Charli XCX's next mixtape

22 March 2018, 11:00

The dust on her latest mixtape has barely settled, but Charli XCX wants some ideas of who to work with on her next one. Naturally, as superfans, we've had a wishlist for while - and here's who we reckon would make some killer noises with the Queen Of Collaborations.

Pop's reigning underdog knows how to throw a party - she's just had two massive ones, plus their subsequent afterparties, to bring her latest mixtape masterpiece, Pop 2, to life. The 10-track collection dropped at the end of last year with guests like Tove Lo, Tommy Cash, and Carly Rae Jepsen lending a hand.

Her fourth mixtape overall, it follows Number 1 Angel released earlier in 2017 plus Heartbreaks & Earthquakes and Super Ultra which came before she dropped her major label debut True Romance.

Both Number 1 Angel and Pop 2 have seen XCX explore her sound and work with a whole host of artists, from fellow underdogs to pop's finest rising talents. and cupcakKe appear on both, while ALMA, RAYE, and more all make the tracklistings even more exciting. But why mixtapes? Where's the long-awaited third album which she's supposedly teased with singles "After The Afterparty" and most recent triumph "Boys"?

The waiting that comes with a major label album campaign - the planning, the preparation, the voices sitting around the table that have to agree, or agree to disagree - can all take its toll, and delays are almost inevitable... plus the advent of album-length leaks is never healthy. For an artist like XCX who's constantly creating and never really out of the studio, why wait when you can spend a week making ten tracks and release it just like that.

While we do hope that 2018 brings us that long-awaited third album from XCX, we honestly wouldn’t mind a few more mixtapes, before, after, during or inbetween, so we thought about who would sound great after a trip to XCX World.

Allie X

We're so here for the potential pop greatness of a double-X-CX collaboration - in fact that's why we're here listing some great pop counterparts for First Lady XCX (after she tweeted this). Allie X has proved her pop chops on Collxtion I and II with tracks like "Catch", "Sanctuary", and "Paper Love". Her powerful voice, theatrical live shows, and the mystery in her mission to discover the meaning of X has won her fans the world over... now imagine what kind of alchemy these two could conjure up in the studio together.

Tkay Maidza and Vera

We've kinda heard a Tkay Maidza x Charli XCX collaboration before, if you count Maidza joining XCX on stage during her Australian tour a few years back to perform "Fancy", but we'd obviously love to see what these guys could come up with together properly.

The addition of Danish-producer Vera, who's worked with two-time XCX World visitor on her When I Was Young EP, would likely bring a seductive, warm jazz-inspired sound into the mix - the kind that can be heard throughout his debut EP Good Job No Conversation.

Rina Sawayama

Having given us all a lesson in how to do nostalgia right on debut mini-album RINA, we can't think of anyone better (apart from maybe Britney Spears herself), to evoke the sounds of the '90s and '00s with XCX on a future mixtape. Sawayama's "Alterlife", produced with Clarence Clarity, and "Ordinary Superstar" are prime examples of why we think this would be a collaboration for the ages.


Unhappy with the pressures of making music they didn't want to, Shamir Bailey released two albums on their own terms last year - the second, Revelations (through Father/Daughter Records), gave us "Straight Boy" and "90s Kids". They've already dropped another LP on this side of 2018 as well.

Collaborating with Rina Sawayama on "Tunnel Vision" we really see Bailey's voice shine, showing off that vocal range. Bailey's career has been full of musical twists and turns, whatever happened in a studio with XCX would surely be surprising in the best way.

Lauren Jauregui

With Fifth Harmony’s indefinite hiatus confirmed we’d love to hear what Lauren Jauregui, one of our favourite members of the five-piece (then four-piece) could come up with. Jauregui's already gone slightly experimental with a collaboration with Marian Hill, plus there’s her Halsey duet “Strangers”, so why not go supercharged and get hyperactive on a bouncing pop bop courtesy of XCX and team.

Dua Lipa, Zara Larsson, and Camila Cabello

So we had the holy trinity of XCX, ALMA, and Tove Lo on Pop 2, so why not take it one step further with an awesome foursome. Lipa, Larsson, and Cabello on one track might seem far-fetched, but why not? We're not after "Lady Marmalade" 2.0, but we wouldn't say no to a banger about taking out the metaphorical trash. Think "New Rules", "Ain't My Fault", and "Crying In The Club" meets "Boys" - i.e. an absolute dream. And if we get all our dreams to come true, that'd make two former Fifth Harmony members on the same tracklisting... and that would be one for the pop history books.

Tove Styrke

From one Tove to another. XCX and Styrke would surely make heavenly, maximalist pop together. Styrke's recent take on Lorde's "Liability" is slight departure of her recent releases, but she manages to make this sad song her own, even performing as part of her Lorde support set. See "Say My Name", its follow up "Mistakes", and the brilliant "Changed My Mind" for the full force of this pop mathematician.

biLLLy and Samantha Urbani

Taking a turn into the leftfield we're thinking London-based singer/songwriter and producer biLLLy would be a great addition to an XCX mixtape. His Up In The Air EP (and follow up singles like most recent release "Moving") deliver sharp melodies and a fresh look at pop. Add alt. enigma Samatha Urbani into the mix and you're sure to have an amalgamation of forward-thinking beats, throwback synths, and powerful lyricism.

October and LPX

Sucker, XCX's second album, was born from the aftermath of scrapping a full punk record - instead of full-on punk, Sucker saw XCX embarking on a bubblegum trip into a pop-punk universe. That means the heavier of side of XCX is still pretty much unexplored...

We'd love to see her delve deep and team up with LPX, aka MS MR frontwoman Lizzy Plapinger, whose glam punk-inspired debut EP Bolt In The Blue dropped earlier in the year and New Zealand's October whose fiery single "Pure" is still so very underrated.


Give us a twinkling, autotuned ballad that will make us ugly cry for hours, please. Having just released their comeback single, “There’s A Reason", now-duo Wet (Kelly Zutrau and Joe Valle) know a thing about turning heart-wrenching sadness into three-minute pop delights. With some autotune and off-kilter beats thrown into the mix, we could be checking into a heartbreak hotel in the not-so-distant apocalyptic future.

Noonie Bao

This is probably a bonus track, considering previous XCX mixtapes have been capped at 10 tracks. Nevertheless, Swedish genius Noonie Bao is all over XCX’s work and she’s amazing - honestly, just listen to her solo material. It would be amazing to see this powerhouse songwriter and vocalist do the double with XCX on a track.They’ve worked together so much it would be amazing to hear these two go full-blown duet - think Brandy and Monica "The Boy Is Mine", but 20 years on.

There are so many other amazing songwriters XCX has worked with, and she could bring out Ryn Weaver, Sasha Sloan, and more out for a full mixtape showcasing their craft, but that's a whole different post.

Charli, if you're reading this, bring Pop 2 Live to London.
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