CXLOE Is Your New Dark Pop Princess

CXLOE Is Your New Dark Pop Princess

Aussie rising-star CXLOE gets real about the onset of fame and creating her own pop genre.

Aussie rising-star CXLOE gets real about the onset of fame and creating her own pop genre.

Text: Zoe Elefterin

CXLOE is the up-and-coming “dark pop” artist coming on to the scene. On December 3rd, She’ll be co-headlining her debut LA show at the Roxy , and her single latest single “Show You” recently debuted in August and is still gaining traction. V recently caught up with her to discuss her edgy lyrics, creative process, and staying grounded.

Hey CXLOE!  You describe what you do as “dark pop"–could you expand on what that means to you, and how you ended up defining yourself in that way?

I love pop, and I’ve always been a huge fan of pop, and I think a few years ago, it wasn't as cool. For a long time I tried to fight it, but I kind of found a way that I could put a bit of myself and my darkness and my raw lyrics [into a pop song]. And, I think by defining it as “dark pop” it’s still got the pop chords and everything, but sonically and lyrically, it’s kind of coupled with some crunchy bass or some brooding synths. My lyrics are really honest and they’re not your original, light, pop lyrics, so, I think finding that balance of that pop sensibility, and then adding in my darker tones and my idiosyncrasies. 

Speaking of your raw and honest lyrics, where you pull some of the more literal inspiration for the lyrics from?

I find, myself, that it’s very hard to articulate how I feel, which is really ironic because I’m a songwriter. But, I remember when I first met my boyfriend I just had no idea how to tell him how I felt, so it was always easier to just show him instead. I feel like there’s nothing wrong with a female making the first move, so I wrote "Show You", to be like “well, I don’t know what to say, so I’m just going to show you instead.”  For me, CXLOE is like a personality I can jump into.

Like your alter-ego.

Yes! But it’s still an extension of me, and for my song “Tough Love”, I had been in LA for a few years and I just hadn’t found my sound and it was only until I did the session for that song that I was like, “okay, this is what I want to do.” And it was kind of about how I’d worked with so many producers, and they just didn’t take me seriously, and I was condescended a lot, and I just wanted to write a song that said [to them]: “You cannot do that, and I will push back if you do.”

What is it like watching the numbers climb for your song “Show You”?

It’s actually insane. We’re at, like 4.9 million streams [on Spotify] now, and I remember when it first came out and it hit 500,000 and I remember freaking out. Especially being an independent artist, those numbers are really organic, and so every stream means the world. But “Show You”, it just really picked up. I wrote it, Sam Farrar from Maroon 5 produced it. He’s got a great pop sensibility so it was really good for him to put his twist on it, and it’s really cool and fresh and there’s sounds on it that i’ve never really heard. It’s so cool to see it still continue to climb.

And you're going to be going on tour with Maroon 5 in Australia in February! 

It’s so crazy. It was just a cold session that I had with Sam. We just got talking and we came up with the song so quickly, and it was just really natural.  He mentioned one day, “We’re coming to Australia, it would be cool if you opened for us.” But, the amount of that stuff that I’ve heard over the years… That stuff just goes in one ear and out the other. But until it’s actually happening, that’s when I get really excited about it. It was only until a few months later that he was like “So, do you still wanna do it?”

You just couldn’t even believe it the first time.

No! Not at all! And until I’m onstage, I won’t believe it. I’ve been the biggest fan of Maroon 5 my entire life. Gigging over here [in Australia] and doing cover gigs just trying to earn money, I’d play “Sunday Morning” and “Harder to Breathe”.

You come from a family of pharmacists, did they encourage you to go try your luck the music industry?

Yeah! You hear so many horror stories of families not accepting your dream, but I think because they all are in pharmacy and have mathematical brains that they’re all like, “Do it! Follow your dream!”

So, they’re living vicariously through you.

Yeah, they are. I went into my dad’s pharmacy the other day and I nearly cried. He’s got these laminated posters of the Maroon 5 news all around the pharmacy, and I was just like “you are the cutest.” He’s this little Italian man and he’s just so proud! I can’t handle it. They’re really encouraging. I’m so lucky.

Check out CXLOE's video, "Show You" below!

 

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