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Charli XCX Explains How Lady Gaga ‘Played The Game’ In A Way Charli Herself Couldn’t

Charli XCX and Lady Gaga started their journeys in the pop world at about the same time; They both released their first singles — “!Franchesckaar!” for Charli and “Just Dance” for Gaga — in 2008. In the years since then, they’ve both earned mass acclaim for themselves in different ways. Back in ’08, Charli, like many of us, was paying attention to Gaga, and now she says when it comes to the pop music realm, Gaga “played the game” in a way that she couldn’t manage to.

In a new Apple Music interview, Charli told Zane Lowe:

“I actually always remember when Lady Gaga first came out with ‘Just Dance.’ I remember. And she’s amazing but I always remember thinking, ‘This girl is playing the game. This is smart.’ I remember when ‘Just Dance’ came out I was like, ‘This is a really cool pop song and the video’s really weird.’ But I was like, ‘This is just the beginning. I know this girl is trying to do something more.’ And she did. She mad ‘Bad Romance.’ She made ‘Telephone,’ ‘Alejandro.’ She played the game to give herself the platform to be able to do whatever the f*ck she wanted on this insane, crazy level. And I always really respected that because I think it’s genius. It’s genius. She had the vision to play that game and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it because I think I was so scared of rejection and so scared of failure.”

Elsewhere during the conversation, Charli revealed “Constant Repeat” is her favorite song from her new album Crash, saying, “I think it’s my favorite. I think this was the last song that we wrote for the record. It was one of those where the album was done. I was sort of done with doing sessions. I was feeling quite creatively spent. And then there was the flare of emotion where I was like, ‘Oh, I have to write this song,”‘and it kind of came out and just felt like something that had been missing from the album and it felt really important for this song to go on the album.”

Watch the full interview above.

Charli XCX is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.