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Hundreds turned out for Grammy-nominated artist Charli XCX

Charli XCX performs "Boom Clap" at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill Thursday.
Charli XCX performs "Boom Clap" at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill Thursday.

Performing at Cat’s Cradle, Charlotte Aitchison — known by her stage name Charli XCX — played a free show with her all-female power house band.

Charli XCX drew 463 people, said Kevin Clark, the manager of Cat’s Cradle. Many were students, but some families were there singing along.

With the debut of her top hit, “Boom Clap,” and her featured appearances in “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea and “I Love It” by Icona Pop, Charli XCX has received international acclaim as an English singer and songwriter.

“I always just do my thing,” Charli XCX said in an email. “My performance is emotional — it’s emotional pop music.”

The show was sponsored by Yahoo On the Road, a mobile festival that is touring colleges across the United States and Europe with popular acts.

Charli XCX began her career by posting music demos on her MySpace page at age 14. Soon after, she began playing at illegal raves in East London.

Charli XCX spent most of the concert jumping and the audience responded to her energy — students were getting on each other’s shoulders and shouting the lyrics to most of her songs.

“She really brought out the energy in the crowd,” said senior journalism major Jordan Bailey. “I didn’t know many of her songs besides ‘Fancy,’ but I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.”

The concert was interactive — attendees were given light-up bracelets and had the opportunity to go to a video-photo booth to record their experience at the concert.

“I like the extra features that they had,” Bailey said. “It was a cool way to interact with the crowd.”

Students were surprised when Charli XCX didn’t play “Boom Clap” — which was featured in “The Fault in Our Stars” — or the Grammy-nominated song “Fancy.” Instead, the singer played those songs during her encore.

Charli XCX said her music sounds like pop, but with more of a raw edge to it.

“(The best part about touring is) feeling electrified every night after performing for fans,” she said. “And the bus party afterwards.”

This was the first time Charli XCX had been to Chapel Hill. She has been performing pretty consistently since 2012. Tuesday’s performance will be her last show in America until December. She will be heading back to Europe for the month of November.

Kristina Kokkonos, who is studying abroad in Manchester, United Kingdom, this semester, said she has been a long-time fan of Charli XCX’s. She is seeing Charli XCX on Thursday in London.

“She is really cool and fun and her music is different — she uses electronic beats, but it’s more laid-back and less dance-ish,” she said.

The singer said she looks forward to seeing more of her fans in Europe.

“People should come if they wanna party,” Charli XCX said. “I like to make people sweat.”

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