NEW YORK (AP) — Charli XCX says she feels like she's escaped the stigma of being a "feature artist" — thanks to her own success.
The 22-year-old singer topped the charts as the co-star of Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" and marked similar success in 2013 as a guest on Icona Pop's summer anthem "I Love It." With her first solo Top 10 hit, "Boom Clap," Charli XCX says she's earned her musical stripes.
Although she released an album in 2013, "I feel like most people saw me as a songwriter or like a feature artist more than like an artist in my own right," she said in a recent interview. "I feel like that's gone now."
"Sucker," released in December, is the follow-up to her debut album, "True Romance." She said she felt "angry" with the music industry after her success as a collaborative artist.
"The way people were treating me after the success of 'I Love It' — I felt very kind of annoyed and frustrated at a lot of parts of the music industry. I felt like I got a lot of anger and aggression out before I began sorting ('Sucker')," she said. "When you have a hit song, you just kind of begin to see how the machine of the music industry works. You see all the parts sitting together and you also see how people change."
"Boom Clap" has sold nearly 2 million tracks and peaked at No. 8. Charli XCX says she's learned not to let chart success affect her creative process.
"I think I used to care about being successful and stuff and I think it kind of drove me insane," she said. "And now that I feel like I am becoming successful I suppose, and the more people care about my music, I feel like the more I am in my own brain."
The rising singer, who opens the European leg of Katy Perry's "Prismatic" world tour this month, is nominated for record of the year and best pop duo/group performance for "Fancy" with Azalea at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.
She remembers hearing the early workings of "Fancy" and loving it.
"Her people called me and wanted me to come down and write some hooks for her. There was no specific song. I did like three or four top lines over some stuff and my favorite was 'Fancy,'" she says.
Charli XCX, who grew up near London, says her musical influences range from Britney Spears and the Spice Girls to the Ramones and Bjork.
When she saw Spears' video for "...Baby One More Time," ''I knew I wanted to be a musician."