The Meaning Behind “360” by Charli XCX and How She Feels About Motherhood (2024)

Charli XCX’s new album Brat sounds like a time travel event to a mid-2000s London underground club where the DJ spins a flawless set.

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On her new single “360,” the English pop singer hangs with her “It Girls” and celebrates what it takes to be a star. It’s one of the best pop songs of the year.

Though she’s unapologetically celebrated her wild child image, the singer—who emerged as a teenager on MySpace—recently discussed how she feels about motherhood.

In an era of authenticity as a blunt marketing tool, Charli XCX is refreshingly honest. She lives somewhere between mainstream pop and the underground she arrived from, and she’s made some of pop music’s most daring and brilliant records.

Your Favorite Reference, Baby

On “360,” Charli celebrates confidence, success, and internet culture. If you’re online a lot, you’ll probably get the It Girl references. If not, it’s OK because “360” is endlessly catchy.

I went my own way and I made it
I’m your favorite reference, baby
Call me Gabbriette, you’re so inspired, ah, ah
I’m tectonic, moves, I make ’em
Shock you like defibrillators
No style, I can’t relate
I’ll always be the one, ah

Charli shouts out to the model Gabbriette, actress Julia Fox, and her producer A. G. Cook. She name-drops her muses over a synth that sounds like a revved-up cue from Stranger Things.

Drop down, yeah
Put the camera flash on
So stylish
Baby tears, all gone
Drop down, yeah
Looking like an icon
Work angles, yeah

Yeah, 360
When you’re in the mirror, do you like what you see?
When you’re in the mirror, you’re just looking at me
I’m everywhere, I’m so Julia, ah, ah, ah
When you’re in the party bum-bum-bumpin’ that beat
666 with a princess streak
I’m everywhere, I’m so Julia, ah, ah, ah


Untethered to what’s expected from a pop star, Charli, 31, recently discussed the possibility of motherhood with Rolling Stone. “Am I less of a woman if I don’t have a kid? Will I feel like I’ve missed out on my purpose in life? I know we’re not supposed to say that, but it’s this biological and social programming,” she said.

In November, Charli became engaged to George Daniel from the English pop band The 1975. She added, “My circ*mstance involves me making a decision and being like, ‘I’m gonna come off my birth control. I’m not gonna tour. I’m going to see what George wants to do, and then we’re gonna try for a baby.’”

Moreover, Charli addressed how the world views women in pop. “There’s a lot of pressure on women not to talk about that stuff super openly, especially not in pop music or in music generally; we’re supposed to be sexy and free and fun and wild,” she said.

She explores the idea of motherhood further on the penultimate track on Brat, “I Think About It All the Time.” She sings, Should I stop my birth control? / ’Cause my career feels so small in the existential scheme of it all.

Her new album also dishes the truth on celebrity culture. Charli juggles ambition and pride, image and youth, party girl and motherhood. Brat sounds like a self-indulgent club album, yet it’s also confessional and vulnerable. Regarding the latter descriptions, Charli turns those clichés inside out, which, purposefully or not, shines an honest light on the trend of “relatable” celebrities.


At the start of her career, Charli found success by contributing to Iggy Azalea’s 2014 hit “Fancy” and Icona Pop’s 2012 smash “I Love It.” However, for nearly a decade, she struggled to break through as a solo artist, her work deemed too avant-garde. In 2022, Charli finally topped the UK charts with Crash.

Meanwhile, she amassed a cult fan base—known as Charli’s Angels—and eventually became one of pop music’s most influential artists. She helped bring an electronic music subgenre into the mainstream.

Longtime collaborator A. G. Cook is known for his exaggerated take on pop music, which became known as “hyperpop.” Cook’s London-based record label and art collective, PC Music, borrowed pop tropes and amplified them for maximalist “earworms.” The music fuses glitchy and distorted textures with clear and catchy melodies.

Hyperpop is closely associated with Cook, Charli XCX, and the late Scottish DJ and innovative producer Sophie. (Sophie died, age 34, in 2021 while attempting to photograph the moon on a three-story rooftop in Athens, Greece.)

While Charli XCX grapples with potential motherhood and, as she put it, “a clock as a woman,” her new album is both the party and what to do when the lights come on.

“360” may be her best yet.

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Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images

The Meaning Behind “360” by Charli XCX and How She Feels About Motherhood (2024)
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