It's 2:45 a.m. in Allston, Massachusetts, and Charli XCX is holding court at the kind of house party where every red cup has been repeatedly reused and the only mixer is a sad, depleted bottle of St-Germain. The 22-year-old pop star has already had a full night. She played a sold-out concert, sipped Champagne while sneaking a cigarette in the venue's bathroom, and got laid. ("Was the show all right?" she'd asked in the dressing room after the gig. "Because I had sex right before.") Now the U.K.'s hottest pop export is high-stepping in a rhinestone tiara and four-inch white platform heels, nailing every line of Eminem's "Without Me," as undergrads from the Berklee College of Music try not to gawk too obviously. "This song is legendary!" she exclaims.
Charli was invited here by a local producer, and she's relishing every moment. She goes on to recite every word of Nelly's "Hot in Herre" and takes pictures of her entourage – a mix of low-key childhood friends and a few glam music-biz types – pogo'ing around to the Killers' "Mr. Brightside." "You'll never look this good again in your entire lives!" she says.