Who could have guessed that Charli XCX has a beautiful history with Barbie, long before she was asked to be on Barbie The Album? Many years ago, little Charli got up on stage for her first-ever live performance, and what did she sing? She performed an acapella rendition of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” for a cruise ship talent show, and she was just four at the time. (Spoiler: she won!)
“My parents were like, ‘Oh, my God. No.’ They were really worried that I was going to get up on the stage and cry, and it would be a disaster,” she told Rolling Stone. “But I was adamant that I wanted to do it. I just sang it on the microphone with new music — the whole song — and I won the contest.”
Charli was one of the first artists to be called on by Mark Ronson, the executive producer of the movie’s soundtrack, to feature in the album. I mean, who else would sing “Speed Drive” if it isn’t the “Crash” hitmaker, who has a deep love for cars and going on joy rides.
“I’ve always really liked singing about cars,” Charli said via Rolling Stone. “For me, there is this intrinsic link between driving and music and feeling like you’re a star when you’re in a car.”
“Speed Drive” is Charli singing about having the time of her life with a girl as fine as Barbie. “She’s my best friend in the whole world/On the mood board, she’s the inspo / And she’s dressed in really cute clothes,” she sings about her version of the Barbie character, which really has inspired thousands of people around the world.
The song is about having a great time going on a wild ride with a friend, as she sings, “Jump into the driver’s seat and put it into speed drive / Hot, ridin’ through the streets, on a different frequency / Know you know just what I mean, we’re runnin’ through the red lights.”
“Speed Drive” by Charli XCX follows previous singles, including “Barbie World” by Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, “Angel” by PinkPantheress, and “Dance the Night” by Dua Lipa. Inspired by Mattel’s Barbie, the album’s unreleased songs include songs by The Kid Laroi, Lizzo, Tame Impala, FIFTY FIFTY, GAYLE, and Ava Max, to name a few.
Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” will be opening in theaters this July 21, opposite Oppenheimer. Since its first teaser dropped, discussions around the movie have been largely predominant online, with Margot Robbie promising fans that the movie is going to be nothing like they ever expected.
Nmesoma Okechukwu is an entertainment journalist, editor and freelance writer. She covers pop culture, music, lifestyle, literature, movies, and environmental preservation.
Nmeso's work ranges from writing profiles, essays and features for various online and print publications to doing commercial copywriting, musician bios and press releases, editorial consulting, live interviews and video production.
You can also find her interviewing talents, campaigning for the preservation of the natural environment and championing the eradication of extreme poverty.