Boys

Album: Single release only (2017)
Charted: 31 110

Songfacts®:

  • There are plenty of songs about girls, but not as many about boys. Charlie XCX helps even the balance on this track, where she sings about the boys she keeps on call all over the world.
  • Directed by Charlie XCX herself, alongside Kendrick Lamar collaborator Sarah McColgan, the song's music video features a huge amount of famous male musicians mugging for the camera.

    As Charli XCX sings about how her "head is spinning thinking 'bout boys," the clip is filled with the guys participating in an assortment of often bizarre activities. We see Mac DeMarco licking a guitar, Brendan Urie reclining on a spread of red rose pedals, and a shirtless Diplo surrounded by puppies. The British songstress even makes a quick appearance near the end, sporting a drawn-on mustache.

    Speaking with BBC Radio 1, Charli XCX explained how the visual represents a complete gender role reversal.

    "They're basically doing all the sexy things that girls usually do in videos," she said. "I was like, look I want to make this video, I'm directing it, I'm not in it. I just want to kind of flip the male gaze on its head and have you guys do the sexy stuff."
  • Here's the cast list:

    Aminé
    AG Cook
    Barns Courtney
    Brendon Urie (Panic! at the Disco)
    Buddy
    Cameron Dallas
    Carl Barât (The Libertines)
    Charlie Puth
    Chromeo
    Cobra Snake
    Connor Franta (YouTuber)
    Dan Smith (Bastille)
    Denzel Curry
    Di Casp (YouTuber)
    Diplo
    DRAM
    Fai Khadra
    Flume
    Frank Carter
    Fred Macpherson (Spector)
    G Eazy
    Jack Antonoff (Bleachers)
    Jack Guinness
    Jay Park
    Jay Prince
    Joe Jonas
    Joey Bada$$
    Kaytranada
    Khalid
    Laurie Vincent (Slaves)
    Liam Fray (The Courteeners)
    Mac DeMarco
    Mark Ronson
    Max Hershenow (MS MR)
    Mic Lowry
    MNEK
    Oli Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon)
    ONE OK ROCK
    Poet
    Portugal. The Man
    Prince & Jacob
    Riz Ahmed & The Swet Shop Boys
    Rostam Batmanglij
    Sage The Gemini
    Shamari Maurice
    Shaun Ross
    Shokichi
    Stormzy
    The Fat Jew
    The Vamps (Tristan & James)
    THEY
    Theo Hutchcraft (The Hurts)
    Tinie Tempah
    Tom Daley (Olympic diver)
    Tom Grennan
    Tommy Cash
    Ty Dolla $ign
    Vance Joy
    Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend)
    will.i.am
    Wiz Khalifa
    Wstrn
  • Charli XCX performed the song live for the first time ever at MTV Crashes Plymouth on July 27, 2017.
  • Joe Jonas' cameo finds him eating a giant stack of pancakes. "This music video has longer legs than I expected," he told Entertainment Tonight. "It's pretty cool to see how much love there is for this video, but I kind of just thought it was a genius concept. Charli reached out to me and came up with this idea, I was like, 'Yes! The roles should be reversed. It's about time. Let's just make this like, over the top!'"

    "We had a bunch of different ideas, but I kind of loved the idea that she came up with for me, which was like, just eating a stack of pancakes," Jonas continued. "So it was a good excuse to dive in."

    "It was just me and a camera crew and a stack of pancakes," he added. "That was definitely my dinner for the day. It's kind of weird when there's a bunch of people just watching and silently judging you eating a stack of pancakes."
  • It turns out that Joe Jonas was the catalyst for the clip. Charli told Billboard magazine that she had a thought of Jonas "eating really sexily, which is a weird thought for me to be thinking - sorry, Joe."

    That image prompted the songstress to come up with a collection of guys doing a bunch of different sexy things. "I basically wanted to hit up as many people as possible," she said.
  • Charli XCX told the Daily Telegraph the music clip shows famous men doing "things that women are usually stereotypically doing in music videos, whether that's being really cute and playing with puppies or having a pillow fight or washing a car."
  • "Boys" won Best Track at the VO5 NME Awards 2018.
  • One fan mashed "Boys" with TOWIE star Gemma Collins's iconic introduction, "Girls." Charli told Capital FM it's better than her original 2017 hit.
  • The song samples Super Mario. Charli told Triple J: "I knew that sound was going to either drive people totally crazy or people were going to be obsessed with it."
  • There was one boy Charli couldn't get for the video. The songstress tweeted that she wanted Seth Rogen to re-create Britney Spears' python pose, but the comic actor declined.
  • "More Hearts Than Mine" singer Ingrid Andress, "I Like Me Better" artist Lauv, and songwriter Michael Pollack were part of a six-strong songwriting team that penned this song. The Sun asked Andress about the experience. She replied:

    "It felt very random considering it all started in my friend's bedroom with a bottle of red wine. Michael Pollock, Lauv and I have been friends for a while, so it was just another Friday night writing something we thought it was fun. Never in a million years did I think Charli would like it. But she brought it to life."

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