By Charli XCX

In our GRAMMYs As Told To series, chatted with an artist about one of the Best New Artist nominees at the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Here, we feature nominee Iggy Azalea as seen through the eyes of her fellow nominee, collaborator and friend Charli XCX.

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Iggy Azalea dominated the pop world with her songs this year. It’s been quite inescapable. That’s definitely deserving of the Best New Artist title. She’s risen to success in such an electric way.

I think all of the nominees are incredible in their own right. I’m a big fan of HAIM and Sam Smith, but they’re all different from each other. Iggy is in an interesting space where she’s putting rap into the mainstream, which is something a few people have done before, but she’s really dominated this year. It makes her stand out from the other nominees in this particular case.

Iggy had a big year, just like the other nominees, and that’s what this category is about—someone who shoots to success in such a quick way. Iggy has done that in 2014. Being part of “Fancy,” our GRAMMY nominated single, was an incredible journey.

Related: GRAMMY Nominees 2015: Best New Artist Predictions

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There’s so much stigma and speculation in the music industry surrounding female pop artists. People want to know whether they have control or if they’re just a puppet controlled by their record label. A lot of women I know who are successful in music are women who control themselves and have their own ideas rather than just following what a bunch of men in suits tell them to do. I think Iggy is one of those people and I respect her for that.

Iggy is very determined and in control of her whole aesthetic: her videos, her performances. She pays a lot of attention to detail. All of the outfits that she wears and her dancers wear, she has a thought process for them. She’s very visual with what she does. I think any woman who is at such a high profile level of success is always an inspiration. It’s cool that she’s very in control of her career and she does have a plan that she’s followed through. That is inspiring to other young musicians and women in general.

It’s just the way we are. It’s a new kind of era in pop music where women stand united, much more than ever before. It’s very much to do with the fact that people like Iggy, Lorde, Taylor Swift and myself really do play such a huge, vital role in the shaping of our own careers. We call the shots.

Charli XCX is nominated for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.”

The 57th annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast on CBS on Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. ET.

As Told To Courtney E. Smith

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