Despite being one of the most exciting new pop entities in the forever crowded pop market, Alexandra Hughes spent much of the past two years shrouded in mystery. But amongst that mystery, early adopters of Hughes have been treated to slickly crafted, captivating electro-pop music for the next generation.

Allie X is a pop star of the future set firmly in the present, which said out loud might sound like a jarring term but listening to her music, it kind of makes sense. The Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter is changing the way we discover, consume and evaluate pop music and is right in the centre of an exciting change within the industry, where the power is returning to the artist.

Between now and early 2014, Allie X has released some stunners, including the Katy Perry-approved 'Catch', the controversial 'Bitch', and pop masterpiece 'Prime' - all of which eventually went on the form much of the body of her debut project CollXtion I. Hidden behind glossy imagery and spinning gifs, Allie has spent the last six months or so branching out into the live arena, supporting collaborator and friend Troye Sivan on his North American tour. Back in April, she gave her first ever UK headline performance at London hotspot Birthdays to rousing reviews, and in July she returned to the capital for a second larger show at Oslo alongside a number of festival slots including the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park.

Not even 24 hours after her performance at Oslo, I'm on the phone to Allie, who's making the most of her short stopover in the UK, logging studio time with A. G. Cook of PC Music for an unknown project. She's got a few more days left in the capital and despite her ridiculously busy schedule, she's still chirpy and speaking excitedly on the phone. Despite her mystique, she's very open to discussing everything I bring up in conversation, including moving from the digital world to the real world, future collaborations, CollXtion II and the joys and troubles of the indie artist.

I was at your headline show last night and it was incredible! How do you think it went for you? I know this wasn't your first London show but how do you think it went, particularly in comparison to the last show.

Thank you so much, I had such a good time! They were both really great shows for me in a lot of the same ways; being in a place where you don't know how many people follow you or whatever and you go out, you walk onto the stage and so many people are so happy to be hearing your songs, mouthing the words, singing along, knowing hand signals and symbols, wearing my T-Shirts; I don't know, I guess it's still new to me and it's incredibly meaningful.

What impressed me in particular - especially with the last show at Birthdays - was your use of limited space and how you managed to fit so much in. What is your thought process when you're putting these shows together?

I have so many ideas about what I'd like to do, I just don't have the budget to do most of it but I plan on having that budget one day and doing all sorts of incredibly interesting things production-wise. I have a lot of thoughts on this, one of them is purely from the music arrangement and performance aspect. If you're performing pop music then you're gonna have a need for a lot of tracks. I use a lot of tracks and any pop artist that's saying they don't is probably lying but knowing that, it's important to have a lot of the real things that are happening and if you can't do that by having a five-piece band - which I can - then I try to make up for that with real moments, very real vocals, and playing as many of the parts on keys and guitar as I can. Last night we had a drummer as well, which was great.

I really love being able to look my fans in the eye and really connect with them. Before I started performing live, I was purely an online thing. I feel like I've become way less shy and less eager to hide my personality, just through meeting people in the flesh and being able to connect with them.

You've just touched on a topic I was going to bring up and that's going from being a purely online persona into the "real world"; how have you found that transition?

It's been pretty natural progression actually, it's definitely taken place over two years so it's had time to go step by step. I feel like at first, the live show I was a lot more timid; I felt like a mannequin or something [laughs] and as I've grown more comfortable I've learned to just embrace the joy of it as well as the mystique. I definitely felt like last night I was beaming for a lot of the show. I was having such a good time.

Do you have a preference now? Do you prefer being on stage or in the studio?

I'm actually in the studio recording right now! [Laughs] It just depends. I really love both, it depends what kind of mood I'm in. Both of them have pure magic about them and they also both have difficult, annoying things about them, like, you're in the studio and you're writing a song that's going nowhere and you're just having a mental battle about it which happens like, one out of 10 times, maybe even more. With the performing, the part on stage is great, but that's only 45 minutes, the rest of it... there's a lot of setting up, hauling around gear, doing your sound checks, waiting in the green room, which is not always the nicest green room in the world. They both have good and bad things.

You've spoken in the past about not wanting to release an album in the traditional sense and that these CollXtion's are your way of putting music out when it's ready instead of having to wait forever. Now you're becoming more of a fully-fledged artist, has this opinion changed at all? Would you like to release an album at some point?

I like to release music in a way that is effective for my career and relevant to the times and the changing times. I feel like there are a lot of different, new ways that you can go about releasing music and it's always been an interest for me to do things in a non-traditional way. That said, I try not to do it just for the sake of being different, I try not to make things more difficult for myself than they need to be so it's just a balance between all those different thought processes. Ultimately, I just want my music to be heard by as many people as possible and to have a really exciting, successful and cool life.

I suppose being an indie artist you're allowed to have that freedom of doing things your own way, too?

Yeah, in some ways it's harder being a solo artist but in a lot of ways it's easier. I'm not an easy person; I'm very stubborn and controlling in a lot of ways artistically. Not having a partner or band mates to make those decisions I think is a good thing most of the time, normally it's enough of a struggle making final decisions with my team [laughs] making sure that things are going to go a way I'm comfortable with is enough of a struggle.

CollXtion II: Unsolved is a collection of songs, demos, snippets and other pieces before CollXtion II is released. What prompted your decision to release your project in this way?

At a point in the future, I will be announcing the official release of CollXtion II and the tracklisting probably but at this point, I am just putting out singles, potential tracks and feeling out the waters as it were. The main reason I'm doing that is because I consider my project to be... well, it's funny how we were talking about band mates because the closest thing I have to band mates are my fans. I'm always trying to work with them to create expressions of X. That's the idea behind CollXtion II Unsolved; I put out songs that I have slated for the album, I get feedback and I see how my fans react to that. That way, they have a part in the creation of CollXtion II.

You mentioned that you're in the studio right now... I'm guessing that means CollXtion II isn't quite finished yet? Or are you working towards something else?

I'm actually working on something else right now with PC Music. They're so cool; I'm in the studio with them now.

Haha 🎼

A photo posted by Allie X (@alliex) on

You're in town for a few more days, have you had a chance to see much of London?

Yeah, this time I have actually. It's been a nice length of a trip and a nice schedule. Last time I was here it was a little shorter and a little more hectic and I wasn't sleeping at all because of the Los Angeles time difference; I can't tell you how brutal is was. This time, I've had, like, two days off and a little time on other days to wonder around and explore a little bit. I love this city, I've had some really good meals, some really nice walks, museums... I've also spent a lot of time in Ubers on these hour long trips across the city as well so it's cool to see all the architecture driving from one place to the other.

You've previously worked with Troye Sivan and supported him on tour. How did the two of you connect and start working together?

Well, it was two things; the first is the internet. Back when he was just a super popular YouTuber, he was tweeting about my songs. He's always on the lookout for new artists and new music, he's a music lover, he's always looking for new stuff so he discovered me really early on. I saw the tweets on my feed and I was like "Who is this kid? He's incredibly popular!" We ended up following each other and DMing as you do, I found out that he was actually interested in writing for himself as an artist so I said that we should try writing together. Besides that, we also had a mutual friend who I think was friends with Tyler Oakley and Troye was friends with Tyler so we knew each other. Anyway, this friend of mine - his name is Brett McLaughlin, we do a lot of writing together - we all ended up in the studio together along with a producer named Bram [Inscore], we ended up writing seven songs that made it to the album.

In the last few years, there's been an influx of talents coming out of Canada in a variety of different genres. When you were living there, did you sense that? Was there much of a musical scene growing up or when you were on the come up?

I could only speak of my recent years in Toronto when I was actually part of the music scene. I found it to be incredibly stimulating and there was all sort of exciting, experiential stuff happening; a lot of great Indie rock. For me, at that time - at least in the scene that I was in and with the friends that I had - I never really fit in at all, that's why I ended up leaving. I think if you want to be considered "cool" in Toronto, you need to be more indie. I guess what I was writing wasn't indie enough? I'm not sure. There's all sort of incredible music that's come out of Canada. I see a lot more urban leaning success stories coming out of Canada and that's the scene I don't really know too much about but I would love to write with those people but I was never really a part of that.

When you're writing, do you find the lyrics come to you first or do you write to beats? How does your process work?

When lyrics come to me first, it's usually with a melody and usually it's with one line like, the first line of the chords. I'm not one of these people who writes poems and sets them to music; I wish I was, because it would make writing lyrics so much easier [laughs]. It can be very difficult. I'm definitely a melody person. There have been cases where I've started productions and written to those; 'Bitch' was an example of that. There are other cases where I'm not making the chords at all, where I'm just top lining, that happens a lot as well. 'Tumor' was written that way, 'Catch' was written to different chords and then I changed them and the groove over the course of two or three years, 'All The Rage' was written to a guitar rift that Jungle George started with a single note on the guitar, that got written in a day. It's always different, it's always an adventure. Song writing is so weird; you're just making something out of nothing. [Laughs]

From watching your performances and hearing your songs, you're hitting notes and shaping sounds that haven't been heard in pop music in such a long time. Who are some of your musical influences and - this might seem like a silly question - were you classically trained?

No, it's not silly at all! I was classically trained. I try not to over use it but I do use it sometimes. I'm definitely influenced by Kate Bush; I'm definitely influenced by Nina Hagen. I'm always a fan of great song writing. I've been influenced by people like Max Martin, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie... I miss David Bowie and Prince, I was really sad when they passed. My influences are pretty wide and my ears are pretty open, I can listen to pretty much anything and not be annoyed.

What are your plans for the rest of the year and going into 2017?

Just world domination! [Laughs] I don't know. I always have this race in my head to achieve my goals and it really gives me so much anxiety and it's made this year difficult in some ways for me so lately I've just been trying to take things step by step, take off the stopwatch of everything and just enjoy where I'm at right now which is a lot of travelling, a lot of writing, a lot of collaboration, just being around a lot of cool people. I see a lot more of that for the rest of the year. And hopefully just savouring it.

Is there any one in particular you'd like to work with? Whether now or in the future?

Yeah, I'd love to work with Charli XCX - I think she's so cool and such a great writer. I also think Lorde is a really great writer, BROODS are really great writers... those would be some of artists I really respect.

What would you like your musical legacy to be?

I think I'd like to be remembered as... I think I'd like to be in some sort of textbook or whatever people will be using in the future - I doubt books will even be made 40 years from now! [Laughs] Whatever it is - a text app? - I'd like to be somebody who was part of this new change in the music industry. Somebody who pioneered a new way, a new breed of pop artist, a new way of releasing music, putting things out and hopefully a new system in which people start to make money again in the music industry; that'd be really cool. On the creative side, I hope to be remembered as somebody who wrote great songs, didn't lose their integrity, helped a lot of people learn to be expressive. I hope to have one song that will be remembered for a long time. To hope for more than that is good as well but realistically, it'd be amazing if I could have one song; one really timeless song that people are still singing in 40 years, that would be amazing.

You can keep up with Allie X on Facebook.