Dua Lipa’s pristine pop is infectiously catchy. And even more so, she holds a captivating energy with each and every sweet vocal turn spun from her lips. It’s pop acts like Dua that make mainstream media stand up and shout ‘hell yes’ along with the adoring masses. Pop music has an incredible ability to connect on the most direct levels and bring people together, and after listening to Dua’s Be the One or debut single New Love, it’s certain that she’s the real deal.
We grabbed a chat with Dua, while she was in town at Manchester’s very own Soup Kitchen. Read on to learn more about this exciting new artist.
So firstly, for all those people reading this that may be unfamiliar with your work and you as an artist, can you introduce yourself?
Dua Lipa: “I’m Dua Lipa and I’m 20 years old, and I’m a singer-songwriter.”
So you are currently on your first UK headline tour, how’s it been going so far? How are the crowds reacting?
“Yeah it’s been really fun! It’s been so nice to see the audiences really reacting and knowing some of the songs. It’s literally the best feeling the world.”
You’ve only released two singles so far, so relatively your live audiences will be unfamiliar with a lot of your material, how are you finding their response to the new songs?
“It’s good! It’s nice to see it. It’s great research to see how people are reacting to some of the songs that you really love, and that you’re very excited about and seeing the audience get just as excited about them, it always makes you feel really good.”
Writing has been taking you all over the world, from sessions in New York to Sweden to LA, do you feel those experiences have helped feed into your music in some way?
“Yeah I feel like every place I go to inspires a different thing, and it tells me a different story. Especially, when I went to New York and I wrote ‘New Love’, it had that impact on me. And yeah every single place has a different story to tell and I feel very inspired by the places I go and see.”
You started off your career posting covers on YouTube. How did those initial interactions with the wider world and the industry help shape who you are as an artist?
“I feel like, now, social media has become one of the biggest platforms for me to be able to share my music and share what’s going on. When I started doing covers on YouTube, I guess that was my first taste of really getting my stuff out there through the internet, so I feel because of starting so early on YouTube and doing stuff, that that’s the reason why I feel, in a way, I’m good at being able to do all my socials on my own and being able to manage everything myself. I feel it’s very important for it to be like a platform for me to chat with my fans.”
You look like you have a lot of fun shooting your music videos, what’s the vibe usually like on set? Are you a fan of shooting music videos?
“Yeah it’s really fun! The first two music videos I shot with my friend, she directed them – Nicole Nodland. I guess for me, it’s really important to work with people that you have a really good vibe with, because then it’s always just so easy to work with them and you know, they understand your idea and they understand you as a person, and what you would like, and what you wouldn’t like, you know? So everything just works out easier. I haven’t obviously experienced working with someone I don’t know so I guess that’s a question for later!”
There is a new wave of female singers coming through at the moment, with powerful messages and striking vocals, like Alessia Cara and NAO. How does it feel to be a woman in pop music in 2016?
“Oh I think it’s amazing. I think it’s really great that finally we can all grow together and we don’t really have to sugar coat anything, it’s all about a lot of realness, and we can talk about what life as a girl really is.”
If you could choose any artist to cover a song of yours in the Live Lounge, who would you pick and what song would they sing?
“That’s a difficult one. I mean I’m obsessed with P!nk so it would be really cool to see her perform something of mine on the Live Lounge. I don’t know which one yet. I guess it would probably be one that’s not been released yet.”
Who would be your dream collaborator and why?
“I’d love to sit down in a room and work with…Nelly Furtado, because she inspired me so much when I was younger and P!nk as well. I also feel like there’s such great artistry behind someone like Lady Gaga, I feel like it would be really fun to sit behind a piano and write, and see the way she would work. I feel like as much as it’s very pop, her stuff, or her lyrics. You know, they’ve got such a cool meaning behind them. So I don’t know, it would be very difficult for me to choose.”
And Sia as well?
“Sia! Oh god, yeah dreamy.”
Could you tell me about some of the new music that’s not been released yet from your album?
“Yeah, I have a new single coming out very soon in like a few weeks, which I’m very excited about! It’s called Last Dance and I wrote that while I was in Toronto. It’s a song that means a lot to me. I feel like when we got that song, that’s when we figured out the sound of what the whole album was gonna be. At the time it came from a very honest place, it was late in the evening, I was feeling home sick, I just wanted to get home and that’s when I just wrote in the moment and it was everything that was kinda going on then. When I perform the song and when I listen to it, it instantly takes me back to that place, where I was and how I felt, and I feel like it just has a massive impact.”
Dua Lipa is currently on tour across the UK, for a full list of dates, see below.