Dua Lipa is a name pop fans will want to remember: The 20-year-old U.K. star has been heating up overseas for quite some time, and this month, she’ll start making a concerted effort to introduce herself to U.S. audiences. The blogosphere already adores her, and with good reason: songs like “Be The One” and “Last Dance” offer a soulful spin on the edgy pop of artists like Charli XCX and Marina & The Diamonds.
Before everyone else begins gabbing about how amazing Dua Lipa is, get to know the British up-and-comer with these five fun nuggets from her recent chat with Fuse.
After dropping gems like “New Love” and “Be the One” last year, the new single “Last Dance,” released in mid-February, hints at a riveting pop debut tagged for later in 2016. Lipa's thoughts on the album date:
“We’re hoping for summer. The album’s not really finished until it’s actually out, really. Now I’m in the studio while I’m in L.A., going back and forth with ideas. It’s 95 percent done, I’m just trying to get another song or so.”
Naturally, she wants her first shot to be free of flaws. “This is my baby,” she says of the LP. “When everyone hears it, I want it to be perfect. I feel if I have the chance to keep writing… I mean, I just had a week off, and I was like, ‘I’m just gonna go and write some more.’”
Lipa spent some studio time with Darkchild, best known for smashes like Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” and Brandy & Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine,” for her debut release, and calls the producer “lovely” and “inspiring.” “He told me how you have to believe in what you do, to always be persistent and never stop going for what you want,” she recalls. “It was really nice and refreshing.”
The London-born singer, who recently completed a seven-date sold-out headlining tour of the U.K., traveled to Los Angeles to record a good bulk of her debut LP, but says that she’s not planning to move to L.A. anytime soon. “I like the weather here,” she admits of Los Angeles. “I think that’s my favorite thing. And I get to work with really cool people. Other than that, I miss London.” She’s a Big Apple fan, though: “New York’s one of my favorite places in the world!”
Lipa’s first U.S. shows ever will come later this month at SXSW, and she sounds nervously excited at the idea of invading America. “I’ve performed in Europe and every place is different, but I’ve never actually been told what America’s like. What is America like?” she asks. When told that U.S. fans are extremely welcoming at shows, she replies:
“That’s the moral support that I need! I remember when I went to Paris, and there was a tiny bit of a gap between the crowd and the stage, and I was like ‘Come on guys, come closer!’ And no one fucking flinched.”
Almost every bio or profile of Lipa one can find on the Web positions the pop singer as a defiant new voice in the genre, and Lipa only has a vague idea why that is:
“I moved out from home at the age of 15. Then I started working random retail jobs and working in nightclubs, and then everything got a bit reckless, and I started writing some of the songs that would come later on. I think people just thought I was really cool that I lived on my own, and they were like, ‘Oh, you’re so rebellious!’”