“This whole album is me, who I am and how I want to be seen as an artist,” says Dua Lipa. “I want people to really get to know me, so the album is everything that has happened in my life so far, and every song tells a different story.”
She may be young, but Lipa has plenty of stories to tell. The London-born child of Kosovar parents, she has already been nominated for awards by the BBC and MTV Europe, and was a finalist for the prestigious “Critics’ Choice” prize at the Brit Awards. She also won Best New Artist at the NME Awards, and two European Border Breakers Awards—she was one of only ten global recipients of the EBBA—including the night’s biggest prize, the “Public Choice” award, voted on by fans.
Her strong presence onstage immediately separates her from so many emerging pop acts. But with 3.5 million in global sales, it’s her singles that have rapidly established her as a rising star—”Be the One” reached the Top Ten in a dozen European territories, “Hotter Than Hell” hit the Top Twenty in the UK, and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” climbed into Billboard’s Top 25 in the US. All of this, mind you, before putting out her first album.
Now, with the release of Dua Lipa, she reveals the full range of her ambitions—not just the dance-floor fire of her singles, but also a more introspective side. “I’ve been describing it as ‘dark pop’ because people have only heard the pop moments, but there are some really dark, singer-songwriter parts that I’m excited about,” she says.
Before Lipa was born, her father was a pop star in his native Kosovo; growing up, she absorbed the music of his favorite artists—Radiohead, Oasis, Stereophonics, Sting. Meanwhile, she was still a regular pop-obsessed kid, singing along to Destiny’s Child and S Club 7 (“stuff that you’d listen with your friends”) and especially Nelly and Pink. Those singers stood out, she says, for their “coolness and honesty—it was pop music, but there was something real about it.”
Tickets for Dua Lip’s Self Titled Tour are £18 and can be bought here
Manchester Academy, Moss Ln E, Moss Side, Manchester M14 4PX
0161 232 1639