Uncertain times continue but one musician has been constantly pushing us to look at a glass that’s half full — Dua Lipa. Last year she delivered an album that hits a fizzy spot with every play-rewind. Future Nostalgia beautifully brought together the glitz of disco with no-holds-barred lyrics.
The 25-year-old continues to hit the party highs with her new single, We’re Good, which is about bringing a relationship to a cordial end: Let’s end it like we should and say we’re good. All delivered in a mid-tempo pace.
The period separating her 2017 self-titled album and last year’s Future Nostalgia saw her become one of pop’s biggest draws. In 2019 she won the coveted New Artiste Grammy and in this year’s edition of the award ceremony — scheduled for March 14 — she’s up for six prizes, including album, record and song of the year. Her six nominations equal the six of Taylor Swift and she is only behind Beyonce, who has nine.
“I think musical identity evolves all the time. And I think as an artiste, you don’t really want to keep doing the same thing over and over again. You want to find something that you love, obviously, and if you love it, you should keep doing it, but I do feel like experimenting is always good. And even if it’s rubbish, if you love it, put it out. You’ll grow from it. I feel like every experience and every song and every whatever you do, not even just in music... it’s always just a baby step to where you want to be or discovering yourself even further. So I think all those are good experiences,” she has told Zane Lowe during At Home With Dua Lipa on Apple Music.
“This album really pushed me to learn to become the best performer I could be. I really spent a lot of time just rehearsing and practicing and making sure that I knew from the experience that I had on my first record, how much I needed to work to be able to be the best version of myself. And it was a lot about patience, a lot about hard work and persistence, but confidence really was something that I was really grateful for from this album during the course of the time that it’s been out,” she added.
Lipa comes from a family of ethnic Albanians. Her mother, Anesa, was born to a Kosovan father and a Bosnian mother. In the ’90s, Bosnia experienced war where Anesa’s mother lived and then it was Kosovo that was shattered, where Anesa was living with her fiance, Dukagjin Lipa, the son of a well-known historian. In 1992, the two of them sought refuge in London. The singer was born in north-west London in 1995. Her family returned to Pristina when she was 10 but five years later, she returned to pursue pop stardom.
While growing up, her ears were glued to what her parents were listening to — Lauryn Hill. “So her record was always played at home and I knew those songs before I knew she was or when I was able to dive into the whole.” And also The Fugees. “I remember being in the car and just singing The Fugees, Ready or Not. And that was always just something that I would sing, but not really know who the artiste was or where it came from. It would just constantly be playing. It’s interesting and it’s very unique for an album to soundtrack,” she said during the Apple Music show.
Unlike many of her contemporaries, it’s difficult to read between the lines while listening to her songs. Singers like Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande will throw in a personal story but Lipa aims for an emotional experience of, say, love and adventure. Yes, her 61.6 million followers on Instagram are keeping an eye on whatever she posts but it’s difficult to read too much into her personal life. She stays in the glam zone, promoting the other thing she likes — fashion. At the moment, it’s hand-painted clothes that have caught her eyes.
What’s next for her? Movies? Well, anything is possible but first things first, Grammy Awards on March 14.
Dua Lipa Nominations at Grammy 2021
Record of the Year: For Don’t Start Now
Album of the Year: For Future Nostalgia
Song of the Year: For Don’t Start Now (Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Dua Lipa and Emily Warren songwriters)
Best Pop Solo Performance: For Don’t Start Now
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: For Un Dia (One Day) — J. Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy
Best Pop Vocal Album: For Future Nostalgia