The pieces are all falling into place for Dua Lipa. On Friday (June 2), the 21-year-old English rising pop star released her self-titled debut album, which highlights her ability to mix deeply personal stories of past relationships with songs that offer sure-fire top 40 melodies. "Lost in Your Light," Lipa's latest single featuring Miguel, is representative of her sweet voice and impassioned lyricism, which is why we had to give it a nod as a song of the summer contender.
The day after her album release, Lipa lit up Governors Ball with an electrifying performance on the main stage.
She has several more festival dates lined up this summer, along with her own European headlining tour this fall, aptly named the Self-Titled Tour. A 15-year-old version of Dua Lipa dreamed of this becoming a reality. Now that she's arrived, she's never looking back.
On a golf cart ride through Gov Ball, Dua Lipa spoke with Complex about her debut album, wanting to collaborate with Drake, and also shared her song of summer 2017.
You worked on the album for about two years. What's the most important thing you learned about yourself during that process?
I learned a lot about myself. I learned about the way I like to work, I learned to try to be as much of an open book as possible. That was really important to me to learn to be more honest with myself.
In your "Thank You" note you wrote, “Don’t ever forget about magic, because it's real.” What were some magical moments that happened during the making of your debut album?
Being able to work with so many incredible songwriters, to get to experience how their brains work and what it takes to write a song. I think that’s really magical. Being able to perform songs live, and every night when I go out on stage that’s the closest I’ve ever been to magic. It's really real.
You’ve said before that you’ve been influenced by hip-hop music. Do you have a dream collaboration with a rapper?
I’d love to work with Drake, I’d love to work with Frank Ocean, Jay Z and Kanye. The list is endless.
You recently collaborated with Wale on his album, Shine. How did that come about?
It was kind of funny. I was walking down the street going to the rehearsal studio and I get a text message from Diplo. He goes, “Hey, I hope you don’t mind but I asked a few people and I found your number. I have a song you might be into.” I was like, Shit, OK! I’ve been wanting to work with you for so long. Yes, please send it over.
He sent me the song and I was like, Great, I’ll get you the vocals in the next few days. And I went into the studio and I vocaled the song. Wizkid and Wale were already on it. That was it, really. They’re like, “OK, great, Wale wants to put it out.” I was like, Fucking sick. Cool, let’s do it! And we just went for it.
I feel like you made a concerted effort to not include a lot of features on the album.
It just worked out that way. Even when choosing features I like to pick different ones, people who you may not expect. I always wanted to establish my own sound first. Miguel and Chris Martin, they’re so different and special. I’m really grateful for it.
You have a lot of personal stories on the album. Is there one you were most happy to be able to get out to the world?
Yeah, this song called “No Goodbyes.” It was the hardest song for me to write, because I was scared of someone knowing it was about them. It was really tough for me to talk about at that time because I was preempting what could be the future and I was still in that relationship. That was a tough one. But now that person knows it’s about them. [Laughs.]
[Laughs.] They reached out and told you?
They know. We’ve spoken about it.
What do you think the song of summer ‘17 will be?
“Redbone” from Childish Gambino. That is my ideal summer tune. It’s already gone and done its thing, but I want it to live on forever.