Dua Lipa on Her Goals and the Importance of Trust in Songwriting: Interview

Dua Lipa
Courtesy of Warner Music

Dua Lipa

It's been a great year for <a href="/music/Dua-Lipa">Dua Lipa</a>. In 2016, pop gems such as "Hotter Than Hell" and "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)" had an impressive impact in Europe and later in the U.S. But this year has brought her debut album and with it, her arrival to other corners of the world, to the point she landed the opening slot in several of <a href="/music/Bruno Mars">Bruno Mars</a>' 24K Magic World Tour gigs and in <a href="/music/Coldplay">Coldplay</a>'s shows in Argentina.

"They're artists I really admire," Lipa shared. "I see their shows, their techniques, how they speak to the public, how they go from song to song… I learn a lot. Each show is so different."

Concerning her own shows, she said, "In your own shows, there's a certain familiarity with the audience, there's an interaction that you don't have in a stadium. It's challenging to open for someone: You've got to prep the audience, get them in the mood and get their attention if they don't know you. You're going to show them what songs you've got. You've got to leave your mark." 

She hasn't only left her mark in music, though. Her support for feminism and women empowerment is vox populi. The video for "New Rules," her first song in the top 40 of the Hot 100 chart, showcased that side with a group of women that took care of each other.

"There are a lot of girls taking over the scene, and that is amazing. It's as if everything that happened during the '90s, when so many pop figures emerged, were happening again," she said.

"New Rules" peaked at No. 15 and is now at No. 17. "Social media can sometimes influence the charts, but I think that only great music makes it to the top," she said. "The good songs make it." 

A few months ago, she confessed to Billboard that she didn't want to be forgotten. Now, she revealed her aspirations: "Every time you achieve something, you want to go after what's next. I'd like to see my own shows grow and some day be a headliner, fill up stadiums. That'd be crazy, we'll see what happens. You've got to work a lot to make it where you want to be."

In fact, she is restless: Recently, she launched a live acoustic EP on streaming platforms, in which she included a new version of "New Rules" and covers of "Golden Slumbers" by <a href="/music/The-Beatles">The Beatles</a>, <a href="/music/Amy-Winehouse">Amy Winehouse</a>'s "Tears Dry On Their Own" and <a href="/music/Etta-James">Etta James</a>' "I'd Rather Go Blind."

At the same time, she shared a small secret: "I can't dance. If I try, I'll trip onstage."

To her, "The music comes first." In that sense, "making videos is an extension of your personality, your music, because it shares another part of the story. Social media are important, but I don't consider them part of the job… it comes naturally, and the younger generations are even better with them. Growing up with social media was a great advantage, and I really enjoy it; I don't consider it a job. I like sharing with my fans what I'm doing, or with my friends and family, because I use the same account." 

Dua Lipa tells Billboard Argentina how she chooses whom to work with: "Especially on this album, in which I worked with so many people, it depends on each case. There are people with whom you feel comfortable from the start, and you feel you can open up. You're entering a room with a stranger, talking about your personal life. If they're more honest with me, then I'm less afraid to be the same with them.

"But if I feel someone is hiding something from me and only wants to know stuff, I am not going to open up. The only way to get a good song going is if I feel I can trust. If I use songs I did not write, they have to be songs that I can relate with, that transmit what I have lived… songs that I would wish I had written myself."