“That song has really taken a whole life of its own… it’s just absolutely mind-blowing to me,” says Dua Lipa about the extraordinary success of her smash hit single “Levitating.” The track was recently crowned the No. 1 song of 2021 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, following its record-breaking run on the weekly edition of the list.
The superstar singer-songwriter joins the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast (listen below) to discuss “Levitating’s” year-end coronation on the Hot 100 (and many other charts) and also a bevy of other topics.
On the show, Lipa discusses what it’s like to see the song and her March 2020 album Future Nostalgia keep finding new fans more than a year and a half after its release. Plus, hosts Keith and Katie chat with Lipa about finally touring around her sophomore album, her hit collaboration with Elton John on “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix)” and her new Service95 venture, which includes a newsletter and podcast.
And, we all saw those pictures of her in the studio – does that mean new music is on the way?
Below are some highlights from Dua Lipa’s interview on the Pop Shop Podcast:
On having the No. 1 song of the year on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Levitating.”
It is just so exciting. Thank you so much. … It’s nice after you work so hard, especially despite the pandemic happening, and you know, trying to figure out new ways to keep the music going, even when you’ve got limited resources. So, it means a lot to me. Thank you. And, “Levitating” just doing its thing on the Billboard chart is absolutely surreal. I mean, that song has really taken a whole life of its own and it’s been my baby for so long, and to have it out in the world, and for people’s response to be the way that it is, it’s just absolutely mind-blowing to me. So I’m really really really grateful for it all.
Billboard tells Lipa that “Levitating” is also No. 1 on Billboard’s year-end 2021 Global 200, Radio Songs, Streaming Songs, Pop Airplay, Adult Pop Airplay and Billboard Canadian Hot 100 charts…
That… is… mad. That’s mad! Wow. Thank you. Thank you so much. I mean, really, it’s the fans, and everybody that’s just been listening to it — and really just making it their own, so I’m really proud of that. I’ve always wanted my songs to find a home with different people so I’m happy that song did that, for sure.
Why she thinks her top 20-charting Hot 100 collaboration with Elton John on “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix)” has resonated so strongly with a huge audience around the world:
Well, I mean, the song in itself, the remix of two incredible songs (John’s “Rocket Man” and “Sacrifice”), you know, that already did the rounds on the charts that people love and already know. To put a very modern twist on it, with the remix and him so kindly asking me to sing alongside him — I think it’s just a testament of how an artist like Elton can really just … as a musician, be able to live through so many decades of music and constantly reinvent himself and create something really special and unique. And he has such a massive love for artists and championing new artists and young artists. He’s incredible like that. So I feel like it was a very natural collaboration.
But the reason I think it works — it’s because it’s just got a lot of love in it, and a lot of soul and spirit. I think sometimes when you hear a song like that you can tell.
On the upcoming launch of her newsletter, Service95… what can fans expect?
For the longest time I’ve been making lists when I’m traveling, when I’m doing stuff at home, whether it’s my favorite restaurants, places to go, artists to see, plays to watch. Movies. Books to read. Interesting ways to get involved in activism. And so this kind of encapsulates all of those things put together. It has really exciting news stories — things that I feel like you wouldn’t really hear or read elsewhere. It kind of challenges perspectives. It’s got very interesting concepts. Weekly, we’re gonna put very different stories.
I want to make activism accessible to people that do want to get involved and help. That’s something that’s really important to me. So, being able to break the barrier there — create content that’s really easy to follow that could help in whatever way. And also just shine a light on artists and designers and musicians and all kinds of people in the creative field. It’s really just of being of service.
And also just telling you about the most bangin’ restaurants all over the world, ’cause that is what I love best.
The podcast that accompanies Service95 is called At Your Service. How is she going to balance being a globetrotting pop star while hosting a podcast?
I’m good at timekeeping. So I’ll always figure it out. …It’s a work in process. But so far it’s been good. I’ve started the recording process, which has been really fun. And I’m really enjoying it. It’s just a completely different thing for me. And I’ve loved diving in and doing research about my guests and learning so much in so much depth. And trying to create a conversation that’s also just going to be really helpful for people who are listening.
There’s gonna be that kind of constant thing of being of service. Of understanding. I think it’s kind of that realization that we’re all really human, you know? And the things that we want to see, and the things we see in each other, our perspectives and what they are and how they can change and shift. I think talking to people like friends will kind of open everybody’s perspective after a little bit and I think that’s gonna be really special.
Lipa’s Future Nostalgia Tour starts in February 2022. Is it safe to say that her Studio 2054 livestream was a teaser of what we can expect on the road?
I think it’s safe to say that Studio 2054 was a teaser. A light teaser of what you’re gonna see on the road … that’s all I can reveal.
She’s shared on Instagram some photos of her in the recording studio, seemingly maybe working on some new music. And she recently posted a photo of her with previous collaborators WATT and Ali Tamposi. So, Billboard asked Lipa, “are you maybe potentially actively working on some new music?”
‘Maybe potentially actively working on some new music,’ yes. (Laughs.)
Billboard responded with: “That is very thrilling. I’m sure you can tell us absolutely nothing. But…”
Yes, I can tell you absolutely nothing. But I’m really excited. I feel so at home in the studio. There’s no where I would rather be. So, during this time that I’ve been at home in London, it’s just been amazing to get in and write and experiment and try new things and it’s just been wonderful. And I’m very excited for new music, yeah.
Also on the show, we’re recapping some of Billboard’s biggest year-end charts, including the top artists of 2021 and the top Billboard 200 album. Plus, we play a quick round of Quiz Katie, focused on chart trivia about year-end Hot 100 No. 1s of the past.
The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard‘s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard‘s deputy editor, digital, Katie Atkinson and senior director of Billboard charts Keith Caulfield every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)