It’s not always easy to make a U.K.-to-U.S. pop crossover — ask a slew of British acts who fell short of impacting the States. But Dua Lipa successfully did just that this year by refusing to compromise on her artistic vision. Her hits have become bigger and her audience has grown enormously, but Lipa has not changed her approach to songwriting or stagecraft — which is exactly why her fans appreciate her.
“It’s so nice to have people want to come to the shows and not just think that it’s just one single,” Lipa told Billboard in September. “They actually want to come and listen to the whole album and come to the experience, and I appreciate that so much.”
With gritty pop gems “Hotter Than Hell” and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah),” the 22-year-old first began garnering attention across the pond in 2016 and scoring hits that were heard throughout Europe but had yet to impact the United States. With a few rounds of touring touting her energetic dance moves and soaring vocals, the U.S. soon caught onto her talent as Lipa invaded festivals like South By Southwest and Bonnaroo. In June, the rising pop star released her self-titled debut record, which was poptimistic in all the right places — and led to a stint opening for Bruno Mars on his arena tour.
But one thing Dua Lipa has been vocal about aside from her own hook-laden pop tracks: female empowerment. She’s been outspoken about being involved heavily in every aspect of the creative process when it comes to her music, which has included collaborations with Miguel and Martin Garrix, and her actions have proved just that.
With the release of the “New Rules” — Lipa’s first Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart — Dua Lipa’s brand of feminism was fully showcased with an aptly choreographed visual featuring a strong, inclusive group of women practicing self-care. Most importantly, though, the video served as a nod to how women should look after one another.
As an artist who dares to stand up for her beliefs, Dua Lipa remains one to watch, and has demonstrated that she’s not going to keep fans waiting for new music. She’s already started work on her second album, and promises to stay true to her voice as a singular pop artist.
“I just don’t really want to be forgotten,” she said. “I’m just gonna keep them coming. That’s what I want. I just want to keep going. I just either want to be on tour, or be releasing music.”