“A lot of it is centered on heartbreak, love and loss, that’s where my stories come from” - hmv.com talks to Dua Lipa
It’s been over two years now since Dua Lipa first announced herself as a pop superstar in waiting with hit single ‘Be The One’, but now, after four top 20 singles and narrowly missing out on the Brits’ Critics’ Choice Award, she’s finally ready to unleash her debut album.
Self-titled and featuring hits ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and ‘Blow Your Mind (Mwah)’, we spoke to the singer about how she made the LP, collaborating with Chris Martin and why this is an album that takes on all aspects of love…
Your debut album is finally here, it’s been delayed more than once so you must be delighted it’s finally coming out?
“It is. But it’s a good thing, I feel really sure now and really proud of it. I think now is the perfect time for it to come out.”
How many songs did you have to choose from?
“Too many. I’ve written hundreds of songs for this album. I’ve been picking the best ones out along the way, in the end, it came down to which ones best fit where I am at this point in my life and which tracks suit the sonics of the album.”
What’s the oldest song on the album?
"‘Hotter Than Hell’. That’s the song that got me signed and I wrote that at the end of 2014. So it’s been that long.”
Did you have any songs you were heartbroken about leaving off?
“For this album, I feel like I’ve chosen the best songs. There are some songs that I’ve not finished that I’ve saved for the second album, but I’m not heartbroken about leaving any off, I feel like these are the ones that represent me the best.”
You’ve worked with a few different writers and producers, was that a process you enjoyed?
“I’ve worked with the same writers and producers a few times now so it is getting easier. When you meet someone for the first time it is odd to suddenly be opening about your personal life. I did struggle to open up, but once you get used to someone it is easier to open up.”
What kind of album is it in lyrical terms?
“A lot of it is centred on heartbreak, love and loss, that’s where my stories come from. That’s definitely reflected in the songs I’ve chosen, I wanted to give my fans another side of me, to write about all the different aspects of my life and to write about lots of different people in my life. I’m now at a point where I’m no longer afraid of people knowing that I’m writing about them. There’s something quite liberating about that.”
Was it always going to be self-titled?
“I never had a title. It’s taken me such a long time to finish the album and it was very hard to pick a title to define everything, so I thought this would be a good start.”
You’ve got Miguel and Coldplay’s Chris Martin on the album, how did those collaborations come about?
“I love Miguel, he’s always been at the top of my list of people that I wanted to work with. So I reached out to him and asked if we could try something together and he agreed. We wrote ‘Lost In Your Light’ together and it was such fun, it came together really organically and we’ve become good friends.”
And with Chris?
“I was in a meeting and someone asked me who I’d asked most love to work with and I said Chris Martin. Someone in the meeting knew Chris and said to me that she’d pass on some songs. I went to Los Angeles to work with Miguel and while I was out there I got an email that said ‘Chris really likes your songs, will you go to his studio in Malibu?’.”
“I was amazed, I didn’t expect it all. I went to the studio and I played him some of my songs and he said ‘These are great, let’s make another one’ and we just sat down at the piano. I went home with this MP3 and asked if we could write some more and he said yes. So we went back in and wrote ‘Homesick’ and I asked him if he would sing on it and he did.”
Were you were able to be professional? Or did you get starstruck?
“It was really exciting. I told him when I met him how much I admired him, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to tell someone how much you admire them, it’s why I so desperate to work with him. He was very kind and so humble, he was very English about it, told me I was only joking. The only time it hit me was when he sat at the piano and started singing and it’s that voice you always hear on the radio.”
How’s your summer looking? Have you many festivals lined up?
“My festivals start today with Governor's Ball and then there’s a lot to get through. I’m going on tour with Bruno Mars too, which I’m really excited about it, I can’t wait to see him in action.”
You said earlier you had songs ready for album number two, are you going to be able to get on with album number two quite quickly?
“I’ll be touring a lot for the rest of the year. There are songs written that I’d like to re-write, but I’ll be back writing again in January. Not long really.”