Dua Lipa isn’t a household name, but if she has it her way that state of affairs won’t last much longer. The one-time model and actress turns 21 in August and, having answered her calling as a musician, is poised to become a dangerously exciting pop star.
Born in London to Kosovar-Albanian parents, Lipa relocated to Kosovo with them in 2008, but returned to the UK solo two years later. Aged 15 and looking to kick-start a music career, she began uploading covers of Nelly Furtado and P!nk tunes to YouTube. Next thing you know she’s been scouted and signed by Lana Del Rey’s people.
Comparisons between the pair followed. They both have darker-than-average vocals, but if Del Rey’s music is made for self-pitying on California’s Venice Beach, Lipa’s is built to be spilling out of tents and clubs across Europe.
Last year’s trippy, soul-tinged ballad ‘New Love’ made heads turn, but it was the release of Europop banger ‘Be The One’ in October that got people all giddy and it shot to the top of the charts in Belgium and Poland. Her follow-up – playful R&B-house belter ‘Hotter Than Hell’ – was even bigger and landed in the UK Top 20.
A debut album is due at the end of this year with, as she told Spin earlier this month, 160 tracks written for it over two years of recording sessions. They’ve been whittled down and it’s ready to blow. This year, it seems, is Dua Lipa’s for the taking.
What To Buy: ‘Hotter Than Hell’ is out now
Fact: She had a Keith Haring figure tattooed on each thumb for the ‘New Love’ video
Live: July 22-24 Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire, October 7 Gorilla, Manchester, October 9 O2 Institute2, Birmingham, October 10 KOKO, London
Best track: ‘Hotter Than Hell’ – A sultry and steamy pop scorcher fit for the devil’s disco.