Dua Lipa Interview: “I’ve got some more surprises for you all this year”

As she prepares to take on the biggest gig of her career to date - opening the UEFA Champions League Final presented by Pepsi - we chat to Dua Lipa about success, girl power and her dream collaborators.

You’ve had such a phenomenal year. Thinking back to when you won Best New Artist at the VO5 NME Awards in 2017, what’s been your most pinch yourself moment to date?

There have been so many pinch myself moments. It kind of happens on a daily basis because there are so many exciting things happening. When I first put my album out that was a very, very big deal for me, to put that body of work out there that I’d been working on for such a long time. I remember winning my award at NME and that was one of the first awards I’d ever won and that recognition and support really meant a lot to me.

Performing at the Brit Awards and winning was just so crazy because I’d watched that show my whole life on telly and having the opportunity to perform, was huge for me and winning was just the cherry on the cake. There have just been so many incredible things to happen and now, I never thought I’d have the chance to perform for football fans. You always imagine you get up and you go on tour and you write in the studio and what’s been so amazing is how this has given me a chance to do things I never expected could happen. To perform for 70,000 people in a stadium and hundreds of millions of people on telly and it’s scary and exciting all at once.

What can fans expect?

It’s such a big performance. There’s going to be lots of Ukranian influences. There’s going to be lots of girl power which is something I really wanted to bring, especially to a sport that is still very male dominated. If feel like a whole crew of girls is something that something UEFA hasn’t seen that much so I’m very excited to do that. It’s also quite a big daytime performance so it’s about creating something visually exciting that will work on TV and in a stadium.

What do you think needs to change to see women topping festival bills and getting the recognition they deserve across the music industry?

A lot of is down to the festival directors and the people they book. I think people need to start opening their eyes and ears and realising that there’s so much female talent out there. Obviously festivals need established talent but it’s really important to bring new music into big festivals and to give them an opportunity. I remember when I was starting out I had to really push to get some festivals slots and to get people to give me a platform. It’s really down to the big board of directors to give us a chance because we have a voice but we need to be empowered to use it. It’s all really down to that.

You’re playing pretty high up the bill at Reading and Leeds this year. Do you think there’s space for pop at a festival like that?

I totally know the legacy that Reading & Leeds have had and that in the past, it’s been more of a rock festival, but when you come to do a show, there’s so much energy to it and there’s so much diversity to the sound, it’s not just a pop show. I feel like there is room for diversity and I think there is room for pop artists to come and bring their best show to festivals which aren’t necessarily directed in that genre.

What can you tell us about the new album?

I started writing it at the beginning of the year. I guess when I’m touring it’s quite tricky to find time to write but I’ll be writing a lot again during the middle and end of this year. I’ve got some surprises coming this year but I’ll try and put out my own new music next year.

What’s it sounding like?

Again, it’s pop but it has some diverse sounds. I’m trying not to stray too far away from my sound which I have described as “dance crying” for a while. You can dance to a lot of the songs but if you listen to the lyrics they come from quite a place of heartbreak. It has throwback elements, too. I’ve been listening to a lot of Outkast and Prince and things sonically I’m such a fan off so I’m just trying to take that and put it together with pop.

Are there any collabs coming up you can tell us about?

Diplo just said that myself, Mark Ronson and him are putting a song out together in the summer which I’m very excited about but as for collaborations on my own album, I haven’t got there quite yet but I’ll keep you posted.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

That’s so tricky. I’d love to work with Anderson. Paak or Frank Ocean.

Dua Lipa is performing at the 2018 “UEFA Champions League Final Opening Ceremony presented by Pepsi” on May 26.#LOVEITLIVEIT”