After blowing up the charts and the airwaves with the larger than life pop of ‘Hotter Than Hell’, ‘Be The One’ and ‘Blow Your Mind (Mwah)’, nothing can stop Dua Lipa from claiming the throne of British pop in 2017. Not only is she up for two categories at the VO5 NME Awards, but she’ll be performing on the night as well. As we gear up for the most rock n’ roll night of the year, we talk to the rising sensation about hype, Lana Del Rey comparisons, her debut album and being mates with Sean Paul…
How does it feel to be nominated for two VO5 NME Awards?
“I’m very very honoured to be nominated for both Best New Artist supported by TOPMAN and Best British Female [Artist]. I’m such a fan of all the artists that I guess, in a way, I’m up against. It’s really, really flattering and exciting for me to know that people are listening and consider me in a league with those people – especially alongside Adele. I think Charli XCX is amazing, then there’s Anderson .Paak and Zara Larsson. All of these people are really great. I’m so excited to be performing as well.”
Well ‘Blow Your Mind’ really took on a life of its own…
“Yeah – the thing for me was that it’s really fun to sing, it was always really fun to perform. It’s just that song that you can really let loose to, and totally loose your mind.”
And now ‘No Lie’ is dominating the airwaves too. How did you come to work with Sean Paul?
“The song was written by Sean and two of my friends, Emily and Andrew Jackson. I was just having lunch with Emily and she played me the song – and I immediately loved it. A few weeks later, Emily asked if I wanted to cut it and I couldn’t say no because ‘Baby Boy’ by Beyoncé was just replaying in my head. One thing led to another, we recorded the song, then we hung out.”
There’s always a lot of pressure to really make your mark with your debut album and say ‘this is me’. What would you say that yours tells us about you?
“Once the album comes out, I think people will see another side of me. I originally released the songs ‘Room For Two’ and ‘Thinking About You’ just to kinda show how diverse the album is in terms of collaboration. We may have a few surprises, but I’m not gonna say what because I want to keep it a secret, but yeah it’s gonna be really really exciting.”
So would you say there will be more intimate, personal and soulful moments on the record?
“Yeah I think there’s some real singer songwriter moments where I kinda take a step away from the pop stuff. I mean, what really is pop, it’s kinda hard to kinda put yourself in a genre. But I mean, taking away from some of the upbeat, and just some really just heartfelt songs. They’re very very personal, so yeah…
Is that why you’ve delayed the album? This is your baby so I imagine you want it to be all it can be…
“Well, it’s more about the different opportunities that have come up. Now I have the chance to have some people that I really really admire have join the album, and I think I wanted to give it to myself so I don’t look back on it and go ‘oh, I should have waited a couple more months’. I just want to make sure that there was nothing else that I could possibly add.”
Who would you say your dream collaboration would be?
“I’d love to work with someone like Sia or The Weekend. I’d absolutely love to work with him, and Kendrick Lamar as well, I’m a big fan of him.”
Everyone says Kendrick!
“He is just so amazing. He’s changed hip-hop and there’s so much orchestration behind everything that he does.”
And obviously there’s quite a lot of anticipation around your album because you’ve got legions and legions of fans they are for want of a better word, very, very dedicated. There’s an intense kind of Dua Lipa fan. What do you think your fans expect of you?
“I think they just want more and more songs – as many as I can give them. They’re gonna be really really proud of what’s to come, and I feel like I know them a bit more now. I’ve created a really special relationship with my fans and it’s always interesting to see what they think. They’ve been so supportive.”
Obviously because you’re a relatively new artist to most so many reactions are a first impression. Do you have any kind of notion about what the greatest misconception about you might be?
“I think sometimes behind all the pop music it can get lost as to whether or not I mean everything that I write. It’s all very personal to me, and I think my fans have understood that. There’s so much more that I want people to come and explore. I want people to come to the live show because it really shows another side of me. It’s fucking cool.”
And I think when you first came out, people were automatically making Lana Del Rey comparisons just because you share a manager.
“I agree, I agree. I mean that was an amazing because I’m a fan of hers, but you know, we’re so, we’re very different. And I think slowly people have started to understand that. It was more because people like to find a way to put new artists in a box or compare them. As a new artist you have to show that you are different. The comparison is lovely but now the world knows that I’ve got my own thing.”
The VO5 NME Awards 2017 take place at the O2 Academy Brixton on Wednesday 15 February. For tickets to the ceremony or to place your votes, visit here.
Meanwhile, Dua Lipa’s upcoming UK and European tour dates are below