No more 'dance-crying' for Dua Lipa in new album

  • Music
  • Friday, 29 May 2020

Dua Lipa says her new album 'is purely about dancing and having fun and being free and being in love'. Photo: Handout

Is this any time for a dance party? It is if you’re a fan of Dua Lipa, the English singer who won the best new artiste Grammy in 2019 and is back with a sophomore album that literally doesn’t skip a beat.

Future Nostalgia (released on March 27) is 100% ballad-free, with a style that might have seemed at home in the Studio 54 era, or at the height of Prince’s Minneapolis sound, as they do in clubs today (or will, once they reopen).

Lipa talked with Variety about speaking the universal language of timeless dance-pop on her new release.

The album is so upbeat, it has the promise to make a lot of people at least momentarily very happy — but you’ve admitted you had some inner conflicts about putting it out during the coronavirus crisis.

It’s been definitely a weird time, and you never really know what the right thing to do is at times like this. But I’m really excited to put this album out now to give people time to live with it and listen to it when they’re at home. I hope it will brighten people’s day.

We’re all staying at home, or the majority of us are, and hopefully we can get the rest of the people to stay home too.

What were some of the discussions you had with people about whether to delay it or bump it up, or even any internal conversations you had with yourself? Did you think of just delaying it until this whole crisis is finally over?

It’s very tough to know exactly what to do, because we’ve never been through anything like this before, and so I was trying to understand what the right thing to do was.

I obviously wanted to put the album out, but I also didn’t want to put it out at a time when people were really suffering.

And so I was kind of just going back and forth with the idea of moving it back in the hopes that when the weather gets a bit warmer, as some people were saying, we might hopefully see the virus go. So I was just kind of thinking about maybe to put it out at a happier time.

But I then also decided that I’ve already been waiting for so long to put this record out, and I think the fans are really excited for me to put the record out.

Is it true you started from the title backward in making this album?

Yeah, I did. Around the time of the American Music Awards in 2018, when I did (the single) Electricity, I had the album title. I kind of went backwards in making “future nostalgia” what I was aiming for – making it my genre.

I wanted to make sure that every song touched on both the future aspects and the nostalgic aspects, to somehow bring something fresh and new to the table, but also something that reminds you of a time.

In terms of the future, it really is the production, and the lyrics about what’s currently going on in my life. But some of the sonics behind it have that nostalgic reminiscence.

The album’s title track sounds like something right out of the Prince playbook of the 1980s. You weren’t born then, or even for some of the later influences you’re carrying into this record.

Artistes like Jamiroquai, Moloko, Blondie and Prince – they’re the artistes my parents listened to, so that’s where all of that inspiration was really from.

It was something that my parents brought into my life that then I so gladly borrowed and claimed as my own childhood inspirations.

A lot of the album seems to go even further back than that – to disco. There is so much real-sounding, heavy, melodic bass that we’ve rarely heard in pop since the late 1970s, in your hit Don’t Start Now but also album tracks like Levitating, Pretty Please, Break My Heart and Love Again.

I think it was trying to make the record sound as cohesive as possible, so that it all feels part of the same story. And alongside the bass in multiple songs, I also have strings in multiple songs.

My first record was so electronic that I wanted to make this really organic in having a lot of live instrumentation, so that when we’re on tour, the record doesn’t sound much different from what you would hear live.

After performing live for three years, I wanted to have it so that when you listen to a record, you really hear the instrumentation at the forefront of it.

In the past you’ve used the term “dance-crying” for your music. There’s no crying on this album, though.

It is a very happy album. I feel like on my first record, the easiest thing for me to tap into and felt I could write about was my sadness, really. Like those are the memories that linger longest.

With this record, I felt like I could get out of my comfort zone, almost, and tell myself that it’s OK to write happy things and really write about how I feel in the moment.

And if there is anything even remotely sad now, I’ve been saying it’s a celebration of vulnerability.

This album is purely about dancing and having fun and being free and being in love. – Reuters

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Dua Lipa , pop music


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