Dua Lipa: the new face of pop

by Aidan McGinty / Staff Reporter

Photo courtesy of dualipa.com

Recently, Albanian pop star Dua Lipa has been making waves in the music community, releasing three singles from her sophomore album, “Future Nostalgia.” The songs, including the title track, mark the beginning of a new era for Lipa — one that fully encapsulates a modern and futuristic take on the euphoric glam that defined the music of the ‘80s. 

While her self-titled debut “Dua Lipa” was critically well received, even winning her a grammy for best new artist, she seemed to struggle to find where she fit in the industry, not really having a set style or fanbase. 

However, after the release of her first new single “Don’t Start Now,” it was apparent that she has established a stronger identity for both herself and her music.  “Don’t Start Now” almost immediately rose to popularity on social media, and is currently sitting at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. The third single from the album, “Physical” is also rising on the charts, sitting at No. 60, making it her sixth solo song to chart on the Hot 100

“Don’t Start Now” begins with grand piano chords and a bassline that feels refreshing while still maintaining Lipa’s unique sound. Lipa’s vocals showcase a confidence and power that listeners have not yet heard from the young artist. All of these variables come together for a subdued and raw chorus that highlight her isolated vocals, percussion and the song’s groovy bassline. 

The titular track “Future Nostalgia” is the most experimental of the album, opening with a robotic Missy Eilliot-inspired beat, Lipa attacking the verses with a blunt talk-sing. She describes herself as a powerful innovator in music, calling herself a “female alpha” throughout the song. The bouncy steel guitar defines most of the chorus, fulfilling the album’s promise of bringing a futuristic flare to the iconic sounds of ‘80s and ‘90s pop. 

Her most recent hit “Physical” feels even more molded by 80s pop, with the song title being a tribute to Olivia Newton John’s 1981 hit of the same name. The song opens with a low synthesizer reminiscent of Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night,” and lets Lipa explore a darker sound than she did on the more lighthearted “Don’t Start Now.” She then transitions into a high energy chorus of dark drums and a sound that would work perfectly in a “jazzercise” video.

The cover of “Don’t Start Now.” Photo courtesy of stereo gum.com

Dua Lipa has successfully rebranded herself as a leading artist in the genre of pop, in somewhat the same vein of Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift. This is nothing less than an impressive feat for a singer who was having trouble finding her footing just a few years ago. 

While the only single that has charted on the Billboard Hot 100 is “Don’t Start Now,” “Physical” is the most popular track on the album according to Apple Music. Following the success of the first three songs, fans and casual listeners alike are looking forward to the completed album, and was even included in Pitchfork’s “39 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020.” 

Dua Lipa is undoubtedly bringing a new face to pop, highlighting interesting sounds and visuals across her music. After making waves in the pop industry, many people, myself included, are impatiently awaiting her completed album. 

Categories: Arts & Entertainment


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