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Why Dua Lipa Is The Future Of Pop

The British pop artist will make her India debut at the OnePlus Music Festival in Mumbai this weekend

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Amit Vaidya Nov 11, 2019

British pop artist Dua Lipa. Photo: Debbie Hickey/Getty Images

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English pop star Dua Lipa is all set to perform her first-ever live show in India this month, joining Katy Perry for the OnePlus Music Festival in Mumbai on November 16th. With a voice filled with layers of maturity far beyond her actual years and a catalog already comprised of hits that carry a quality of timelessness, it’s hard to imagine that the pop world hasn’t had Dua Lipa in it for very long time. The British singer of Albanian origin first made waves towards the end of 2015 with her second single, “Be The One,” a haunting slice of “dark-pop,” as she calls it. The single helped establish her across Europe and the Australian market. She would go on to dominate the airwaves from 2016 onwards with hits like “Hotter Than Hell” and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah).” By the time 2017 came around and her self-titled debut album dropped, she already had nearly a half-dozen hits.

And then came “New Rules.” The single that catapulted Lipa from a familiar voice and pretty face to something much more iconic and lasting. The accompanying music video became a YouTube sensation. While most female artists barring Taylor Swift, Adele and Perry could garner views in the billions, it was unheard of for a relatively unestablished female artist to manage that. But her “La La Land” inspired video not only became a mainstay online, the single also became her first Number One hit in the U.K. and managed to become her first Top 10 hit in the U.S. as well. As a result, Lipa delivered one of 2017’s most memorable and biggest global smashes. She followed it up with another hit “IDGAF” serving as the final single from her first album.

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It’s no surprise then that her rise was acknowledged everywhere from the BRIT Awards to the Grammys where she won Best New Artist last year (yes, mind you Grammy eligibility years and rules live in their own strange world). Nevertheless, unlike many winners of that award, Lipa managed to stay relevant and in fact increased her profile through big collaborative singles – making the break between her debut album and her upcoming second album feel far less.

As she prepares to release her second album, #DL2 supported by the first single “Don’t Start Now,” Lipa is ready to showcase a more mature, musician-driven record in collaboration with disco legend Nile Rodgers. As the world awaits Lipa’s second album with great anticipation, it is worthwhile noting that Lipa has very brilliantly avoided the sophomore slump through these collaborative releases.

While she already had been featured on the Sean Paul smash “No Lie,” Lipa didn’t shy away from duetting with everyone from the likes of R&B fixture Miguel to the K-pop girl group BLACKPINK. But it was her one-two punch of “One Kiss” with Calvin Harris and “Electricity” with Silk City featuring Diplo and Mark Ronson that really excited audiences. These two collaborations resulted in Lipa’s continued dominance into 2018 and into the first half of 2019.

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While many young female artists have struggled to rake up so many hit singles in such a short amount of time, it seems Lipa has connected in a way that feels different. She’s not your typical teen, she’s darker, her music is lyrically more mature and her style and her videos exude a level of confidence and panache that many artists only dream of.

While it’s only been a few years, it seems Dua Lipa rightfully deserves to be standing up there at the upcoming OnePlus Music Festival next to fellow hitmaker and pop icon Katy Perry. Like Perry, Lipa is making sure to engage her audience with different avatars all the while appearing like an attainable humble star.

In an era driven by hit singles and disposable or dare I say, interchangeable pop artists, it’s been refreshing to see the natural and very organic rise of Dua Lipa. Her voice, her style, her songs have brought something back to listeners, an emotional depth to pop/dance/soul, something that existed back in the Seventies with artists like Donna Summer. For that reason alone, what Lipa and Rodgers could be creating for the upcoming album – well, it could be nothing short of epic.

It isn’t often a young female artist is both critically and commercially successful at such a young age and the future only looks even brighter. The way she’s headed, it’s very possible, Lipa could be the one, the number one star, very very soon.

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