Dua Lipa

Following a show in Finland, Dua Lipa has just landed back in London for a precious two days in her hometown and the rare chance to sleep in her own bed. A quick scroll through her Instagram reveals that in the last few weeks she’s been in Australia, America, and across most of Europe and Scandinavia, so it’s little surprise that two days at home is a treat.

Life on the road is something that the 21-year-old singer has had to get used to though; this year her feet have barely touched the ground. And while she may be everyone’s hot tip for pop stardom in 2017, Dua is no overnight success story – she has been honing her craft since she was a teenager, balancing working in shops with posting covers on YouTube before being signed to Warner records. And with an album on the horizon at the beginning of next year, it’s a good thing that Dua’s biggest fear is “not being busy”, because trust us, that isn’t happening any time soon.

You’ve been on tour for a large part of this year, what’s been the biggest change to your life in this time?

Well, the main one is that my flat in London has just become an expensive storage space because I’m never in it! It’s insane though, my whole life I’ve been dreaming about having this kind of summer. Instead of going to the festivals and watching the artists, now I’m the one up on the stage. Sometimes it’s nice to sleep in your own bed, but I’m so happy to be doing this as a job that when I don’t get as much time at home I don’t really mind.

When did you first fall in love with music?

My father is a musician from Kosovo, so I’ve always grown up around music at home. Whether that’s my dad’s own songs or Sting, David Bowie, Stereophonics. But the first albums that I fell in love with myself were Whoa, Nelly! by Nelly Furtado and Missundaztood by Pink when I was about six. They were significant parts of my life, and I still reference them when I go into the studio now. They hold special meaning for me; they were the first albums that I really knew off by heart and in the beginning I only really liked them because they were fun to sing along to, but as I got older I started to go back and listen to the lyrics and they started having more relevance to my life. I always wanted to be just like them when I grew up! It was still pop music but there was a badass twist to it – they weren’t afraid to speak the truth and that had a big influence.

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Is being truthful in your music important to you?

I try and be as open as I can be. What I wanted to come across on the album was this idea that we all go through the same things at one time or another, even if sometimes we’re afraid to talk about our problems. But as much as I’d like to think I’m an open book, I think there are lots of things that I still have to talk about and put out into the open. And I do want to, but like with every person, there are some things that you’re scared of talking about. But the easiest way for me to get things off my chest is through music.

You moved to London on your own when you were 15 and started in music early. Do you think that entering the industry young has made you more mature as an artist as well?

Yeah, I think it comes through in the music. There’s a childish confidence sometimes that I think comes across in some of my songs and I think that’s completely to blame on the fact that I’ve lived on my own for so long. I built that confidence by only having to answer to myself. So many people have come up to me though and asked why I’m such a bad girl when I seem nice, and I’m like, “I am nice!” I never go out of my way to cause trouble; I’ve never been that kind of person, but I think it comes across in this kind of “I can do what I like” attitude.