Why does everyone love Dua Lipa? From her groundbreaking looks to the songs she writes herself

Recently (although with a pandemic in the middle, ‘short’ means almost nothing), in the 2018 edition of Mad Cool, Depeche Mode (who had released their highly recommended album ‘Spirit’ the previous year) was finishing their concert. Between songs, beer and beer, we made friends with a group of three Scots who couldn’t help but admire my Celtic Glasgow shirt. The three of them were young, dressed in black, with skulls and studded bracelets (as if it were 1986) and they had sold out the festival’s beer supply by themselves.

They were very nice, though, and after the concert we offered to let them stay with us to find a good spot to see Nine Inch Nails. After all, it was obvious that these drunken hard rockers were there with the sole purpose of seeing Trent Reznor (singer and only permanent member of the American band). “No, they’re” (‘son’, the Scottish equivalent of the horrible and omnipresent ‘bro’ that every Spanish pubescent repeats ad nauseum), they said to me with a very thick accent. “Let’s save a spot.” in the front row to see Dua Lipa,” they concluded.

A heterogeneous public

We said goodbye and they headed off to wait for the Anglo-Albanian artist for an hour and 45 minutes. They had come to Mad Cool for that, nothing more. It is inevitable to compare Dua Lipa’s audience with another of today’s great stars: Taylor Swift. There are a lot of ‘swifties’, but the vast majority fit certain stereotypes. The fans of the Anglo-Albanian artist do not: There is everything in their concerts.

Of all the conclusions that can be extrapolated from this anecdote, the most important is the following: Dua Lipa is liked by everyone, although no one really knows why. Could it be her ‘humble’ beginnings? Her carefree pop and her feminist lyrics? Her sensuality on stage? Being a role model?

A fashion icon

Or rather, being a model in her own right. Her outfits always leave more than one person with their mouths open. Until recently, the person responsible for her always captivating wardrobe was Lorenzo Posocco, now responsible for the looks of Rosalía herself.

This London-based Italian is responsible for Dua Lipa wearing such iconic brands as Versace, Bottega Veneta -this brand created her naked dress that caused so much talk-, Valentino, Mugler, Chanel, Alaïa… From there to seeing her in the front row of the best fashion shows is just a small step.

The singer wearing a naked dress by Bottega Veneta.

Now the singer’s looks are due to Jahleel Weaver, stylist of other great stars of the musical firmament such as Rihanna and Beyoncé.

Last year, Dua Lipa’s relationship with the fashion world reached its peak through her partnership with Versace, with whose creative director, Donatella, she launched a capsule collection, TheVacation.

A shorter race than it seems

It may seem like the 3-time Grammy Award winner and Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world has been in music stardom for ages, but she only started the day before yesterday. Give or take a year, it wouldn’t be crazy to believe she’s the same age as, say, Miley Cyrus. But in reality, He is only 28 years old and the signing with her record label (and the subsequent release of her first album, ‘Dua Lipa’) dates back to 2017. To put this into context, Miley has been in the business since 2007. She is a veteran.

Her (non-musical) origins are in London, although she was born to Kosovo Albanian parents. After returning to the land of her ancestors, she returned to London alone when she was 15 (with more than one ticket under her arm). It was in this setting that she began to make and publish her music on social networks, mainly Soundcloud y Youtube. “Since I was little I dreamed of being a pop star, but it never seemed like something that was really possible,” the artist said in an interview.

His beginnings

Her Kosovo Albanian heritage has given Dua Lipa the diversity card, but that hasn’t always suited her: “People always ask me where my name comes from,” she said in an interview with the BBC. She continued: “Since I was little I’ve been very proud of my heritage, but years ago I started to think that I was a little girl. I wished my name was Hannah, for example, something ‘normal’ and English.”

Dua Lipa, one of the hundred most influential people in the world according to ‘Time’ magazine.GTRES

Her music had not yet reached any major stage, but she signed with a ‘small’ agency (Tap Management, co-responsible for Lana del Rey’s success) and two years later with Warner Bros. Records. Ed Milllett, one of the directors of Tap Management, explained in an interview the reason for her sudden leap to fame: “She is very smart. She was able to sign with that huge label in part because they didn’t have a big pop artist, and they needed one ASAP. They really wanted her, so she had the full support of the world from day one.”

In 2015 she released her first official single, ‘New Love’, and the rest is history: 3 albums, 74.6 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Festival headliners left and right, the (inexplicable) song from ‘Barbie’, covers, Haute Couture, catwalks, the Met Gala…

But none of this explains why it is so overwhelmingly successful. meteoric rise It doesn’t just happen.

The return of the ‘featuring’, in the form of a badge

With the 2000s in full swing, it won’t be difficult to remember that musical era in which the title of any song that was played on TV, in a bar or on the radio ended with a predictable “ft. Pitbull” (by the way, what happened to him?). Since then, collaborations have become our daily bread, but not everyone has access to the same artists. In that, Dua Lipa is the queen.

Madonna, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Missy Elliott, Calvin Harris, Kylie Minogue… In 2021 we all heard how the Anglo-Albanian artist managed to make her relevant again. Elton John with the simple sacrifice of desecrating ‘Rocket Man’ to turn it into ‘Cold Heart’. The profit? Number 1 all over the world.

If we add to that the immense success (again, topping the charts of the most listened to songs in almost every country) of ‘Dance The Night’, the song from the Barbie movie, we have the perfect cocktail to have an unparalleled pop star on our hands. A stroke of marketing genius.

Compliments from his fans

To explain her popularity, another way we have is the public’s opinion. We are not the first, nor the last, to have asked ourselves this question, as ‘Lily_Danube’ eloquently asked on reddit: “Can someone explain where people’s obsession with Dua Lipa comes from?”. The user of the social network, when formulating her question, did not take into account the hydrogen bomb she was releasing: “Dua sings the songs that Rihanna ignores”; “She’s fantastic! Catchy songs, a good voice and fun collaborations with other artists. Could you ask for more?”; “Her songs are okay, but I don’t think she has a good voice”; “Have you seen her? Is awesome”; “He’s mediocre, but the truth is that he has legs to give and take.”

The singer modeling for Versace in September 2021.GTRES

Discussions of this kind are widespread across the web. On the more than questionable source ‘Quora’, user Anvika Dhillon posted an elaborate list of the singer’s ‘strengths’, highlighting her first album, her origins on YouTube, her unique and identifiable voice (if she appears on the radio, you know it’s her no matter what), her collaborations and, perhaps, the most important of all factors: writes his own songs.

Pride of authorship

In a world where music is becoming less and less personal, there are geniuses capable of composing for anyone. The most popular of all is Is, who has composed songs for Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez… and not just one or two, but entire albums. With Dua Lipa, on the other hand, they wrote ‘Saved my Life’ together… and little else.

The Anglo-Albanian artist is extremely proud to be the author (or at least co-author) of everything she publishes, an honour that is increasingly rare these days. Although it may seem like an irrelevant detail (“music is music, right? It doesn’t matter who made it if it’s good”), when it comes on the radio, we put it on our mobile phone or, more importantly, we see it live, we know it’s her work. It’s her, her job. Professional ethics, which are on the decline wherever we look, are still appreciated, at least in music. The percentage of songs she composes that turn out to be good has also been praised on more than one occasion. “The moment I finish writing a song, I know if it’s good or not,” explains the artist. Similarly, as another of the directors of Tap Management, Ben Mawson, commented in an interview, “we’ve seen artists who can get half a good song after 10 sessions. With Dua, “one in five or four is a great song.”

That (and many other things) will be enjoyed by those attending Mad Cool 2024, which will be held between July 10 and 13 in Madrid and where, of course, Dua Lipa will make an appearance with her only stop in Spain on her ‘Radical Optimism’ world tour. This time, as the undisputed headliner on Wednesday 10, taking that honour from the (somewhat worn out) Smashing Pumpkins. I hope to meet up with my Scottish friends there.

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