Dua Lipa: The Queen Of Dark Pop Who Has Her Own 'New Rules'

In view of the singer’s glittery livestream event ‘Studio 2054’ breaking global livestream records, her recent six Grammy nominations, and Spotify rendering her as one of the most-streamed artists this year, one can safely say that she has finally arrived and how.

Tarini Gandhiok
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Millions of aspiring singers are making song covers nowadays in a bid to catch that one lucky break that will launch them into superstardom. The road to musical success might seem rocky, but they have one role-model to look up to – Dua Lipa. The British-Kosovan pop singer surprised everyone with instant fame courtesy of her raw personality and fresh tunes. In view of her glittery livestream event ‘Studio 2054’ breaking global livestream records, her recent six Grammy nominations, and Spotify rendering her as one of the most-streamed artists this year, one can safely say that Dua Lipa has finally arrived and how.


The Queen Of Dark Pop

Lipa started off as a model, a profession which she admittedly entered just to “make loads of friends” that could help her enter the music industry. However, she faced body shaming during her stint as a model, an experience she later vocalised in her debut song "Blow Your Mind" (2016). Lipa can be said to be the queen of ‘dark pop’ – a genre characterised by upbeat pop music coupled with dark, sad undertones. The same is evidenced in her songs like the funky track “Don’t Start Now”, the fiery club song “Physical”, and her memorable collaboration with Calvin Harris – “One Kiss”. Lipa’s vocals can best be described as deep and sultry which lend her dance numbers like “Last Dance”, “Hallucinate”, and “Pretty Please” a unique quality. The young artiste has also gone on to prove her diversity as a musician with ballads like “Thinking ‘Bout You” and frothy tracks like “Be The One”.

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A Fierce Feminist

Being a role model for millions of young girls, Lipa has used her fame to raise awareness about women’s rights and gender equality. In a 2018 Vogue interview, she put forth her own interpretation of feminism: “Feminism to me is not man-hating, it’s just being like ‘we deserve the same opportunities.” She has also constantly lobbied for more women in the music industry, especially in leadership positions, as well as been the voice of every young girl who has been made to feel guilty about being harassed at some point in her life. In an interview with GQ, Lipa said, “You know, even from school, growing up with kiss chase or whatever, it’s been ingrained in our heads that boys will be boys and its harmless fun and no big deal and to brush things off … For lots of females, be it actresses, singers, models, no matter what it is, it’s not being able to have the right to dress and wear how and what you want and be taken seriously.”

Not one to shy away from pertinent topics, Lipa has used her musical genius to address unhealthy relationships, mental health, and gender issues. "New Rules", one of Lipa’s most famous songs and a certified anthem for teen girls, lays down a new set of rules for every girl struggling to let go of that one toxic guy: “One: Don't pick up the phone/You know he's only callin' 'cause he's drunk and alone/Two: Don't let him in/You'll have to kick him out again/Three: Don't be his friend.” In "Boys Will Be Boys", Lipa voices every girl’s frustration against the age-old adage that gives boys a license to do anything. She croons how, for girls, it’s “second nature to walk home before the sun goes down” and to “smile away to ease the tension so it don't go south” because everyone expects that “girls will be women”. Dua Lipa’s tendency to ‘say it like it is’ through her songs makes her a female force to be reckoned with.


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Making A Fashionable Statement

Lipa’s ingenuity is not just limited to music but extends to her personal style and fashion as well. As per her own admission, she has taken a keen interest in fashion since a young age and grew up idolising the style of artists like Pink. She considers fashion to be an expression of her creativity, just like music: “When I get involved in the fashion world, it’s another outlet for my creativity, another extension of my music and who I am as an artist. Fashion is an extension of what I’d like to say, another part of me, so from the very beginning I had quite a clear idea of what I like to wear.” A mirror to her multifaceted personality, Lipa’s personal style oscillates between tomboyish and feminine; between hoodies and ball gowns. Her ability to sport everything with aplomb also makes her music videos aesthetically pleasing.

Dua Lipa might seem to be living a star’s life in all aspects – she’s dating model Anwar Hadid, has won prestigious music awards, and is touted to be one of the biggest female music icons of all times. However, at the same time, she is also grounded and true to her roots, as evidenced in her helping her father organise an annual music festival in her home town in Kosovo. Inarguably, she is living and winning at life based on her own set of ‘new rules’.

Picture Credits: BBC

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

Female musicians dua lipa