If you like pop music and unless you’ve been hiding in a dark cave for the last few months you cannot have failed to have noticed Dua Lipa. She’s one of those artists who has been carefully seeded by her label / PR people with all of the tastemaker types and as a result found herself on the BBC Sound of 2016 longlist. I’ve not featured her on the blog before, because whilst her releases so far have been good enough (particularly online hit Be The One) they haven’t to my mind stood out way above the multitude of commercial sounding pop music that comes my way. However, that’s not to say I’m not intrigued by Dua Lipa, if only for the fact that she’s originally from Kosovo and her name actually is Dua Lipa and means ‘love’ in Albanian.
So having got to step one on the ladder of pop the question was (and still is) can she climb higher? I decided the only way to make some sort of informed decision on this was to go and see her live. So off I trekked to The Hope & Ruin in Brighton, where a dark room above the pub, probably more suited to sweaty, unwashed indie bands in skinny jeans and leather jackets, provided the location for one of her shows. Let’s not forget though, that I once saw some lass called Adele play in the same room (when it was half the size it is now, following a revamp) for £5 and she did OK didn’t she?
What I learnt at that gig was several simple things. First, that Dua Lipa can do it live. She can sing, she can move and she’s got enough confidence to know that she doesn’t have to over try. Girls love her and so do the boys. The second thing I discovered was that she’s got a bundle of songs waiting to go that are better than Be The One. If she gets the radio play with them (and given her BBC Sound of vote, there’s an increased chance of that) they could actually be bona fide hits.
First out of the blocks of those potential hits is Last Dance, which finds Dua Lipa singing of grabbing the moment: “We could burn and crash, we could take a chance, holding nothing back, like it’s our last dance” she sings as the world explodes in a firework of pop glory. This one will make you oo and ah in exhileration. Embrace it.
Dua Lipa - Last Dance