Dua Lipa: Where Next For Pop’s Brightest Star?

It’s tricky to get the cogs of the British music industry churning in your favour at the best of times – particularly if you’re a woman. So when a pop star of Dua Lipa’s caliber detonates themselves across the charts with such multi-faceted appeal, it’s unsurprising that their following career footsteps are tracked with a hit-hungry microscope.

2017 was the year of the Lipa. As was 2016 in fact, with Dua’s first four singles – Last Dance, Be The One, Hotter Than Hell and Blow Your Mind (Mwah) – making relatively impressive dents in radio airwaves, on streaming services and in the minds of the public. She was one to keep your eye on.

After album delays and a limp team up with Miguel on single Lost In Your Light, Dua’s moment in the up-and-comer sunshine began to dwindle. And then, of course, along came New Rules. As 2017’s adaptation of the Ten Commandments, accompanied by a music video that encapsulates the essence of the Spice Girl’s Girl Power movement to a T, New Rules catapulted Dua into certain stardom. She became everyone’s favourite meme queen and a music mogul of the social media age, with a seeming ability to do no wrong.

Our effervescence for everything Lipa has, without doubt, continued on into 2018. Whilst her latest release IDGAF and accompanying music video don’t even venture close to the dizzying heights of greatness seen with New Rules, the release is still bowling over the critics and public alike and continues to gradually ascend the charts. Throw a record-breaking number of BRIT Award nominations (and, as of last night, 2 BRIT wins) into the mix, and 2018 is already shaping up to be a stellar year for the Dua – and we’re only a matter of weeks in.

But where do budding pop royals go once they’ve propelled their way to the top at such unprecedented speed, as though they’ve just downed a pint of Max Martin’s very own brew of Fizzy Lifting Drink? Do they rush-release a second album on the waning hype of the first, with the hope that one or two of the new singles will stick? Or do they take a few years off to perfectly craft a well-devised comeback? Or perhaps step away from the limelight, only returning once a year for an unbearably dull collaboration for the new Fifty Shades film? It’s a toughie.

Well, the Fifty Shades element is incoming, with Dua set to release a collaboration with Whethan for the cringe-inducing bondage fantasy film franchise in February. Then, with an impressive (and entirely deserved) FIVE nominations at this year’s BRIT awards, plus a live performance at the star-studded event itself, that “going away for a bit” thing doesn’t look imminent.

February looks set to be a glitzy affair in the life of the Lipa, but whatever next? What could or should happen once the woes of winter fade and summer comes around? A re-release of Hotter Than Hell so it can finally become the summer number 1 that it was destined to be? Release Be The One again in March, and then again in April, and then again every month until 2024? A re-release of her debut album Dua Lipa entitled Deux-a Lipa, but without that song with Chris Martin because, you know, there’s a little too much Chris Martin in the world already?

Here’s the ideal situation: an iconic, expertly choreographed performance at the BRITs, starting with New Rules. The same, real women from the original video. Real flamingos. A swimming pool placed neatly on the stage of the 02 Arena. Dua Lipa walks on water. Suddenly, forty Dua Lipas descend from the ceiling on firemen’s poles, ready to re-enact every last detail from the IDGAF music video. The crowd goes wild. She wins all of the awards she’s nominated for. She wins all of the awards she’s not nominated for. Ed Sheeran quits music. Girls Aloud immediately reform and release On The Metro.

But, in all seriousness, I think we may need a slight Dua-detox post-BRIT awards, before it all gets a little too Emeli Sandé-ish. Because let’s be completely honest – her debut album is a well-rounded collection of sugary, well-intentioned pop songs, with a couple of real standouts (hello, Genesis), but it’s, unfortunately, a far stretch from ground-breaking. And, for someone who seems to have been poised as the next big thing, we’ll need a little more than good intentions.

Peter Robinson, of Popjustice fame, argued this point tremendously during an exclusive interview with the radiator from the IDGAF single cover art. Dua Lipa is somewhat like Lady Gaga’s The Fame – a tremendous collection of pure poptastic pleasantries, but with little direction. It was on Gaga’s sort-of-second-album The Fame Monster that her entire artistic identity was refined, and this is the scenario that I’d love to see happen in the case of Ms Lipa.

Of course, that’s not to say that she should find herself emerging from a plastic coffin in a really clean public toilet (CC: Bad Romance) or teaming up with another pop behemoth to commit homicide in a local café (CC: Telephone). But a second offering could allow Dua Lipa to find her footing in the pop sphere and really, truly blow our minds (mwah).

There’s always a danger in having a hit so momentous at such an early stage in one’s career (ask Duffy). Said danger lies within an artist’s attempts (and an audience’s desire) for the hit to be replicated. If this backfires, what we’re left with is a sense of resentment, second-hand embarrassment and a “You’ll Never Guess What *BLANK* Looks Like Now!” article at the bottom of the MailOnline homepage five years down the line.

Basically, what I’m saying is, Dua Lipa needs to go away. Literally go away and leave us all alone. But not forever. Please, not forever. We need Dua Lipa. Dua Lipa is really really great. We just want Dua Lipa to be as great as Dua Lipa has the potential to be. We’ll be ready to welcome her (and a sparkly, Stargate, Greg Kurstin-infused sophomore album) with open arms in late 2019. How does this sound, Dua Lipa? Let me know.

Revisit our longread interview with Dua Lipa from last year right here.

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