Dua Lipa had everything planned for 2020: a new album, tours, travelling… and then it was all taken away. She tells Melissa Giannini how lockdown made her reassess everything.
This is not the way this summer was meant to go. Not for any of us. But particularly not for Dua Lipa, the biggest pop star on the planet right now. Her much-anticipated second album Future Nostalgia was planned for release on 3 April – and it followed in the footsteps of her self-titled first, it was going to be become the hear-it-everywhere-you-go sound of 2020. Except, suddenly, nobody was going anywhere.
In early spring, Lipa returned home to London from a trip to Australia to find her flat flooded and in need of total renovation. She moved into an Airbnb with her boyfriend, Anwar Hadid and, shortly afterwards, learnt that her album had leaked. She brought the release forward, to 27 March, and launched it into a world going into isolation. Her team’s meticulously planned rollout, her plans for the next six months – live TV performances, a stadium tour, festival gigs – went out the window.
So, she did what anyone would do: she refocused and started meditating. ‘The pink supermoon gave me lots of clarity,’ Lipa says, when we talk (over Zoom, of course). ‘It was really nice to sit and meditate and set my good intentions.’ Far from giving into the frustration of thwarted plans, she seems to have enjoyed the enforced pause, not least the unexpected time with her boyfriend of less than a year. ‘We’ve made the most of the situation,’ she says. ‘I’d probably have been planning to go on tour, and thinking about when we’d be able see each other. Having all that extra time was really nice. We’re trying to see the bright side,’ she says with a smile, briefly glancing to her left. Suddenly, a hand that I can only assume belongs to Hadid – model and brother to Bella and Gigi – appears in my Zoom window, offering a friendly wave.