The ‘Female Alpha’ of Modern Pop: Dua Lipa


Amaia Torres, Writer

The opinions, viewpoints, and beliefs expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the opinions, viewpoints, or beliefs of the Titan Times newspaper, Tuscarora High School or Frederick County Public Schools.


      “I know you’re dying trying to figure me out.” Dua Lipa sings on her title track Future Nostalgia, which is also the title of her sophomore album released on March 27, 2020. 


       The 24-year old singer gained global recognition when she released her smash single “New Rules” in summer of 2017, five days after the release of her first self-titled album. The summer hit gained 2 billion views making her the youngest female artist to reach a billion views , spent 46 weeks on the Billboard Pop Song Chart, and awarded her 1 billion streams on the music streaming platform Spotify, making her the second female artist to get 1 billion streams on one song. In 2018, Dua Lipa won a Grammy for Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording for her song with Silk City “Electricity”. 


      During her rise to the top, people were posting videos of Lipa across social media platforms showcasing her lack of stage presence and energy during her performances. Resulting in people discrediting her abilities as a performer. Insert the Future Nostalgia Era. 


    Dua introduced us to her new project with the releases of “Future Nostalgia” and “Don’t Start Now” on December 13, 2019. To be frank, I gave Future Nostalgia a listen and as a stand alone song it didn’t even have a chance but “Don’t Start Now” did. The single peaked at #3 on the iTunes chart and #2 on Billboard Top 10. 


    Her songs, “Don’t Start Now”, “Break My Heart”, and “Physical”  re-introduced the sound of 80’s synth and power pop and 70’s disco to the modern age. Clearly by the title track “Physical”, you can clearly see the homage to Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” from 1981. 


   “Good in Bed” makes me reminiscent of Lily-Allen and her work in the early 2000’s and “Cool” was one of the weakest songs on the album, although it did resemble something a seventeen year old girl living in the 90’s would write in her diary, it didn’t really have a lasting effect due to it being sandwiched between two dance-pop hits “Don’t Start Now” and “Physical”. 


“Hallucinate” and “Love Again” have a Madonna-esque sound to it with “Love Again” having a resemblance to “Hung Up On You’’ and “Hallucinate” giving “Vogue” a run for its money as a night-club song. 


“Break My Heart” samples 1987’s “Need You Tonight” by INXS but Dua Lipa’s take on it makes me forget it was even sampled.  The beginning rap of “Levitating” was inspired by Debbie Harry’s horrible rap on Blondie’s “Rapture”, yet again Lipa made it better. 


   Although it carries a strong and relevant message, “Boys Will Be Boys” didn’t carry the nostalgia and warmth given by the rest of the songs. 


   Future Nostalgia lives up to its name. Dua brought the sounds from past decades and added her own flare to it allowing it to be enjoyed and differentiating itself from present music. The 11-track album will transport you to the dance floor of any 80’s nightclub when you’re actually just making weird hand movements in your room.