[F]ollowing a show in Finland, Dua Lipa has just landed back in London for a precious two days in her hometown and the rare chance to sleep in her own bed. A quick scroll through her Instagram reveals that in the last few weeks she’s been in Australia, America, and across most of Europe and Scandinavia, so it’s little surprise that two days at home is a treat.
Life on the road is something that the 21-year-old singer has had to get used to though; this year her feet have barely touched the ground. And while she may be everyone’s hot tip for pop stardom in 2017, Dua is no overnight success story – she has been honing her craft since she was a teenager.
Dua was born in London to Albanian Kosovan parents and when she was 11 the family moved back to Kosovo, but at the age of 15 she made the move back to the big smoke, solo. “I was singing in school in Kosovo and it was always something that I wanted to do but I felt like the only way I could do anything on a more global scale was if I went back to London,” she says. “There just weren’t enough opportunities in Kosovo.”
Several years (of balancing school with retail jobs and posting YouTube covers) later she wound up scoring a record deal with Warner and sharing a management team with Lana Del Rey – and yes, the comparisons are tired now. Singles “New Love”, “Be The One” and “Last Dance” followed, all characterised by Dua’s whisky-tinged voice, but it was breakthrough belter “Hotter than Hell” that cracked the UK Top 20 this summer. And with an album on the horizon at the beginning of next year, it’s a good thing that Dua’s biggest fear is “not being busy”, because trust us, that ain’t happening any time soon.