'This is a whole new set of emotions': Dua Lipa gears up for Glastonbury

'This is a whole new set of emotions': Dua Lipa gears up for Glastonbury

Dua Lipa is expecting “a whole different set of emotions” ahead of her first Glastonbury headline performance.

Lipa topped the charts with Radical Optimism - her first No.1 album on debut and her highest weekly sale to date - shortly after starring on the cover of Music Week, and tonight sees the arrival of what promises to be the biggest moment of her career so far.

The star told Music Week about how she willed her headline slot into existence before her career had even taken off, writing a note to herself that she wanted to headline Glastonbury by the time her third record came around.

Tonight, her wish will come true as she takes to the stage ahead of fellow headliners Coldplay and SZA.

“It's amazing to be up there, to be put at the top, to headline Glasto,” she told Music Week. “We’ve just got to keep supporting women and pushing them to that degree so they can see it's possible.”

“Since the very beginning, Glastonbury has been the pinnacle for me,” Lipa said. “It's my favourite festival. I love the sense of community and the world that you're in for those days that you're there, there's nothing quite like it. And any song I've ever made, when I hear it back, I'm like, ‘How's this gonna sound at Glastonbury?’ That's always been my barometer for how good a song ist, that's the place I envision and to get to headline is just absolutely surreal.” 

Lipa also thanked Emily Eavis “for the trust she has put in me”.

“It's definitely the biggest show of my life,” she said. “So, I'm, I'm gonna make sure I don't fuck it up.”

To celebrate Dua Lipa’s Pyramid Stage appearance, we present an exclusive extract from our cover interview.

How have you approached preparing for your Pyramid set?
“In terms of musical direction, we’ve really gone through the show and the stage design, changing little bits, adding samples here and there, ideas, what we think could be there… I like to put in as much rehearsal time as possible to make sure I give myself that space so when I get up on stage I just feel good about the performance and performing. I’ll try to shed some of the adrenaline before, but I think it will be impossible. By the time Glastonbury comes it’s going to be a whole new set of emotions.”

Now you have Radical Optimism to draw from too. Do you feel the vibe of the album means it lends itself to a Glastonbury set?
“I was in a room with my friends who I just could be so open and free and myself with. So it was very fun, we laughed a lot and there were tears too. With my previous records, whatever I would write on that day would probably end up being the thing that I would record in the end from the demo. Whereas this album, I went and rewrote it so many times because every time I would go back to that, I'd be like, ‘Actually, I'm not really feeling this way anymore.’ And I think how you feel 24 hours after you've put something onto paper is very different to how you feel a month later, so the songs were ever-changing. I'm happy that I had the courage to just keep going back. Before I used to think that that one idea was the best idea. Whereas this time I was so much more willing to just keep digging to get better.”

You have Dance The Night in your locker too… How do you reflect on making that song?
“I was working on my album while I was doing my tour. And then Mark [Ronson] asked me to do the Barbie song, so then I had to carve out time… We also said, ‘Maybe let's try and write for Radical Optimism,’ but Barbie just took over so any time we spent together, we worked on Barbie and then when I came back to London, I worked on my album. I was dipping into so many different worlds wearing so many different hats, but it made it exciting. It was a crazy year.”

We’ve just got to keep supporting women and pushing them to that degree so they can see it's possible

Dua Lipa

What does the song mean to you now?
“It's just such a feelgood song, but it's also about resilience. It was so fun to create a song that was tailored for a purpose, which I'd never really done before. You know, when I'm in the studio, you kind of invite the muse and you go, ‘I hope she shows up and we create something out of nothing.’ Whereas we had a very clear assignment. And it was very unique to work in that way. And I really enjoyed it, it was a massive learning experience and something I'd like to do more of, for sure. I really enjoyed writing for film. It was also the last disco-y thing that I was going to do for a while. I might do something else in the future. But that was my final hurrah of the Future Nostalgia era.”

It’s safe to say Glastonbury is the biggest moment since you launched Radical22 and formally announced your new management set up with your dad. Is this a time to stop and think about how far you’ve come together?
“It's wonderful, honestly. My dad's my best friend, we have such an open dialogue, I can talk to him about anything. He comes to me for advice, I go to him for advice. We discuss everything and I think that's why I feel like I'm in control of my career so much because there's not a single email or thing that we wouldn't sit down and talk about. Everything is together and I love that. There are so many things to look forward to.”

Has your relationship changed since it became official?
“Honestly, no. We see each other even more than we saw each other [before] and we saw each other a lot - I spend a lot of time with my family. And now when we see each other in a work sense, it's like, ‘Alright, dad’s coming over…’ But it's great. We don't talk about work when it's just family time, or just us hanging out. And then we love talking about work. I think we're both also serious workaholics and we really thrive on being busy, so we bounce off each other in that way, which is great.”

You’ve been in the music industry for a while now, how do you deal with the various pressures it presents?
“Well, I'm in the music industry by trade, it's my job. But I just do my job and I leave. I dip in, I do my thing, and I dip out, and I think that's important. Two things can exist at the same time and that is what keeps me sane and allows me to have normal experiences. I love my job, I love that I get to do music, but It's not what defines me completely, and I'm happy about that. I like having that duality and music being a big part of my life and the way I choose to express myself, but I don't think I should base my whole existence on being a musician. I just don't reflect on it in that way. It's my job, I wake up every morning, I do it and I love it. But it's my job. [Laughs]. I'm doing what I love and touring the world and seeing different places and having these incredible experiences and I get to do that because of my job. I'm having the time of my life.”

Subscribers can read the Dua Lipa cover interview, featuring Warner Records president Joe Kentish, here.

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