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Dua Lipa | Audacy Check In | 5.3.24

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To celebrate the release of her highly anticipated third album, Radical OptimismDua Lipa checked in with Audacy’s Mike Adam at the Hard Rock Hotel in New York to talk about getting the album's cover shot, her Service95 platform, and more.

Jumping right into the deep end (pun very much intended), Dua divulged some details about the tranquil yet dangerous album cover.

“We shot all the images for the album on film, and so I was waiting a little while for them all to get developed to kind of see what was gonna come out,” Dua shared. “And I remember when I saw this picture,”  of herself wading in the ocean’s deep waters, just feet away from a shark, “it immediately said radical optimism to me.”

“'Cause in my head, it's so much about moving gracefully through the chaos, you know, having that flare of optimism when things aren't going right. The idea that remaining calm and graceful while there's a shark nearby, like nothing screams radical optimism to me more than that. So that felt very fitting for the album cover to also encapsulate the meaning of the songs.”

Praising her platform Service95, Mike noted that through it we get to see another side of Dua we don't necessarily see from the music. And further inquired how she plans on expanding on that as the years go on.

“As it stand and something that I want to continue the newsletter and commissioning stories from all around the world,” Dua expressed. “I would love… to go deeper into production, whether that's film or TV. I just co-produced a documentary about Camden in London, which is going to come out at the end of May on Disney+.”

Dua continued, “That was my first taste of getting into something like that, and I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes so much, so I’d like to do more of that.” Adding, “and I feel like Service95 really ties me to all of that.”

"And my book club, it's the same,” Dua lastly mentioned, “maybe publishing in print, or something like that for other authors. We'll see, I have big dreams for it.”

If you didn’t already know, those stories Dua shares on Service95 can be heard via podcast interviews, a part of Service95 that required Lipa to add interviewer to her resume. Talking about how she honed in and developed that skill, Dua said, “allowing yourself to be vulnerable in the moment and open makes you good at it.”

“For me it was important that at no point did any of my guests feel like they were about to get called out or whatever. It's like asking them questions that really are of service. I guess maybe [it’s] a bit of a hidden talent, but it's hard work. Doing what you do, there's so much research and time that goes into it with every single guest. I respect it a lot. It's a real craft.”

Opening up about how she approaches asking her guests questions, Dua shared, “I have my set questions, but I love going off piece, like naturally depending on where the conversation goes, whether it's leading into like transcendental meditation and how that helped somebody in their mental health journey or whatever it is. When those off pieced questions come along, that's when I know I'm really in it because it's a real conversation rather than just question and question-and-answer kind of thing.”

When it comes to pre-interview jitters Dua admitted “I get nervous before all of them, because it’s so out of my comfort zone to interview someone, you know to be on the other side of the interview. So I get nervous every time and I wanna do a good job.” Adding, “It’s quite  interesting when somehow it ends up [with] me being interviewed or something. I remember doing a conversation with Esther Perel and she kept asking me questions back and I was like, ‘Whoa, this a new experience,’ which I enjoyed.”

Moving on to discussing how Dua’s father has also become the singer’s manager, a role he took on in 2022. Lipa joked how it was “very kind” of him to “take me on as a client.” Sharing a bit about their dynamic with this added element to their relationship, Dua expressed, “we've had hangout time where we could just be boys basically and then we work time, and that was always there before he was my manager.” Adding, “he’d always be my soundboard and someone who I'd go to for advice. So now it's perfect 'cause we just get even more time together, but we make sure that not everything's about work.”

As a proud Albanian, a part of Dua’s identity any real fan already knows, Dua talked about how representing for and doing right by the Albanian community comes as second nature. “It's something that comes easily to me," the singer expressed. "I lived in Kosovo, I go there every year, we do a festival, all those things are just such a big part of my life. It’s a community that gave me so much, but I don't see it as a pressure, it’s more just a very natural flow.”

Radical Optimism is now available everywhere

Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Mike Adam

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