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Interview with Dua Lipa: "Hotter Than Hell dictated what my sound was going to be"

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Interview with Dua Lipa: "Hotter Than Hell dictated what my sound was going to be"
M.A.C. Cosmetics' latest trio of leading ladies includes Dua Lipa, the British-Albanian singer that's about to make it big with her debut album in June

At first glance, it's no doubt that Dua Lipa is hotter than hell. The 21-year-old possesses the full-lipped, dark-haired stylings of actress and model Emily Ratajkowski, with coquettish eyes that also promise a bite. But the former model's voice is something else. Drawing early comparisons to Lana Del Rey (they share a manager, Ben Mawson) and Sia, her vocals soar on chart-toppers Hotter Than Hell and Be The One — pop anthems that reflect Lipa's smart, independent and unabashedly outspoken persona. The Londoner defines what the future is going to sound like if it's destined to be female: Fiercely strong.

It's this strength that saw M.A.C. Cosmetics pick Lipa to be part of their M.A.C. Future Forward collection, a line of products co-created by leading ladies. The makeup brand is well-versed on picking the right singers to front their campaigns: Halsey, Tinashe, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera are among their list of favourites. This time, Justine Skye and Lee Hi join the pack with the former co-creating a purple highlighter and the latter contributing a matte red lipstick. Lipa seems to have crafted a product that's a forecast for her 2017: Bright, glossy and iridescent in a clear lip gloss.

The year has already gotten off to a good start, with the singer nabbing the European Borders Breaker Award, Public Choice Award and Best Newcomer of the year Award all in one night. She was also nominated for Critics' Choice at the Brit Awards, which totals to a healthy push towards the build-up of her debut album. A self-titled record that's expected to be released in June, it'll include more collaborations and floor-fillers. Currently on her North American tour, Lipa squeezed in some time to talk about her collaboration with M.A.C.  

Musically, you've worked with the likes of Sean Paul and Martin Garrix, and now with M.A.C. Cosmetics on another industry altogether. Why do you seek out collaborations?
Having the opportunity to work as a team is always so much fun. Bringing together two different worlds and coming up with something great, be it music, fashion, or makeup is very rewarding for me. You always learn from each other and there's something great that comes from solid partnerships.

It might be hard to choose your favourite track from the upcoming album, but can you name one track that was truly a labour of love, what would it be?
Hotter Than Hell is one of those songs that really came from the heart and dictated what my sound was going to be. It originated from a very honest place, and I think that resonated well and ultimately played a role in getting my career started and getting signed.

You have more than 700,000 followers on Instagram. What sort of pressures or responsibilities do you think young female artists such as yourself face in this social media age, and how do you ride them out?
Both M.A.C. and I believe in empowerment and strive to make people feel strong through art. I think this is the main reason the collaboration makes sense.

What do you think your personal fashion and makeup styles say about yourself and your music?
The one thing I love about makeup is there are so many opportunities. You can always play around with products, textures, and colours allowing you to constantly experiment. One thing I've discovered is that less is more and you don't need to put a lot on to make yourself look beautiful.

The new Future Forward collection, featuring a limited edition trio: Lee Hi's deep red matte lipstick, Dua Lipa's Cremesheen Glass multi-pearl gloss and Justine Skye's iridescent powder
What did you learn about this collaboration with M.A.C., and why choose a lip gloss?
I learned how to create a product that represents my style and me meticulously. A glittery gloss is something I love, and it's the mixture of my style, which I define as cool but at the same time, glamorous.

Music can be equal parts inspiring and serve as a tool to connect to fans on an emotional level. How do you think your collaboration with a beauty brand like M.A.C. can do the same?

My goal is for my music to make people feel empowered, and similarly makeup can sometimes make me feel invincible. I hope that on some level that's how this collaboration affects my fans and fans of M.A.C. Together, we wanted to create a product that delivered natural beauty with a touch of femininity. This clear gloss has a multi-pearl payoff with a creamy high shine, forming the perfect combination of confidence, rebellion, and sexy coolness. 

Listen to Dua Lipa on Spotify here

Adibah Isa

  • Image: Getty Images

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