Dua Lipa's "Training Season" is over

Dua Lipa is now a band (or almost)

Don't call her Dua Lipa anymore, but “the Dua Lipa”. At least for one album, this “Radical optimism”. She jokes, but not too much. What the 28-year-old pop star of Kosovan origins, 283 platinum records won worldwide in seven years of career, will ship in stores and on streaming platforms this Friday, four years after “Future nostalgia”, it's not a singer's album, but a band's album Conceived, written, arranged and produced truly like a group album.

And what a group. Usual, at least in the past, to work with a plethora of producers and hitmakers (in the credits of “Future nostalgia” there were 10 producers for 11 tracks, in those of the eponymous debut album of 2017 even 14 producers for 12 pieces), this time Dua Lipa has chosen to change her working method, .building a small team of highly selected collaborators at the head of which he placed that genius of Kevin Parkerborn in 1986, mind of the Tame Impala, among the musicians who have redefined indie rock of the last fifteen years by mixing synth pop and psychedelia. The voice of “Don't start now” had very clear ideas about the ideal successor to “Future nostalgia”. He wanted to feel like part of a group in all respects: “Ever since I started making music, I've always dreamed of one day headlining Glastonbury – I thought about it every single day in the studio.“, tells.

The “Radical optimism” team

In the songs that make up “Radical optimism” there is as much of Kevin Parker's work – in addition to taking care of the production he also played bass, guitars, keyboards, percussion and programming – as that of Danny L Harle34 year old British musician considered a point of reference on the London scene (in the past he worked with Caroline Polachek), who supported his colleague in the production of the songs and played here on synthesizers and keyboards. They also participated in the writing of the songs Tobias Jesso Jr. of which in 2015 Adele recorded “When we were young” (then she also signed “Hunger” by Florence and the Machine, “Hallelujah” by Haim, “Boyfriends” by Harry Styles, among others) and

Caroline Ailin (alongside Dua Lipa since the days of “New rules” and “Don't start now”, the hits that launched her). Here it is, the “Radical optimism:” teamListening to the album is like watching our studio sessions. We made the whole album in a recording studio in London, in the Kensal Rise neighborhood, which became my home for a year and a half – he explained on the Zach Sang Show podcast, on YouTube – I went to the studio every day at 9 in the morning. At 11am we started the sessions and I stayed there until 9pm. We were all together in the same room: it was wonderful to have the energy of all the people who contributed to the making of the album”.

Kevin Parker's role in Dua Lipa's breakthrough

Kevin Parker is no stranger to collaborations with pop stars. In the past the Australian multi-instrumentalist has worked with Rihanna (he had a hand in “Same ol' mistakes”, contained in “Anti” of 2016), Lady Gaga (she chose her “Perfect illusion” as the lead single from “Joanne” , also in 2016), Kali Uchis (“Tomorrow”, contained in “Isolation”), Mark Ronson (they worked together on “Find u again”, sung by Camila Cabello in the producer's “Late night feelings” album) and The Weeknd (the interlude “Repeat after me” from “After Hours” is his). This, however, it was the first time he found himself working on an entire album: “When I started doing this work, I was dealing with writers and producers who had been doing this work much longer than I had.

It suited me: I was a little girl who finally realized her dream, that of singing, performing, writing songs. But I didn't really know the process that leads to having an idea, creating a song and singing it around the world – says Dua Lipa, talking about the turning point – now I know what I want. .I don't want to get stuck in the cycle of trying to repeat the success of something that was successful, because, as the word says, it happened.. It's easy to get stuck in this cycle if something you did was successful, because your mind says, 'Okay, I need to replicate this.' Take my first album. There were 'New rules', 'One kiss', 'Electricity'. I had to distance myself from all that to create something new. And now I've done it again to create something new.”

The first song written with “the band”

The first single from the album was “Houdini”, last November: a nu-disco piece seasoned with a pinch of psychedelia with an intro with dystopian synthesizers à la The Weeknd (and a video that paid homage to Madonna's “Hung up”). But the first song born from the “Radical Optimism” sessions was “Illusion”, the single currently on the radio, which arrived after “Training season”: “Musically this song kicked off this album and was the first one I wrote with 'the band'. The album as a whole is more mature. Honestly, I think I'm not the same person I was when I wrote the first album. I have evolved and learned many things. I have different thoughts, desires, needs and visions”.

Speaking about the approach in the studio, Dua Lipa says: “It all started with a conversation, then Danny or Kevin would start playing the synthesizer or drums, creating a pattern, while me, Caroline and Tobias tried to give substance to the idea we wanted. develop in the text. We wrote every day, really working as a band.” This is how eight of the eleven songs included in “Radical optimism” were born. The three exceptions are “.These walls” (on which the pop star worked together with Andrew Wyatt: there was his signature in “Shallow”, the song from “A star is Born” with which Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper won the Oscar for “Best Original Song” in 2019, a feat that Wyatt risked repeating this time year with “I'm just Ken”, from the “Barbie” soundtrack) and “Falling forever” And “Anything for love” (both born from the collaboration with Ian Kirkpatrickalready alongside Dua Lipa for “Don't start now” and “New rules”).

The summer tour (which will not pass through Italy): the training season is over

“Radical optimism” it is the first album that Dua Lipa releases as her own manager after her divorce, in 2022, from TaP Music, the management company that launched her and made her a star. The singer-songwriter, who has just founded her own company, Radical22, on the album cover she is immersed in water and is stung by a shark, who however looks defiantly: “A couple of years ago a friend introduced me to the term 'Radical optimism'.

It's a concept that struck me and intrigued me more and more. I started playing with it and incorporating it into my life. I was struck by the idea of ​​walking through chaos with grace and feeling able to weather any storm. At the same time, I found myself looking at the music history of psychedelia, trip hop and Britpop. He always seemed so confidently optimistic, and this honesty and attitude is a feeling I brought into my recording sessions.” The .summer tour which will leave on June 5th from Berlin does not currently foresee passages in Italy: the closest dates are June 9th in Pula, Croatia, and June 12th and 13th in Nimes, France. The training season, to quote the individual, is over.