Dua Lipa hints at "raw" third album inspired by personal experiences and UK culture

 (PR Handout)
(PR Handout)

When Dua Lipa released her single Houdini late last year, some fans immediately wondered if it could be paving the way to a follow-up to 2020’s Future Nostalgia. The escapist pop track, laden with analogue synthesisers and produced by Danny L Harle and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, certainly felt like it could be the first instalment of something larger; though it taps a similar nu-disco sound, the visuals seemed to point to a new chapter.

And it looks like a third record may be fast approaching, with the star also speaking about buying back the publishing rights to her own music.

“To be really quite honest, I can’t talk so much about the whole thing,” she told Rolling Stone. Though she was unable to give much detail for legal reasons, she did explain that she parted ways with her former management company TaP in 2022, and that a settlement allowed her to buy back her publishing rights. “Pay attention early on, especially in the business side of things… " she added, giving her advice for young artists. "I don’t think enough people tell young artists that. Everything feels so exciting in the beginning, and of course it is, but it’s good to have the knowledge, and good to take care of yourself.”

Though she stopped short of confirming a concrete title or release date for her next album, Dua Lipa offered up more detail on that long-awaited album three. In an interview, she hinted at a record that will take influence from cult British acts such as Primal Scream and Massive Attack, as well as UK rave culture, and the “don’t give a f**k-ness” of the Nineties Britpop scene.

“This record feels a bit more raw,” she said, of the unannounced new album. “I want to capture the essence of youth and freedom and having fun and just letting things happen, whether it’s good or bad. You can’t change it. You just have to roll with the punches of whatever’s happening in your life.”

She also added that the unnamed release draws heavily on her personal experiences. Though she didn’t open up about the specific details, Houdini certainly feels like an anthem about embracing the freedom that comes with being newly single.

Another unreleased song explores a kind of break-up that sometimes gets slightly less air-time in pop: the amicable split.

“When you have a feeling like that one, you feel really grown because you’re like, ‘Oh, whoa, I’m such an evolved human being that I can see my ex move on and feel good about it,’” she said. “I think I’ve had breakups in my life where I felt like the only kind of breakup you could have was when things just ended really badly,” she says. “Things ending in a nice way was such a new thing… It taught me a lot.”

Dating, I think overall, is just a little confusing,” she added elsewhere. “It’s either through friends of friends or people you trust where you can meet new people, because [dating] is not really so straightforward when you are, I guess, a public person.”

Elsewhere, she admitted that she was hurt by the 'girl, give us nothing' meme which cropped up earlier in her career, often below videos of Lipa looking relaxed or nonchalant, and poking fun at her supposed inability to dance.

"I did find that really hurtful, and I found it really painful because I was like, ‘I’m finally getting to do something that I love to do, and I’m being shut down, that I just can’t seem to do anything right,’” she said. “Not only that, but I was also being thrown around the world. Lots of promos, lots of rehearsing, lots of everything, and not having really time to perfect anything.”

Lipa’s third album has been in the works since 2021, with the star beginning work on it before touring for Future Nostalgia even began. As well as Don’t Start Now and New Rules co-writer Caroline Ailin, she has been collaborating with PC Music affiliated producer Danny L Harle, and the indie singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr, who is also known for his collaboration with Adele.