Today’s star of the Classical in Conversation blog is a woman who has become a household name over the last 7 years. She’s been busy creating hit after hit during that time, from “Hotter Than Hell”, to “New Rules”, to “Don’t Start Now” – it’s Dua Lipa!

Awards and Accolades!

Born and raised in West Hampstead, Dua Lipa is of Kosovo Albanian descent, and of Muslim heritage. She started out learning to play the cello in school and auditioned for a part in the choir, only to be told that she couldn’t sing… It’s safe to say that teacher is probably eating their words by now.

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After co-writing “Hotter Than Hell”, Lipa was signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2014, but it wasn’t until 2017 that her debut album was released into the world. It turned out to be a really good year for her career, with multiple singles from the album achieving chart success, including “Be The One”, “IDGAF” and of course, “New Rules”. In fact, “New Rules” went all the way to the top spot, making Dua Lipa the first female solo artist to reach number one in the UK since Adele in 2015. To top it all off, Lipa was named Spotify’s most streamed woman in the UK for 2017.

In 2018, Lipa teamed up with Calvin Harris on the song, “One Kiss”. It was an enormous success, peaking at number one and becoming the year’s longest running number one single by a female artist, as well as THE biggest selling song in the UK for that entire year. 2018 saw this strong female artist receive the Brit Award for British Female Solo Artist, as well as British Breakthrough Act. What an achievement!

And the awards didn’t stop there. 2019 saw her collaborate with Silk City (hey, Mark Ronson!) on a track called “Electricity” which was a huge success. The track earned Dua Lipa the Grammy Award for Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording.

Dua Lipa X RSL Classical Violin

Despite all her awards and accolades, you might be wondering what an artist like Dua Lipa is doing on a Violin syllabus? It’s a fair question to be asked, but when creating RSL Classical Violin, we couldn’t possibly downplay the role of strings within the nu-disco genre. Often string parts in this genre are full of stabs, slides and long, expansive counter-melodies which bring a load of extra dimension and often a nice contrast to what’s going on in the rhythm section. Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” is no exception! The song requires a lot of energy to keep up the momentum, and a strong sense of pulse is necessary to capture the dance groove. With these things in place, you’ll be able to tackle the various syncopated rhythms with conviction. You’ll have so much fun exploring this genre and getting to grips with all the techniques required. We can’t wait to hear your fantastic renditions!

Her second studio album, Future Nostalgia, was released in 2020 and became her first to reach the number one spot. It earned her six Grammy Award nominations, including the mega categories, Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. She successfully grabbed the 2021 Brit Awards for British Female Solo Artist and British Album of the Year – woah!

Fun fact: despite the huge success of the album, Future Nostalgia holds the record for having the lowest week-one sales whilst at the top of the chart in the modern era. It sold a mere 7,317 copies in that week. It’s interesting to see how the landscape of musical success is changing, as we’ve all seen the move from physical purchases to a streaming system.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about this brilliant artist, and that you’re looking forward to giving those pop string parts a go! Dua Lipa joins John Williams, Germaine Tailleferre and Nikki Iles on the RSL Classical Violin Grade 5 syllabus which is being released within the next few weeks. Keep your eyes peeled!