Future Nostalgia is Dua Lipa’s second studio album, released on March 27, 2020. The album is a journey into the British singer-songwriter’s identity: musically, it’s pop meets retro dance music.

Confidence and growth

Dua Lipa arrived on the scene in 2017 with the homonym debut album Dua Lipa. She soon became an important British Act, along with other young artists such as Ed Sheeran, winning two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording. When the time came for her second album, the singer decided to take a different direction.

Compared to the first record where most tracks remained demo versions, Future Nostalgia was specifically put together. Confident about working with the people she already knew, Lipa started to build a mature and well-thought-out project. As she said, “I wanted to have the same strings in multiple songs, so the album feels cohesive, singing everything on the same mic… I felt I’ve grown and learnt a lot through it”.

Pop and retro dance music meet

“… I was thinking about the direction for this new record and I realized that I wanted to make something that felt nostalgic but had something fresh and futuristic about it too.”

The album is inspired by pop artists such as Gwen Stefani, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Blondie and Outkast. In Future Nostalgia, pop meets retro dance music. It is disco-oriented, maintaining a pop sensibility mixed with modern electronic elements.

Physical fits the retro-throwback theme. The track gives a fun shoutout to the homonym 1981 hit single by Olivia Newton-John.

Lastly the album concept became a whole with the official cover art and photoshoot by photographer Hugo Comte, who matched the retro-yet-futuristic theme.

Being a woman

The album tells the joys and sorrows of being a woman in this day and age.
The singer feels safer when people can relate to her lyrics. It is essential to Lipa that her music is honest and deals with real subjects and things that have happened. Being unfiltered, Dua covers various themes such as breakups, sexual relationships and female empowerment.

I know you ain’t used to a female alpha

With these lyrics, the first track Future Nostalgia breaks the gender norm and sets the mood for the entire album. The single Don’t start now is an empowering statement about being stronger than you think. It’s about moving on and not allowing anyone to get in the way of growth.

Don’t show up, don’t come out

Don’t start caring about me now

Socially engaged

Being the elder sibling of a Kosovo Albanian family, Lipa speaks openly in terms of things she believes in. She’s not afraid of talking about how important the fight for women’s rights is for her, she supports different charities and never retracts statements. In 2016 the singer started the Sunny Hills Foundation with her family. The charity is meant to help children from Kosovo develop artistic skills. Later in 2018, Lipa took part in the UNICEF Go Blue campaign in support of children’s rights. The singer’s will is to be honest and transparent through her music and actions. She aims to make people aware and put out positive messages.

The album success

Future Nostalgia garnered the acclaim of both fans and critics. It earned six nominations at the 63rd Grammy Awards, winning top place for Best Pop Vocal Album.

In May 2021, the 26-year-old singer won two Brit awards, while also winning recognition on the Time 100 Next List (2021). With a fun and upbeat tempo, the album is a manifestation of who Dua Lipa is, a confident and independent young woman who is not afraid of standing up for herself.