By Carlyn Soo

Radical Optimism: Dua Lipa Talks About Headlining Glastonbury And Dealing With The Haters

The wait is over: tune in to Radical Optimism, out on all streaming platforms.
Photo: Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1

The wait is over. After four excruciating years, Dua Lipa makes a triumphant return to the music scene with the release of her third studio album, Radical Optimism. This time, the British pop singer is experimenting with a new genre: 1970s psychedelia instead of the disco soundscape that she’s known for. The album amassed 20.5 million streams on Spotify on its release day and even surpassed Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department on the UK charts.

Lipa has come a long way as an artist. She embarked on her musical journey at the tender age of 15 when she secured a record deal with Warner Bros. She rose to fame in 2017 after dropping her eponymous debut album, Dua Lipa with singles such as “New Rules”, “Be The One” and “IDGAF” which became instant hits. Since then, she has achieved numerous accolades including seven Brit Awards and three Grammy Awards. Beyond her music endeavours, she was appointed as a global ambassador for YSL Beauty and made her acting debut in the Barbie movie. 

Next month, Lipa will achieve another significant milestone: headlining the Glastonbury festival. Once upon a time, she was just another face in the crowd of the UK’s biggest music festival. Now, she will take the spotlight as a performer. As the singer reflects on the opportunity, she reveals that it’s “all very surreal. Yeah, it’s just like—it’s my biggest dream.” 

Radical Optimism by Dua Lipa. Credit: Instagram/@dualipa

For the cover art of Radical Optimism, Dua Lipa is the picture of calm and composure as she takes a dip in the ocean while a shark looms just a feet away. The message here is clear: protect your peace even in dangerous waters. In an exclusive interview for Apple Music with Zane Lowe, the Grammy-award winner explains that Radical Optimism is all about “rolling with the punches of not letting anything get you down for too long, of always seeing the positive side of things, of being able to grow and move forward and change your perspective regardless of what’s happening in your life.”

Radical Optimism is also a philosophy that Lipa strongly resonates with, especially after encountering countless setbacks in her career. She experienced a wave of criticism after she clinched the Best New Artist Award at the 2019 Grammys. Many felt she was undeserving of the award because of her lack of stage presence. Worst yet, the pop star unwittingly became the subject of an internet meme after a video of her dance skills was circulated over social media.

Yet, Lipa doesn’t back down in the face of adversity. She reveals that the backlash “fueled me in a way.” Since then, she has worked tirelessly to improve her dance skills, determined to become a better version of herself. Earlier this year, she performed Houdini and Training Season from Radical Optimism at the 2024 Grammys which showcased an electrifying dance and vocal performance that captivated the crowd. 

After many years in the industry, the British pop star has now learned to protect her peace by tuning out the haters. Her ritual goes something like this: “Whenever I see or feel or read anything that goes against what I know is coming or what I’ve been doing or how hard I’ve been working or whatever it is, I just kind of take a step back and I just go, okay, all of this is background noise and I should just stick on my path.”

With that mindset, the Lipa has truly mastered the art of Radical Optimism.

Radical Optimism is now out on all streaming platforms.

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