Albanian girls are taking over the airwaves these days. Bebe Rexha's "Me, Myself & I" and Rita Ora's "Black Widow" collaborations spotlighted their voices and brought them front and center.
Now the newest artist to come out of southeast Europe is Dua Lipa. She grew up in London but left and returned to become a singer. She posted YouTube covers of Christina Aguilera and Nelly Furtado that were noticed by Warner Bros. Records. The label released a few singles of hers, such as "Hotter than Hell" and "Blow Your Mind ( Mwah )," landing her on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. One of her bigger hits is "Be the One."
Her debut solo album is set to be released next year in February.
Windy City Times: Start off with your history. You are Albanian?
Dua Lipa: My parents are originally from Kosovo [which has a large population of Albanians]. I was born and raised in London.
WCT: Do you know Bebe Rexha and Rita Ora?
DL: I do know Rita. I didn't know Bebe was Albanian until very recently. It was in another interview that I became aware of that.
WCT: Have you been doing a lot of appearances surrounding Lollapalooza?
DL: Yes, it has been a lot of fun. This is my first time in Chicago and my first time doing Lolla. It is my first time doing an American festival. It has been really good.
WCT: Do you still model?
DL: Modeling was a tiny little thing I did in my life to make some extra cash. I did that when I was 15 years old for about a year. They told if I wanted to do it seriously that I needed to lose a lot of weight. That was not what I wanted to do. There were a lot of other things that came with it that I didn't want to be a part of.
WCT: So you moved into music?
DL: I was placing covers online at the same time so the modeling was to make friends and get my music out there.
WCT: Would you like to try acting?
DL: I would love to. At the moment I am focusing on my music. I want to get myself across as an artist. That is what I have been working on for awhile. I wouldn't mind doing a movie, though.
WCT: Have you heard from any people you have done covers from?
DL: I haven't met anyone yet. I would like to meet Chance the Rapper. I am obsessed with him.
WCT: He's always here being from Chicago.
DL: And what a place to meet him…
WCT: How was covering Christina Aguilera?
DL: I was 15. I introduced myself and said, "This is my cover of 'Ain't No Other Man,' by Christina Aguilera." It was so embarrassing, but really fun.
WCT: Is your voice considered an alto?
DL: It is lower than most girls can go normally but I can't go as high as some of them can.
WCT: Where does your style come from?
DL: This is just festival getup. I wear collars and bling. Everything is '90s inspired. Who doesn't love a choker and fishnet tights? I usually put glitter on my eyes but it was too hot!
WCT: Was the "New Love" video as fun to make as it looks?
DL: It was so much fun. It is definitely one of my favorite videos that I have shot. It was just a whole day of doing loads of crazy things around. It was renegade style with whatever happens happens. We just went with the flow and none of it was planned. We went up into the hills and there were three guys in white suits. I asked them to dance for me in the video and they said, "Absolutely!"
WCT: Are you touring more this year?
DL: I am touring festivals at the moment. I start my own European tour in October. I am touring with Troye Sivan in November for the second leg of his tour. I am very excited and looking forward to it. I love his music and feel very honored to get to tour with him.
WCT: It was nice to see an out musician like him play at House of Blues recently. We need to get you to perform at the gay bars.
DL: Please. One of my London shows I played at Heaven and it was so good. It was the best time ever. I did a night at G-A-Y after. I love gay bars so I am ready!
Follow this budding new artist at DuaLipa.com .