Dua Lipa Reveals She’s Been Planning ‘Radical Optimism’ Since Before Her First Album Came Out

Dua Lipa‘s Radical Optimism has been a long, long time coming. In the 28-year-old pop star’s TIME cover story published Monday (April 15), she revealed that she’s been planning out her new album for years — before she even made her musical debut, in fact. 


“Since I was very little, I’ve jotted down things I dreamt for myself,” she told the publication. “I’ve always planned ahead. Although surprises arise that I evaluate in the moment, there’s always a long-term goal.” 

One of those goals was Radical Optimism, which she’s been conceptualizing since before her self-titled debut record arrived in 2017. “I remember when I was working on my first album, I was making notes on what my third album was going to be,” she revealed. “It’s mad to think about, but I remember speaking to my close friend and A&R Joe [Kentish], ‘Maybe album three, I could work with [Tame Impala’s] Kevin Parker,’ and he was like, ‘Alright, hold your horses, let’s take baby steps.’” 

By the time she was three albums deep into her career, she’d hoped that “maybe I’d be deserving to be in a room with an artist I so deeply admire and look up to,” Lipa recalled thinking at the time. 

Seven years later, Radical Optimism‘s collaborators include Parker as well as Caroline Ailin, Danny L Harle and Tobias Jesso Jr. Led by singles “Houdini,” “Training Season” and “Illusion,” the 11-track set arrives May 3. 

“The record as a whole is more mature,” the Grammy winner said of the new project. “I’m definitely not the same person I was when I wrote my first album. I’ve evolved and learned so much … taking it as it comes, not seeing anything as bad or something as a setback. That involves a lot of growing and understanding myself, knowing my worth, whether it be in business, love, or friendship.” 

“I’m just a different person, so of course this record is going to be different,” she added. “I have different thoughts, wants, needs and perspectives. I’ve done a 180 on myself … I feel the most confident at this point in my life.” 

The new interview comes one day after Saturday Night Live announced that the “Levitating” singer would be serving as both the host and musical guest for the show’s May 4 episode. Sharing the news on Instagram, Lipa wrote, “DOUBLE DUTY DUA!!!!!!!!” 

The Argylle star also recently dropped the summery music video for her third Radical Optimism single “Illusion,” filmed at the Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Spain, with dancers, high divers and synchronized swimmers. “It’s about knowing what you’re getting yourself into, but staying for the hell of it,” she said of the track in a statement at the time.  

“The joke’s on them,” she added. “It’s the fun of playing someone at their own game because ultimately you won’t fall for an illusion.” 

See Dua Lipa’s TIME cover and photos below:

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