Online spectacle from Dua Lipa

Expect to see a roller disco, a rocker's hangout and aerialists at the British pop singer's online concert on Saturday

Pop singer Dua Lipa (above).
Pop singer Dua Lipa (above).PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

It had seemed like 2020 would be another fantastic year for British pop singer Dua Lipa.

Future Nostalgia, her sophomore album launched in March, became her first No. 1 album in Britain and went to the top in other countries including Australia and New Zealand.

Then the pandemic put a stop to travel and live performances. A tour to promote the album, originally scheduled to take place across Europe in the middle of the year, has now been postponed to late next year.

Instead, the two-time Grammy winner is staging an online concert on Saturday for her global fans.

"Unfortunately, it can't be a live audience," she says. "But I'm excited because life has felt somewhat normal, being able to go into rehearsals, being able to dance with my dancers."

Dressed in a pink T-shirt and an oversized colourful jacket, the singer was cheerfully fielding questions from media all across Asia in a recent Zoom press conference.

The 25-year-old, whose hit song Don't Start Now won Favourite Song - Pop/Rock at the American Music Awards on Monday, is pulling out all the stops to make the show a memorable one for fans starved of her live gigs.

It will be live-streamed from a warehouse in East London and will feature several custom-built sets that will replicate, among other things, a roller disco, a surreal television show set, a rave and a rocker's hangout.

Doing the online gig is like having one's own television show and can be more flexible than doing live concerts, she says.

"In an arena show, there's only so much you can do there to make sure the audience is getting everything, whereas when you have a camera follow you around all these crazy sets, the possibilities are really endless."

She has several guest stars lined up, from fellow pop star American singer Miley Cyrus to acclaimed British singer-songwriter FKA Twigs.

Taking inspiration from Future Nostalgia's songs, the vibe and aesthetics of the concert are a mixture of retro and futuristic styles.

Besides dancers, Lipa will also be accompanied by skaters, aerialists and acrobats.

In the absence of cheering fans, the singer will be feeding off the energy from her fellow performers.

"I want to bring that spectacle at home for everyone to enjoy and I want it to be filled with surprises and get people really, really excited. Because I think this idea of live-streaming the show is so new and so we're all kind of figuring it out as we go along," says the singer, who released her debut single New Love in 2015.

Lipa won three Brit Awards, including British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist, in 2018. In the following year, she picked up Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording at the Grammy Awards.

The pandemic might have scuppered her plans, but the singer is looking on the bright side.

She has been able to spend a lot more time on rehearsals in recent months, a luxury she never had because of her packed schedule in the last few years.

"It's been five, six hours of just dancing and choreography every day, making sure I'm able to dance and sing at the same time, trying to build up my stamina. Doing it, it's like a boot camp."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2020, with the headline 'Online spectacle from Dua Lipa'. Print Edition | Subscribe