Dua Lipa discussed how she’s approaching songwriting for her sophomore album (she said it will be out next year), the changing landscape for female artists and more with Rolling Stone‘s Jerry Portwood before she performed at Lollapalooza 2018.

Lipa, who has been nonstop touring for more than two years, said she has been working on new material since the beginning of 2018. “Whenever I have a couple days free I go to the studio, it also kind of helps me get away fro tour life and all the traveling and stuff, it makes me feel really grounded,” she told Rolling Stone.

The singer said she has been listening to Prince, Outkast and Gnarls Barkley, who have influenced the new direction she is taking for the album. “It has some throwback elements, which I’m excited about ’cause it’s a new direction for me and I’m looking forward to it,” she added.

She also spent some time in the studio with pop mastermind Max Martin and said they may work together more on this album. “His attention to detail and the way he writes songs, there is a kind of theory to the pop and the way I write songs is very spontaneous,” she said, adding that their two approaches meshed well together. “It was interesting to work and learn from someone who is so amazing and so inspiring that’s done this for many, many years.”

In addition to throwback elements, Lipa said she hopes that fans will relate to the new songs on their own personal level. “It has to kind of be a new chapter in my life,” she explained. “I want the art to be subjective… Another thing about being in the public eye: a lot of people have speculations – who’s this song about? Or what’s this about? – and of course I’m not going to stop being honest about my music, regardless of the amount of attention the first album’s had, and I guess I have had in a way. It’s just they’re all songs that leave enough room for subjection, that you can take the song and make it your own and it doesn’t necessarily have the same meaning for you as it does for me.”

Lipa also discussed how perceptions are changing for women in pop music. “I feel like for so long there’s always been this stigma behind female pop stars. Because when a male pop star comes on the scene, people instantly believe that they write their own songs, that they direct their own videos, that they do all this,” she said. “Whereas if you’re a female artist and you’re not sat by a piano, or a guitar, or you’re not playing an instrument and you’re kind of performing a song, people instantly think that you’re manufactured and you’re no longer kind of authentic to yourself.

“And I feel like for a very long time women really had to fight a bit more to get the recognition they deserve and to get people to believe they are who they really are,” she continued. “And I think now, [it’s] just come a point in time where we feel very, very confident in our skin and we allow ourselves to be whoever we want to be without the fear of thinking other people are going to diminish that.”

Despite the progress that has been made, Lipa added there is still much to be done in the future. “You want to see a lot more female artists and a lot more awards performances, getting nominated for a lot more awards,” she said. “I feel like equality in the music industry is something that’s needed a lot more.”

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