Dua Lipa says women in music industry ‘have to work harder to be taken seriously’

‘I know how to stand my ground and hold it down,’ singer said of calling out sexist behaviour

Isobel Lewis
Friday 06 November 2020 09:42
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Dua Lipa performs 'Don't Start Now' coronavirus parody with James Corden

Dua Lipa says that women have to “constantly prove themselves” to be taken seriously in the music industry.

Speaking to Attitude magazine, the “Don’t Start Now” singer said that while she has experienced sexism throughout her career, she has never been afraid to challenge it.

“You’re on a music video and the director goes, ‘I definitely think you need to wear a skirt’ – because someone wants to see, you know, ‘UK’s pop star in a cute outfit’,” Lipa said.

“I’m like, ‘Well, I’m going to wear trousers because it’s f***ing freezing.’ I know how to stand my ground and hold it down.”

Having left school at 18 to pursue a career in music, the singer said that her age meant she felt underestimated by others in the industry, especially when it came to writing her own lyrics.

‘You have this underlying pressure or anxiety to constantly prove yourself to people’

“You have to work a little bit harder to be taken seriously,” Lipa continued. “That’s just being a woman in the industry. A lot of people see it, particularly in pop music, that you’re manufactured… so you have this underlying pressure or anxiety to constantly prove [yourself] to people.”

“While I was creating my first record, when I would go into the studio sessions, I felt like I needed to prove to the people I was going in the room with that I could write and that I do this myself and that I am an artist, I’m not just going to sit there in the room and wait for somebody to write a song for me.”

Lipa released her disco-inspired second album Future Nostalgia in March, with the record receiving critical acclaim and being nominated for the Mercury Prize.

You can read The Independent’s five-star review here.

Last week, she released her latest single, “Fever”, featuring Belgian singer Angèle.

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