In a recent episode of Rolling Stone US’s The Breakdown, Dua Lipa invites fans into the inner sanctum of Studio 5dB in London, the creative crucible where she birthed a substantial portion of her eagerly awaited new album. The international pop sensation provides a behind-the-scenes look at her collaboration with Kevin Parker of Tame Impala in Los Angeles, delving into the genesis of “Houdini,” a standout among the 97 tracks she penned for the upcoming release.
The enchanting tale unfolds as Parker, stationed at the computer, initiates a track that serves as the catalyst for “Houdini.” Lipa recalls being immediately inspired by the riff, and within two hours, the song’s essence took shape, with the chorus coming to life through the collaborative efforts of Caroline Ailin and Tobias Jesso Jr.
In another collaborative session, this time with Danny L Harle in London, Parker introduces the idea for the central middle eight, featuring a chord progression shift before the synth solo. Lipa reveals that the euphoric club atmosphere was the essence she sought to evoke with this section. Notably, there exists an extended “secret” remix of Houdini, delving into a psychedelic outro, and Lipa expresses hope for its imminent release.
Lipa discloses that she worked on four different versions of the verses and showcases a notebook filled with notes and lyrics used during the sessions for her third LP. Asserting the enormity of her creative output, she states, “I have 97 songs.” For “Houdini” and the entire album, Lipa adopted a more diaristic approach, feeling akin to working with a band during sessions with Parker, Harle, Ailin, and Jesso.
“The amount of time I spent in the studio, honing my craft, and writing a plethora of songs has bolstered my confidence in who I am and what I want,” Lipa reflects. She credits touring for strengthening her voice and acknowledges various areas where she has evolved as an artist, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with these incredible musicians.
“Houdini” serves as a tantalizing glimpse into Lipa’s upcoming musical offerings, initiating a narrative that explores the more lighthearted aspects of being single. Rooted in the singer’s personal experiences, many tracks on the album reflect her journey. Describing the single as the “vibiest” of the album, Lipa sees it as a bridge between “Future Nostalgia” and her new musical era, encapsulating the essence of what is to come in a uniquely enjoyable way.
The full episode of The Breakdown promises an immersive dive into the magic and creativity that define Dua Lipa’s musical world.