Channeling the Glow of Dua Lipa

YouTube is a treasure trove, if you want it. I go thrifting there sometimes (all the time), and the roadshow of antiques can surprise even a seasoned spelunker. One Sunday morning, while I was deep in a rut, the algorithm burped out something wonderful – Dua Lipa’s Tiny Desk concert from December 2020. 

Ms. Dua is simply glowing – the light she exudes, and her band amplifies, is genuinely contagious. The smiling, the bopping. And that orange background! Is it light? Paint? Someone’s aura? I’ve been trying to name the color, and nothing seems quite right. Apricot? Tropical sunrise? Sherbet? Whatever it is, I want to eat it.

The musicians perform among that delicious color and a set mimicking a minimalist office, like someone raided the archives of Mad Men and spirited some pieces to a London studio. Dua is decked out in an updated version of a classic Chanel tweed suit, sans the restricting sleeves but complete with the “C” earrings. Her turquoise heels match the suit’s piping. Her band is in blazers and business casual. Chunky gold jewelry adorns all around. They are a team, they are a business. Glow, Incorporated. 

After the first song, Dua explains how the pandemic separated them – lockdown stopped their impending tour in spring 2020. But it looks like they barely lost any time, beaming to be in each other’s company, making these sounds. They are a group of shifting chords, making beautiful music. I’m so drawn to their group, their universe. So at ease with each other, despite months of separation, probably degrees of isolation. Their choreography is connection. 

This video only intensifies my lifelong fascination with backup singers. They tread such a fine line, complementing the lead singer while building the very foundation of sound. An underappreciated art form. Dua’s backup singers are a sherbet (and beige) quartet, each with their own style. They are unison and individual amazingness all at once. They enhance the overall glow my moth brain is drawn to – the world is full of backup singers. May we see them, may we be them. 

My favorite of the four songs performed is a new version of “Love Again” – ‘70s -type weeping acoustic guitar to begin, Dua laments her situation, then her people chime in with their harmonies to bring in the love. “But goddamn, you’ve got me in love,” they intone over and over again. 

This video brought me love again, it brought me light again. It circulates in my mind like so much dopamine (that’s how it works, right?). Dua glows on her own, but even brighter with her fellow musicians. It sparked something in me, too, a tiny fire I hope to build to a similar lava-lamp lustrousness as the background of this video.

Glow on, Dula Peep.

Screenshots from YouTube

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