Dua Lipa might have become a household name thanks to her incredible music career and enviable style, but her name also caused a little confusion for her when she was younger. The name “Dua” means “love” in Albanian, inspired by where her parents are from. “I understood the duality of my heritage from an early age,” she said at Hay festival, via the BBC. “People would always ask where my name is from. I was really proud of it, but when I was younger I wished my name was, say, Hannah – something ‘normal’ and English.”
The singer spoke about her childhood on 4 June at the literary festival, explaining that “there was always the idea of being from two places at once”. Lipa was born in London after her parents moved to escape the war in former Yugoslavia. She moved back to Kosovo at 11-years-old, before returning to the UK at 15 to complete her education and start her music career. Moving around meant that she often felt like the “new girl”.
“I was quite determined,” Lipa added. “I didn’t feel I had the same opportunities in music as I had in London. I was driven. My dad says I’m very hard to say no to!” Lipa has always been proud to fly the flag for Kosovo. She officially became an Albanian citizen last year, shortly after being awarded the title of honorary ambassador of Kosovo. Together with her father, Lipa founded the Sunny Hill Festival in 2018 with annual concerts held in Kosovo to help people experiencing financial difficulties.
While discussing her love of books at the festival, she also touched upon a “difficult, early relationship” she had, and how reading helped her get through it. “I guess I was in a relationship with someone who had a very different idea of fidelity than I had,” she said. Now, Lipa revealed she is in a relationship with French director Romain Gavras, after going red carpet-official at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Lipa’s determined attitude has only grown since childhood as she constantly looks to broaden her horizons. She launched her “At Your Service” podcast in 2021 as she wanted to engage in conversations she was interested in. “I was absolutely petrified but really excited. Would I be a good interviewer, would I be able to keep the conversation going? But maybe I thrive on being thrown in the deep end. Being out of my comfort zone pushes me to just go for it.” Words for us all to live by.