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Classic rock songs from the 1990s definitely had a huge impact on the rap-rock of today but it’s hard to see its influence on Dua Lipa’s Radical Optimism or most of her songs. Regardless, the “New Rules” singer explained how a certain subgenre of 1990s rock had a big impact on her attest record. She said one 1990s song in particular takes her breath away.

Dua Lipa compared ‘Radical Optimism’ to 1 classic song

“Britpop” is one of those musical terms that is ubiquitous in the United Kingdom but lesser known in the United States. “Britpop” is the name of a genre of British rock music that became popular in the 1990s. It was a form of alternative rock with catchy melodies and upbeat lyrics that stood in stark contrast to grunge music. While grunge was inspired by punk rock, Britpop drew more from polished 1960s bands like The Beatles. While Britpop is mostly gone today, it definitely influenced 2000s artists like Coldplay and Snow Patrol.

Britpop doesn’t sound much like Lipa’s signature dance-pop but, in 2022, she told Variety that the genre inspired her. “I wasn’t going into Britpop and being like, I’m making this record that sounds exactly like … Because it doesn’t,” she said. “But it’s a feeling that they portray that when I hear ‘Teardrop’ by Massive Attack and I’m like, ‘How did this song even come to be?’ It feels like it just happened in a moment of real freedom and writing and emotion, and I think that was just the feeling I was trying to convey more than anything.” 

Why classic rock songs inspire the ‘Houdini’ singer

Most critics would probably classify “Teardrop” as a trip-hop song rather than a Britpop song but the “Hotter than Hell” star can do as she pleases. For context, trip-hop is a style of electronica inspired by hip-hop instrumentals. In the United States, “Teardrop” is probably most remembered for serving as the theme music for the medical drama House. “Teardrops” stands as Massive Attack’s most famous song by far.

The “Houdini” singer elaborated on why Britpop inspired her. “Well, for me, I think the Britpop element that really came to me was the influences of Oasis and Massive Attack and Portishead and Primal Scream, and the freedom and the energy those records had,” he said. “I love the experimentation behind it. And of course, it’s a pop record. I’m a pop artist, that’s what I do.”


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Dua Lipa once reused a famous Britpop sample

Lipa moving in the vague direction of Britpop is surprising but there was one moment where she almost went there in her earlier career. Genius reports her hit song “Love Again” samples the horn melody from Bing Crosby’s “My Woman.” Those horns only became really famous in the 1990s when White Town sampled them in the song “Your Woman.” “Your Woman” isn’t exactly a Britpop song — it’s too electronic and downbeat — but it is an experimental British alternative song from the 1990s. At the very least, Lipa was showing interest in the era of Britpop if not Britpop itself.

Hopefully, Lipa’s fluid approach to genre shows that she will produce a lot of interesting music in the future.