“When you’re projecting your energy a lot your aura will expand. What I’m seeing is it’s challenging for you to feel grounded.”
As the mystic begins to tell Dua Lipa of the color and nature of her aura—and what that might reflect in her personality—the young pop star leans in. She’s alert and attentive—engrossed it seems. Soon however I would discover that it’s hard to look away from the wide-eyed contemplation of our pixie-blonde psychic Sophia at The House of Intuition in Echo Park.
I’m sitting alongside Dua Lipa, scribbling notes onto a crumpled piece of paper. When my turn comes to have my aura assessed I realize that this peripheral note-taking is quite unfair, making the whole thing feel like psychoanalysis. Lipa brings this to my attention by grabbing my paper and pen off the crystal and incense adorned table and—with playful relish—making her own enthusiastic notes.
“Someone mentioned Tarot cards, and I don’t fancy someone even in the slightest way predicting my future—that’s the last thing I want to know,” Lipa told me earlier that day at the bar around the corner, explaining why she had been interested in having her aura assessed rather than some other type of mystical adventure. “I like taking things as they come and going with the flow. I’m okay reading my own horoscope but the second anyone else tells me about what’s going to go on with my life then I don’t fuck with that,” she laughs warmly, “I think it’s nice and a bit fun. I don’t take anything too seriously.”
Lipa rolled up to the bar for our initial meeting with an entourage and a tinted-out Escalade. Calm and serene in the eye of a whirlwind of entourage activity—cell phones on frantic, hustle on overdrive. Lipa has an educated British charm—sharp and savvy, tall and polished, and only the youthfulness of her wrinkle-free skin betrays the fact that she is barely older than a teenager. After two years of intensive investment from her record label— recording and polishing, cutting and anointing this young British-Albanian chanteuse—Lipa has been thrust into a cyclonic world tour promoting her yet-to-be-released debut album: Berlin, Sydney, New York, London, Belgium, Paris, Chicago, Helsinki...
And currently in Los Angeles at the aura reader, having hers sketched in crayon: it is depicted as predominantly white with blue emanating at the edges. “It’s like you’re on a hoverboard,” the psychic describes, perhaps helpfully. Given how engaged Lipa is in the reading, I find it interesting that she is willing to bring a stranger like myself into such a personal space, but Lipa is no young girl stepping unwittingly into the lime-light. Later that night I will watch her give a commanding performance at a packed-out, exclusive West Hollywood nightclub. Sharply focused before taking the stage, and outwardly at peace on it, her talent is evident, and speaks of much greater things on her horizon than her current oeuvre. On her version of “Good Times,” a rework of the Jamie xx track, she demonstrates accomplished syncopation, and on stage she coupled this skillset with a sophisticated vocal range and excellent rhythm. A music critic of note—E. Ryan Ellis of this magazine—described her style as lying somewhere comfortably between Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse. In a world where the talent underlying pop success can be difficult to gauge, her gifts as a performer are refreshing.
From our brief interactions, I was left with the inescapable impression that Lipa is not ungrounded in the way that the aura reader suspected [/divined/predicted?], but if anything is perhaps only a little swept off her feet. “I’ve been on tour for such a long time,” she tells me, “When I was last in L.A., down in Venice I bought this chakra candle and I light it every time I go somewhere, because it just gives me—not necessarily the whole spiritual thing—but it gives me a form of routine and lets me feel at home in hotel rooms.”
When she finds those feet, and the subtleties and distinctions of her own voice, Lipa will be a force. With regards to her aura however—and irrespective of the highs and lows that might await her, or the colors with which she might be sketched—while I’m no clairvoyant, I suspect that Lipa will find herself pleasantly—very British-ly—warm and attached to the earth.
Photographer: Max Montgomery
Stylist: Rachel Gilman
Hair: Elsa Canedo for See Management using Living Proof.
Makeup: Christopher Ardoff for Art Department using Bobbi Brown Cosmetics