Dua Lipa’s new song is a tribute to AIDS activists

Dua Lipa has become one of the UK’s biggest artists and now she is back, debuting her new song that recognises the fighting spirit and tenacity of AIDS activists and the ACT UP Movement

Dua Lipa in the Music Video for ‘Swan Song’

‘Swan Song’, was released on 24th January 2019 from the soundtrack to the new James Cameron movie Alita: Battle Angel. Dua sings about passion, fighting and speaking out with lyrics such as ‘what is the point of doing nothing at all, watching it fall?’ and ‘I won’t stay quiet because staying silent is the same as dying’.

The same day, Dua took to Twitter to explain the meaning behind the song. She explained that a swan song is by definition ‘a person’s final public performance or professional activity before retirement. So the idea behind it is that “This is NOT a swan song” this is only the beginning of the fight for justice’

The Music Video, released on YouTube the same day, depicts the ‘New Rules’ singer in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic wasteland, rebelling against those in power and facing threatening robots. At the end of the video Dua transforms into Alita, the titular character from the film, portrayed by Rosa Salazar (The Maze Runner trilogy).

She then went on to state she was inspired by the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), a movement formed in 1987, fighting for legislation, medical research and treatments to bring an end to AIDS.

She notes: ‘lyrically the song references the brilliant minds at ACT UP, a HIV and AIDS activist group from the 80’s who’s motto was “Silence equals death” with the hopes that in our everyday lives we put into action this deeper meaning so that silence never becomes us.’

In an earlier tweet Dua explained the connection between the film and the song’s message. She argues, ‘Alita fights for the lives of marginalised people and this reference reflects our fight as a society towards injustice.’

The song is already the most played new song of the week on Spotify and has been referred to as a ‘gloriously epic anthem’ by Idolator.

This comes after a fantastic year for the singer with a UK number one with ‘One Kiss’ featuring Calvin Harris, 4 Brit nominations and two Grammy nominations including best new artist.

Dua also shared that the song would not be on her sophomore album, expected later this year, and is instead a separate project especially for the film.

Alita: Battle Angel is a post-apocalyptic film from James Cameron, the creator of The Terminator (1984), Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009), about a cyborg heroine who wakes up with no memory after the world is destroyed by technology. The film is set to be released in US cinemas February 14th 2019.

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