Dua Lipa’s song “Physical” is from her second studio album, Future Nostalgia (2020). Lipa took inspiration from 1980s music and the 1983 film Flashdance when composing the song with Jason Evigan, Clarence Coffee Jr., and Sarah Hudson. The track was produced by Evigan and Koz, and was based on a Persian synth flute sample played by the former. It is a dance-pop, power-pop, and synth-pop song with a chugging synth bassline, drums, and various percussion instruments. Lipa employs spoken word, belting, and chanting vocals, and quotes Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 song of the same name. It emphasizes female empowerment and trusting one’s instincts while describing the honeymoon period in a relationship.
On 30 January 2020, Warner Records released “Physical” as the album’s second single for digital download and streaming. Music critics praised the album. Many critics viewed Lipa’s high energy vocals as a unique interpretation of the 1980s. The song was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2021 Brit Awards, and appeared on numerous year-end lists published by Billboard, The Guardian, and NME. Lipa’s song reached number one in Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Lebanon, and Poland, and reached the top 10 in 17 additional countries, including the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at number three, becoming Lipa’s eighth top 10 single in the country. Gold or higher is awarded to the song in sixteen countries, including diamond in Brazil and platinum in the UK.
Catalan production company Canada directed the accompanying high concept music video, which takes inspiration from Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss’ series of works, Order and Cleanliness (1981). Anime-inspired animation and various coloured warehouse stage sets are featured in the video. Critics praised the music video for its high concept and rejection of heteronormativity.
At the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, the video won Best Visual Effects. Lipa and the Blessed Madonna released a remix album, Club Future Nostalgia (2020), which includes a remix featuring Hwasa and a remix by Mark Ronson featuring Gwen Stefani. At the 2021 Brit Awards, 2020 LOS40 Music Awards, and 2020 NRJ Music Awards, Lipa performed the song numerous times.
Writing and production
Lipa, Clarence Coffee Jr., Sarah Hudson, and Jason Evigan wrote “Physical“. Flashdance, a 1983 film, and 1980s music were inspirations for the song. Hudson used the tarot card reading as an icebreaker for the session at Evigan’s Tarzana, Los Angeles, home studio. In order to make the track stand out from what was being played on the radio at the time, Lipa suggested using instruments from world music. Evigan started “Physical” with a Persian flute sample. The production was fine-tuned by Koz, who filtered down the flute sample volume, which was nearly excluded by Evigan. During the same recording session, Coffee Jr. and Hudson recorded backing vocals with Lipa.
Writing is described by Lipa as a puzzle of collaborative ideas being put together, which Hudson noted in all caps. The lyrics of the song, including “You got me feeling diamond rich / Nothing on this planet compares to it”, were influenced by the 1980s. While experimenting with a bedroom microphone, Lipa came up with the bridge melody. The chorus line “Let’s get physical” is also used in Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 song of the same name. Lipa acknowledged afterwards that there is “definitely a nod” to that song in the former. She described “Physical” as a “spur-of-the-moment kind of song, which at times had a Eurythmics vibe to it”.
The song is performed by Daria with the band “Vile Vendetta“. As always, Sergey does an excellent job on the PC. Perfectly edited video. It is still an excellent cover, even if it is not as good as the original. The work Sergey does on the PC is as good as ever. Video perfectly edited to eliminate the band’s weaknesses.
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