Physical

Album: Future Nostalgia (2020)
Charted: 3 60
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "Physical" is an upbeat electropop number in which Dua Lipa celebrates her intimacy with her lover. The song channels Olivia Newton-John's 1981 hit of the same name.
  • Dua Lipa wrote the song with frequent Katy Perry collaborator Sarah Hudson along with Jason Evigan (Demi Lovato's "Heart Attack," Maroon 5's "Girls Like You") and Clarence Coffee Jr. of The Monsters and The Strangerz production and songwriting team.
  • Jason Evigan and Stephen "Koz" Kozmeniuk's retro production resembles the club-ready synth-pop sound of the 1980s, which again ties in with Olivia Newton-John's tune.
  • Asked about the song by Billboard, Dua Lipa said: "It's very '80s inspired, it's quite Flashdance-y, it's fun, you can dance to it. It's definitely my craziest of high energy songs."
  • Dua Lipa recounted the story behind "Physical" in New York Times' Diary of a Song.

    Lipa met up with Clarence Coffee Jr., Sarah Hudson, and Jason Evigan at the latter's Los Angeles home. Evigan started off the session by playing a Persian flute melody, which Lipa felt took the song in a 1980s direction. The singer and her co-writers tried to match its positive energy with lyrics inspired by the era, particularly Olivia Newton-John's "Physical." The four later polished off the song helped by Stephen "Koz" Kozmeniuk, who touched up the production and Lipa's vocal producer Lorna Blackwood, who assisted the singer with the low and high notes.
  • The video, and extravagant mix of performance and animation, won for Best Visual Effects at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, with the effects team of EIGHTY4 earning the award.
  • When this reached its peak position of #3 on the UK singles chart dated April 9, 2020, Dua Lipa also had two other songs in the Top 10 at the same time: "Don't Start Now" at #4 and "Break My Heart" at #6. The songstress became the first English female to place three separate songs in a UK Top 10 since Dame Vera Lynn did so on the very first Official Singles Chart on November 14, 1952.
  • A new version, featuring vocals by Gwen Stefani, is included on Lipa and The Blessed Madonna's DJ Mix crafted remix album, Club Future Nostalgia. The collaboration came together when the singer's team contacted the No Doubt frontwoman to clear a "Hollaback Girl" sample on Mr. Fingers' "Hallucinate" remix for the record. When Stefani expressed her wish to be on the album, The Blessed Madonna and co-producer Mark Ronson incorporated a place for her to contribute a verse on "Physical."

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