What Dua Lipa's Success Says About the Immigrant Dream

What Dua Lipa's Success Says About the Immigrant Dream

Dua Lipa's journey to the top could inspire anybody, but it strikes an especially resonant chord for children of immigrants.



Dua Lipa's journey to the top could inspire anybody, but it strikes an especially resonant chord for children of immigrants.

Text: Tess Garcia

My father is an immigrant from Argentina. He came to the States with his parents as a child. After finding fulfillment in a career as a doctor, he decided to have children of his own with my mom. Though he often jokes that he'll serve as a lifelong benefactor to the arts because of his kids' career interests, my dad has raised my siblings and I on the philosophy that we should put our passions first when pursuing our life's work.

V113 cover star Dua Lipa's journey to the top could inspire anybody, but it strikes an especially resonant chord for children of immigrants.

Lipa was born in London to Albanian immigrants from the city of Kosovo. Though the family moved back to Kosovo in 2008, she returned to London alone at the age of 15 to pursue her singing career. That early desire to chase after a goal, no matter how farfetched it may seem, lies at the heart of the immigrant dream. Those of us whose parents moved to another country for a better life know firsthand: Immigrants want their children to work hard, stay humble, and most importantly, take advantage of all the possibilities they didn't have access to in their home country.

Lipa's bold move back to London is emblematic of that same desire from her parents to provide her with opportunities they may not have had growing up in Albania. It probably pained them to let her go, but they were likely well aware of the importance of geographic location - paired with hard work - to following one's heart.

As was the case for Lipa, the old adage that immigrants are willing to work twice as hard often applies to their children. During her teen years in London, the songstress pursued a career in modeling while attending school full time and somehow squeezing in lessons at the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School on Saturdays. In 2015, five years after her initial arrival, Lipa began working on her debut album with Warner Brothers. She has since launched into international superstardom, thanks in large part to her viral music video for the ubiquitous "New Rules."

Of course, Lipa owes her success to her own work ethic and talent, but the support of her mother and father should not be overlooked. Like every parent, immigrants want their children to have the best. They've made life-changing sacrifices so that we can follow our dreams, and for that we should be eternally grateful.

Credits: COVER IMAGE BY INEZ & VINOODH FOR V113

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