The inspiration for Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” music video came from two unlikely sources: an ’80s Versace campaign photo and some deep research into flamingos.

The former features Naomi Campbell posing piggyback on top of Kristen McMenamy – a symbol of female support according to the singer-songwriter – and the latter travels in flocks, “so that made perfect sense because because they actually look after each other too,” Dua Lipa tells Variety at a recent photo shoot. 

The resulting colorful music video is just one of many of the pop-star’s latest hits, which have launched her career onto the international stage. The secret behind her songwriting success? Childhood poems and essays, which she still uses today.

“I was always keeping a diary or writing my thoughts in forms of poems or essays and because I had so many notes and little bits written down, that’s still kind of how I write to this day,” she says. “I take those notes, and I go to the studio, and I read back the notes, and if I still feel like they’re relevant to me today, then I will write a song about it.”

As for the sound of her music, Dua Lipa says “Get the Party Started” by Pink changed her life when she first heard the song as a child. 

I was quite young but there was something about it where I was like ‘oh my god,’ and that’s when I really got into Pink,” she says. “I got her ‘Misunderstood’ album, and I would just put the CD on and just listen to it over and over again; take the album booklet out; learn all the lyrics – that was just the way that I fell in love with the artist.”