Rita Ora has returned with her first single in nearly two years, “Your Song.” The uplifting track, all about being in love, was written by fellow Brit Ed Sheeran and produced by Steve Mac. “Your Song” is the first taste of what’s to come from Rita this year, who last released an album five years ago in 2012 (her debut LP Ora).
During an Instagram live last month, Rita confirmed that her sophomore album is on the way, and that fans can expect its release later this year in the fall. She said, “The album is going to come out in November and it’s going to be major. I’ve been working on it for ages. There’s some amazing people on it and amazing surprises.”
Aside from putting an album together, Rita has been very busy with other projects in TV and film, including her role as Mia Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, her hosting gig on the new music competition show Boy Band, as well as the rebooted America’s Next Top Model, and she was a judge on BBC’s The Voice and The X Factor UK.
Now, Rita is focusing on her music career, and has kicked off this chapter of her career with “Your Song,” which she performed live during a recent visit to iHeartRadio’s studios in New York City. But while at iHeartRadio HQ, the 26-year-old also opened up about her 28 tattoos during an exclusive interview. These are Rita Ora’s Tattoo Stories. Read on below.
Rita is on cover of LEGEND Magazine for June 2017! I’ve added photos from photoshoot and cover to gallery:
Rita Ora is among Britain’s biggest celebrities, loved for her attitude and her range as an entertainer. She featured on tracks with Drake and Craig David, and vied to be Britain’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest late in the 2000s, making her name as a singer. The big time beckoned and in the five years since 2012, she has seared her name across every centimetre of cyberspace as a singer, all-round performer, and star of the big and small screens.
She was everywhere, presenting on The X Factor, The Voice UK and America’s Next Top Model. As an actress, she’s held her own in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and has another movie on the way. As a fashion designer, she’s spent years working to devise product lines for Adidas and Tezenis. Ora’s background helps keep her grounded. Her parents were Albanian refugees who left Kosovo during the war there in the 1990s. Their sacrifices are always with her.
We met Ora at her suite in the W Hong Kong. She’s hungry for success ahead of a new album and, well, just hungry. She invited us in to share a veritable carbohydrate castle of pizza, burgers, quesadillas and French fries. In between bites we talked about music, sexuality and her quarter-life crisis.
Video: Rita Ora on Working with Chris Brown & Upcoming Album
MOBO Award winner and pop superstar, Rita Ora, sits down with MOBO TV to chat about her new single ‘Body on Me’ featuring Chris Brown, her experience filming the video and the rise of British culture in the music industry…especially grime.
Born in Prishtina, Kosovo, Rita Ora, 24, came to London with her family after war broke out. She attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School and in 2009 was signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation. Her debut album went to no 1 in 2012. Her movies include Fifty Shades Of Grey and Southpaw, she is a new X Factor judge and the face of Tezenis, the Italian underwear brand.
What is your earliest memory?
Playing hide and seek in a cemetery in Earl’s Court when I was seven –no one found me and I thought I was going to get stolen by ghosts.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I block people out when they are talking to me. It comes across as rude but I can’t do two things at once.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
My first “nip slip”, at Lovebox, 2009.
Property aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
A Rolex watch for my dad’s birthday.
What is your most treasured possession?
My new dog, Cher. She’s a maltipoo.
What is your screensaver?
An old Versace campaign with Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My butt and my upper thighs.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Julianne Moore. She is beautiful.
What is your favourite word?
Which book changed your life?
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
“You can’t do that.”
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My first love. We started to date at 16, then it all went Pete Tong.
What does love feel like?
Like you’re flying.
What was the best kiss of your life?
When my mum kisses my forehead.
Have you ever said, “I love you” and not meant it?
Yes – I am not going to lie.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Blondie, Tina Turner, David Bowie and Michelle Obama.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
I got dropped from two record deals when I was 14 and 17.
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
That I didn’t think I knew everything.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
To Kosovo and stop the war.
When did you last cry, and why?
Getting an honorary ambassadorship from the president of Kosovo in July.
How often do you have sex?
As much as I can.
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
Death is my biggest phobia. I used to have panic attacks when I was little, saying, “Mum, I don’t want to die.” I’ve been to therapy and still try to go every week.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
A garden of my own.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Frank Sinatra singing My Way.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To never give up.
She’s won over Jay Z and Madonna and has Hollywood banging at her door. Now Simon Cowell has signed her up as a judge on The X Factor. Stephanie Rafanelli talks to Rita Ora about break-ups, frenemies and making music with Prince
Rita Ora has a knack for inspiring devotion from musical legends. While recording in London last year, Prince wrote a paean, ‘Pink Champagne’, dedicated to her ebullience. Then he summoned her to his Paisley Park HQ near Minneapolis, resplendent in ‘a mustard-coloured poloneck, purple flares and an amazing black Afro. I’ve never seen a man who wears heels get so much female attention. He is sexy in so many ways,’ Ora declares, after striding into an East End studio, wearing the kind of platform boots that would make his royal not-so-highness proud, if a little envious.
He had invited her to record among the doves that he keeps in his studio: ‘We just wrote a bunch of music, laughed and danced.’ There, the poem evolved into ‘Champagne Kisses’, a song for her forthcoming second album. ‘If music had a face, it would be Prince.’
When Ora was still an aspiring teen musician, her mother once told her prophetically: ‘Not everyone will wish you well, but those that do will have more power than those that don’t.’ It could be the motto of her career. Her list of powerhouse mentors include Jay Z, who signed her at 18, and Beyoncé, her ‘sister from another mister’; Madonna, who chose Ora as the face of the fashion line Material Girl for S/S 2014; Tom Ford, who dressed her for this year’s Met Ball — ‘He’s a swaggy, swagger gentleman’ — and Harvey Weinstein, who, after her small role in this year’s Fifty Shades of Grey, is championing her acting career: ‘Harvey’s got my back and I’ve got his.’ And now Simon Cowell, who last week poached her from the BBC to join Nick Grimshaw on the new and improved X Factor panel, replacing Mel B. All this with less than three years in the mainstream public consciousness and, hitherto, only one solo album under her belt.
“People tend to feel intimidated by a woman that’s comfortable in her own skin”, Rita Ora is sitting opposite me at the Sanderson Hotel in London, discussing the resurgence of women on top in music. “And that comes to my whole point of supporting feminism; I’m a real believer in Pussy Power. I love my girls, like Charli XCX and Iggy, I love what Arianna did with her open letter, I love Miley and Katy Perry, and B is always on the next fucking level. Women are finally sticking up for each other. It’s been a long time coming.”
Rita is gearing up to release her second album later this month, and that too has been a long time coming. Her debut, ORA, hit the shelves way back in 2012 and landed her at number one. Three number one singles and a slew of award nominations later, Rita’s reputation as one of the UK’s biggest female music stars was cemented. A fourth number one came in the form of the Calvin Harris penned “I Will Never Let You Down”, but then, following a very public breakup with Harris, news of Rita’s impending second album went a little quiet.
“Obviously my personal life distracted me a bit, I wasn’t prepared to go in and finish off a record because I wasn’t myself, I was in a bad place”, Rita says, assuring me that now it’s time to move on, and that she’s ready to concentrate fully on the release of her sophomore album. “I think that our experience was amazing at that time, but it’s time to move on now”, she says. “I think that we’ve both shown that we’ve done that, not just in our personal lives, but in our musical lives too. I still love performing “I Will Never Let You Down” – it’s one of my favourites. People are like, “do you feel a bit weird?”, and I say no – because music speaks for itself, it’s a great song.”
So what can we expect from Rita Ora, chapter two? “I’ve grown up. I think I’ve got more to say because I’m older, but I haven’t changed personally”, she says. “I think humans change always, but I don’t think we completely forget. I don’t forget where I’m from, or what I’ve done. I’m still the same daughter I was to my mother, but I’m an evolved artist and that shows. This album shows my improvement as a storyteller”
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