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20 Feb 2015
Photos/Video: InStyle UK Magazine
Billboard model. Movie actress. Fashion icon. Pop idol. Saturday night TV star. It there anything Rita Ora can’t do? Here’s a sneak peek of what she reveals in her InStyle April cover interview…
‘I’ve been told “no” so many times in my career. It doesn’t mean it’s over… I can remember every single “no” I’ve been told in my life. They do not leave my brain. But they build you up.’
On her Fifty Shades of Grey role: ‘I heard about the audition and I approached Sam Taylor-Johnson with ideas for the soundtrack. I said I’d love to involved as I was such a fan of the book. And then Sam said, “Well, why don’t you audition?” And I said, “Sure…I’ve got a few song ideas, I could send them over…” and she said, “No, why don’t you audition for the movie?” And I was like, “What?” I’ve done a bit of acting, but honestly didn’t expect to be put into that role. I thought, what have I got to lose? I auditioned like everybody else – there were a lot of other people in the frame. I didn’t get any special treatment. I perfected my American accent, one thing led to another, and I got it.’
On being a coach on The Voice: ‘I said no straightaway. I love the show, but I wanted to focus on my second album. And then I spoke to Will [fellow judge Will.i.am], and he said “Listen, if you don’t do it, I won’t do it.” It’s actually the best decision I’ve made. It’s so fun. I love it. I’m learning a lot about myself, being a coach. I’m starting to trust my instincts. When you’re sitting in that chair, you can’t ask what anyone thinks, you just have to do it.’
We announced that Rita Ora would ‘join the family’, with her first ELLE cover, at the ELLE Style Awards in February – and here’s your first, exclusive look at it.
As one of the UK’s most in-demand talents, Rita – as shot by Thomas Whiteside – creates a bold statement (what else?) for our May issue.
Download the digital edition of ELLE now
On the newsstand cover she wears a Dior skirt with a Cartier bracelet. But it’s her tattoo, ‘Rosetta’, that takes centre stage.
‘It’s based on an original piece by Alberto Vargas, who was an incredible illustrator in the 1930s. He was one of the creators of the pin-up image. That’s our build, our power,’ she explains.
‘That’s why I was obsessed with it; learning what men don’t understand about women and what women don’t understand about men. I was obsessed with the painting a long time ago, and then I got it done six months ago.
‘I just love pretty things, whether it is art, a song or a pair of shoes.’
Ever one to push the boundaries, Rita also stars in a video first for a UK magazine – wearing Google Glass to effectively shoot her own behind-the-cover video.
I didn’t really know who Rita Ora was when I first met her. It was 2010 and she was a guest on my BBC Radio 1 show. I’d done no research and there was nothing about her online. All I’d been told is that it would be a 10-minute chat with a new pop star signed to Roc Nation. Now, if you’ve ever heard Rita Ora talk, you know that 10-minute chats aren’t in the mouthy pop star’s framework. She arrived in the studio and was brash, yet angelic and hypnotizing with the presence of a mega star, bounding over to hug me and gush about her love of Kate Moss and Radio 1. She was open, funny and dorky, but most of all, she was real. Since then she’s had five number one hits and a number one album in the UK, toured the world and become the superstar she promised to be in 2010. A lot has changed, but Rita herself is still all about real talk, full of love and somehow even funnier, sexier and dorkier than ever. Success has a strange effect on teenagers who dream of fame, but Rita has somehow taken it all in stride. She’s dealt with criticism from the press, Twitter spats and actual real-girl beef but now she faces her biggest challenge, something every British artist dreams of: conquering America. With a Calvin Harris-produced single out in May and increasingly scary levels of fame and pressure to make album number two a success when it’s released stateside this summer, I chatted with her about how she plans on doing it all while keeping sane.
Nick Grimshaw: You were just at Milan Fashion Week, walking in Jeremy Scott’s Moschino show and performing at Philipp Plein. How was it? All I’ve seen is pictures of you becoming best friends with Naomi Campbell.
Rita Ora: Yeah, me and Naomi Campbell are like best friends… No, I’m joking. She’s so cute. She was looking after me at the [Philipp Plein] show. I was really nervous because I felt fat — everyone was so skinny and tall. So she gave me a pep talk and walked me in. Then we ended up having drinks by the bar and she was being really cool.
NG: She’s so fun isn’t she?
RO: She was being major, but you know what that’s like. I’ll talk to you about it later when we’re not being recorded.
It’s been four years since Jay-Z glimpsed pop greatness in a feisty London teenager and prescribed patience. It paid off. Now with three No.1 singles and a new album on the way no-one can get enough of Rita Ora. In the new issue of GQ she discusses with Ed Caesar the nature of a-list dating, her Kosovan homecoming and the dirty side of fame.
The August 2013 issue of British GQ is out 4th July on iPad, Kindle and in print nationwide priced £3.99.
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