A booming bass and slithering synth have never led a song astray, and they immediately establish an aggressively joyful tone on “Girls,” Rita Ora’s stacked collaboration with pop stars Cardi B, Charli XCX, and Bebe Rexha.
Released as the days are getting warmer and the final memories of winter hibernation slip away, “Girls” is primed to be a summer jam. It details hazy summer nights spent sipping red wine and rolling Js over skittering drums, layered, echoing vocals, and an unrelenting synth line.
Ora also establishes the song as an exploration of bisexuality early on when she sings, “I’m 50-50 and I’m never gonna hide it.” Throughout the song, the pop powerhouses further the celebration of queerness, singing, “Sometimes I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/ Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls.”
PAPER caught up with Ora to chat about writing and producing the song.
There are so many amazing women on this track. How did you decide to work with Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX?
I wrote the song like two years ago and just put it in my back pocket. When I brought it back out, Cardi was the first person to jump on it. It really turned into its own thing and became a powerful message that I really believed in. I played it for Charli XCX because I’ve known her for so long. I said “Listen to this!” And she said, “Rita, I’ve got to be a part of this. This is so powerful. This is such a great message for right now!” And then I messaged Bebe and she was also on board. I’ve wanted to work with Bebe for ages because we’re from the same country. I feel like all these girls wanted to be part of something they knew was very important, so I’m very proud of the support I have from my fellow collaborators.
How do you think this song is culturally relevant, right now?
It’s like the perfect time. People are going to take what they take to the song, but all I wanted to do is show freedom and a sense of individuality. [It’s also about] me as an artist being able to build confidence to be at this point of my career. It has taken me a while to get to this point. I’m very proud of who I am and who I’ve become I am as a woman and as a person.
Do you feel like it’s a queer feminist anthem?
I think this song is not about gender or even sexuality for that matter. This song really is about telling and showing people that you can be what you want to be and that was the message I had in the mind. When I wrote it that’s how I felt. It really represented freedom to me.
What do you hope listeners take away from “Girls” when they listen to it?
I just want them to feel a sense of acceptance in whatever it is they’re going through. And I think that’s what this song is. It’s for everyone and it’s an open door of good vibes and positivity, and having the ability to still speak on this crazy world we live in. Even if you don’t agree with what the message is. The fact that we were able to do that is beautiful on it’s own.
What was your writing process like?
It was actually done pretty quickly, it was me and a few other writers in the room and I just [said]. “Can you imagine if you made like a crazy anthem for pop stars?”
And you said you wrote it a few years ago. How did you decide to come back to it?
It was just because every time [I would go out] I would play it for my friends. Usually when I know to do things like that’s how I know there’s something special. Sometimes, when I’m wasted that’s how I test my songs. I play it to my friends or if I feel like I want to dance to it when I’m wasted, it’s a good sign.
Do you feel like this song is a good song for partying and going out to?
It’s prime time for summer anthem.
That was also my goal to make it a summer anthem, and it is sort of.
I’m also interested in the production behind it. It’s very intense and layered. What your rationale was behind making it so sonically full and textured?
It started so minimal to be honest. It was just on a guitar, and then it built into this chant. Then it really just turned into this almost like pop-hip-hop kind of back beat and it took on a life in its own really.
You said the writing process was quick. What about the recording process?
That was quick too. I did mine first and the girls knew what they were doing and they just went in. Everyone kind of got their stuff in and out.
What were their thoughts on the final product?
They love it. They keep messaging me. Everybody is just really excited. I think that’s a good place to be.
And you’ve been working on the music video too, right?
Yes, definitely. We’ve been filming it over the past two weeks. Whenever the girls are free it’s very hard working with such busy females I can assure you.
Who’s directing it?
The video is so fun. His name is Helmi. He’s a French director. The film is just really cool the video is like something I’ve never done before.
Source: Paper Magazine
Are you still a musician or would you put yourself somewhere else?
Back then musicians worked with and against other musicians only, nowadays these genres are mixed up. I consider myself a 360-degrees-artist. It’s all a part of the game, a part of the brand Rita Ora.
What does the brand stand for?
Self-assurance and indipendence. Success, even as a child of migrant’s. For all of us it’s much harder to stand up for ourselves, because we always get judged wherever we go. I want girls to see me and think: Hey, if she can be that crazy then I can do too.
Magnate Men, who decide of the faith of a female artist are common, right?
Oh yes. Most Labelbosses are men still. When I was younger I wanted to do everything right, I never wanted to disappoint anybody. Suddenly everything for complicated and I didn’t even understand what happened. But I learned a lot and I learned it quick.
I only noticed how much I influence people when others tried to take this from me. I thought to myself: okay, you can control my music but you can’t control the rest of me. So I started working on fashion and television series. Many people weren’t able to understand my decision but I started to trust myself again.
Artists, females especially, are often used to “destroy” the other one…
Well, it’s fun to watch. But time has changed. As a woman I have never had that much empowerment of other women as I do right now. And I do try to give this back. When I meet an artist I like I go up to them and say: Hey, cool things you’re doing. Congrats on your success.
Rita’s manager says she has never seen anybody who works like Rita.
Where do you take your power from?
It’s mostly about where I come from. My parents are from Kosovo. My mother is a dreamer, but she’s also a fighter. When she made her way to England she had to do the test for a psychotrist again, at the same time she learned to speak English, fought breastcancer and took care of my sister and me. She’s my idol.
Rita Ora won’t take a break. In May she starts her new tour and in Autumn her second studio album is set to be released – this time for real.
Source: Glamour Magazine Germany / Translated by Sarah (owner of Rita Ora Central)
GIVEAWAY Would you like to win a copy of Rita’s Glamour Magazine (May Issue)? Follow our Twitter @RoraDaily and retweet the pinned tweet. This giveaway ends May 1st!
Rita Ora says the video for her new single is “intimate”.The singer has teamed up with Chris Brown for the track ‘Body On Me’.
The tune went on sale on Thursday (August 6) and the Brit told Capital FM that its promo clip should land in the coming weeks.
Ora said: “The video has been shot, it comes out in a week and a half and I can’t wait for you guys to see it.
“It’s probably one of the most intimate videos I’ve ever done, but it’s really exciting.”
The video was shot by Colin Tilley and the filming took place in Los Angeles.
‘Body On Me’ is due to feature on Ora’s upcoming second album, which is slated for a November release.
Rita Ora has revealed that she’s desperate for a canine companion this Christmas and really hopes that someone fulfils that wish.
Speaking about her dream gift, the hitmaker confessed that a dog is at the top of her list:
“I really want a dog, so let’s see who listens to that. And I would really like to know how to set flowers, like go to a flower-arranging class. I can finally buy my parents something that they’ve always wanted. I can’t wait to go home – I’ve missed them so much and I’m never home.”
The beauty went onto add that she can’t wait to see all of her relatives over the festive period because family is incredibly important to her:
“I’m from Albania, so for us it’s just an excuse for all the family to get together. And, for me, I take it really seriously because it’s the one day I have to just wake up and not put make-up on and eat what I like. You can do whatever you want for the day. We have dinners, talk a lot of nonsense, act foolish and drink a lot of wine.”
‘Shine Ya Light’ hitmaker Rita Ora has admitted that her second album will be “more directional” now that she’s older and is more sure of herself.
The singer was only 18-year-old when she began working on her debut, entitled ‘Ora’, and thinks she has grown in a way that will be reflected on her forthcoming sophomore effort.
She explained to Music News that she’s no longer experimenting with style as she has found her groove so will showcase her talents in a more certain way this time around:
“‘Ora’ was a funny situation. I was still figuring myself out. I was 18 and I’m 22 now. I was experimenting. This second album is more directional, much clearer. I definitely know what I want more and it’s pretty straightforward with what I’m trying to say with this second album.”
“It’s very clear and that’s why I had to make a new album. There’s still elements of pop in there, but pop from when it was pop – from the Blondie, No Doubt days to turning it into my love for ’90s hip-hop.”
Watch Rita Ora talk about her love of fashion and accessories below:
Rita Ora enters the lounge in Sony’s New York headquarters and immediately curls up on a couch, kicking off a pair of pointy, cherry-red Louboutin pumps so new that one still has a price sticker inside. She is only 22, but one gets the sense that Ora is already the sort of person who’s able to make herself comfortable wherever she goes. Plus, high heels are still foreign territory for her.
“Growing up, I would usually just be like one of the boys,” she explains. “I became kind of a sneakerhead.” Ora’s tomboy roots still peek out, in the menswear-inspired outfit she’s wearing by the British designer J.W. Anderson — perfectly starched white dress shirt and red tartan trousers — and in the videos for both of her catchy-as-hell singles, the soaring, forget-your-ex anthem “R.I.P.” and the party jam “How We Do.”
Her West London upbringing — her family moved there from of Yugoslavia when she was a baby—comes out in bits and pieces, too. “We all stick by each uvva,” she says of her labelmates on Roc Nation, to which Jay-Z signed her in 2009 after she’d spent several years performing in bars around London. And how did that go down?
“The first thing Jay said to me was, ‘Hey, kid!’ ” Ora recalls, doing a near-perfect impression of Jay-Z’s signature genial bark. “He raised me a little bit. It’s very much of a family feeling.” Jay-Z and Beyoncé were both in attendance at Ora’s first U.S. performance, at a Cartier party in New York City last April. Ora didn’t know they were coming, but had coincidentally prepared an homage of sorts. “I was singing ‘Say My Name,’ and I was nervous because it was in front of the queen!” Ora says. “She did give me the stamp of approval at the end.” She’s not the only one: Ora’s debut album, Ora, which took her three years to finish, landed at number 1 on the U.K. charts when it was released last September. The record comes out stateside early this year.