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“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.
I’ve added many HQ Photos Of Rita Ora Attending some Awards Show and doing Photoshoots. Click the links below to check them out.
Photos of Rita in the new issue of ELLE magazine in the UK have been added to the gallery!
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 actualreal-girl beef but now she faces her biggest challenge, something every Britishartist dreams of: conquering America. With a Calvin Harris-produced single outin May and increasingly scary levels of fame and pressure to make album numbertwo a success when it’s released stateside this summer, I chatted with herabout 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.
NG: So, you were in Milan, where I also saw you cavorting on top of a car in a bikini or
a bra top or something at the Philipp Plein show.
RO: Oh, it was a bra, yeah. I had nothing else so I wore a bra and some jeans. We had fun. It was a really sick show. It wasn’t fashion-y, which was nice. It was just like a proper party.
NG: Were you always experimenting with fashion looks when you were younger?
RO: I was always messing around. I had everything at my beck and call in my mom’s room, so I was playing dress-up all the time and putting on shows. My mom would tell me to shut up, already, and I would never shut up.
NG: I think the Oras need to have a reality show like the Kardashians.
RO: Yeah, we do need to do that. Everyone’s going to see how absolutely gangsta we are.
NG: So gangsta. That day we hosted the BBC Radio 1′s Teen Awards together and I had to share… well actually I jumped into your room because my dressing room was awful, so we shared your dressing room and your mother was telling me that I looked stupid moments before I went on live television.
RO: I know, literally like three minutes before you were going on TV. I was like, “Mom, you can’t say that to him.”
NG: She was like, “You look stupid. That outfit doesn’t suit you.”
RO: And I was like, “It looks cool, it looks cool.”
NG: I love her. She’s a good woman. Would you say that she’s one of your role models?
RO: Yeah she is. She’s a very influential human being. She’s friendly, fun and very honest. And she kind of came from nothing. She had so much shit going on in her life but now she’s a doctor and also knows how to have fun. She’s never backed down from anything. I mean she’s a mom, she’s a wife, she’s a doctor… She is. Everything. She’s major.
NG: So Rita, now that you have reached your goal and you are an international pop star–in Milan one minute and New York the next–with an album on the way, what’s the next level? What’s the next goal?
RO: I would love to win a Grammy one day. And I want to go to India, China and Egypt. Places I would have never gone before. I want to live the world through music and perform for people. Music is so fucking fun and it connects people. And in all honesty, I never want to stop doing this. I would go on tour for the rest of my life if I could. So I don’t think I’ve reached anything yet. I’ve got about 15 more years of goals to achieve.
NG: I’m not just saying this because we are being recorded right now, but I’ve heard you moan about food or moan about drink, but I’ve never heard you say, “I’m tired, I’m not doing this, I can’t do it.” Are there any days where you’re like, “I can’t fly across the world, I literally can’t do this”?
RO: I mean, yeah, but I just don’t tell anybody. Why complain about something that you’ve always wanted? I know that you have to work hard to succeed and there are a lot of people who work hard around you. There are a lot of incredible, talented artists that you aren’t competing with but you’re kind of fighting up against because everyone wants to be the best, so I don’t ever complain about having to work hard. I’d rather run around than sit around, you know what I mean?
NG: Why do you think that so many pop stars go off the rails? And do you ever feel like it’s moving too fast and you could go off the rails?
RO: I think it comes back down to your morals and how you envision yourself and your goals and where you want to be when you’re 70 years old. Everyone’s different and everyone reacts differently, but I think that if you always keep good people around you then surely someone can remind you who you were before you did any of this.
NG: Let’s talk about your new album. This is your US debut. How does that make you feel? When I am doing the radio show and I think of pop stars I think of international pop stars, like Rihanna, Beyoncé… and Rita! What’s it like when you go to America?
RO: Ooh that’s good because that’s who I want to be whenI grow up. Conquering America for a UK artist is incredible because that’s what everybody wants and dreams about. And I guess it’s the same for the US acts; they’d like to crack the UK. The accomplishment is dominating a market which you aren’t familiar with. So yeah, I am a bit nervous. I am a bit scared, I’ll be honest, but I am so fuckin’ excited because the tour we’re doing is going to be so fucking massive. I just can’t wait for it because we have so much more to play with now. The first tour was obviously just me and the band and I was new and now I’m new again, but in another part of the world and we have dancers and loads of decorations and things you’ve never seen before. I don’t want to give too much away but it’s like a completely different planet.
NG: What about when you see Jay Z now — is it like, “Hov!” or is it like a work relationship? What advice did he give you on album two? Everyone says the second is always a difficult album…
RO: Yeah, it is. Now we’re at a place where I’ve grown up a little bit; it’s been two years since my last album. When I met him I was 17, and I am 23 now, so he’s watched me grow and now it’s about me having my own opinion and making my own decisions, which he understands. It’s more of a brother-sister relationship really. He really cares about me and it’s nice to see a boss who also really wants you to succeed and he’s really doing everything in his power to make this perfect.
NG: We should also speak about this man called Calvin Harris, who just so happens to be your boyfriend, and who you worked with on this album. Is it different working with someone that you’re dating rather than someone you’ve just met professionally? Is it easier or harder?
RO: It’s easier actually, because you’re in a comfortable environment but also you get a little bit shy. I got a little bit shy during our first musical bonding because he’s seen me in everything else but he hadn’t seen me in my work mode. So I was a bit shy at first, but not anymore. Now it’s fine.
NG: How many songs did you guys do for the album?
RO: We’ve done four, but the people on this album are just so cool, Grimmy, I can’t believe it.
NG: Hit me with it, come on.
RO: My single “I Will Never Let You Down” [produced by Harris] is obviously a very important song to me because it’s a love song, but it reminds you of Whitney. And that was the vibe we were on. We just wanted to feel good. You know that feeling of “How Will I Know” with the synth? It just makes you feel happy; that’s what I wanted to create. We have this amazing song “Young Dreamers” with Macklemore and it’s so cool. It’s for the kids, and it’s liberating and so fun. I did some stuff with Prince. This album was just so…
NG: Hold on. Don’t brush over Prince. Back up on Prince.
RO: Yeah, we did a few tracks together. I flew to Minneapolis and went to Paisley Park, which is like his iconic studios and we just made music. I was there for a week. It was the best thing I have ever done in my life.
NG: Oh my God, I bet. What happened? Did you just start jamming with Prince? Was it easy? What’s he like?
RO: No, it’s so easy. He plays like 50 instruments so you could do anything and he’ll fix it. He has an answer for everything. He’s a genius. When we connected I basically got a call from my management saying, “Prince would love to speak to Rita.” And I was like, “Wait, like the actual Prince? The Prince of Wales?” But I went that night and met him and we listened to music and it was amazing.
NG: That is so insane. And you never get freaked out? Because if my manager called and was like, “Jay Z’s invited you over,” or, “Prince has invited you over,” I’d be such a weirdo. How do you do it? How are you not freaking out?
RO: You know why? Because I want to be like that one day. They started from nothing and now they are legends and they will be remembered. And I’m all about learning everything–like how they move, how they speak, how they act–and I am so distracted by all of that, by trying to read them like a book, that I don’t think about who they are and I just take it in. I’m from West London and never thought anyone would know my name.
NG: Well they know now. I was looking at the pictures of us at Coachella last night because I was trying to convince my friends to go and I found the pictures of you getting ready for your performance in Frank Sinatra’s bedroom.
RO: Oh yeah, we’re doing that again this year. You went through all of my clothes. It was amazing.
NG: Yeah, there’s a picture of me in one of your body-con dresses with one of Frank Sinatra’s lampshades on my head. What’s your favorite festival? Do you like British or American festivals?
RO: The weather is better at the American festivals, but I think the vibe at the British festivals is completely different. It’s so much cooler and so much more, I don’t know, risky.
NG: I was thinking about this and one of the main differences is that at Coachella we hang
out at a nice house that Frank Sinatra once owned, and at Glastonbury I remember us walking back to our Winnebago at six in the morning eating sweet and sour chicken.
RO: In the mud.
NG: That is the different vibe.
RO: Oh babes, I miss you!
NG: I miss you too. Stop being a pop star!
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.
Rita Ora finishes off her close to perfect year in a fab way!
The Roc Nation beauty finds herself between the pages of Harper’s Bazaar January 2013 edition looking smoking hot as she dons a white & black Alexander McQueen tuxedo jacket as well as a black and white Stella McCartney jumpsuit with her signature bold red lip.
The breakout star chats about her musical influences, who she hopes to collaborate with in the future as well as as her influence on young girls.
On Her Favourite Band: [Mumford & Sons] I would love to do a collaboration with them. Coming from the UK feels like the coolest thing in the world right now.
On Her Musical Influences: Growing up I loved Beyoncé and Gwen Stefani because they were honest girls, but people always need a new role model relevant to them.
On Her Fans: I find it exciting that girls have really connected with me and my music and that I have the power to change someone’s life in three minutes, to wake them up.
Rita Ora poses for Seventeen magazine.. Added 11px, check out the photos below:
Home > Photoshoots > Photoshoots in 2012 > O. BARBE
Rita Ora is on an insane publicity rampage! The best part though is that everybody wants a piece of our girl so she’s not one of those rising stars who “tries” to get her name out there. It seems like every magazine wants Rita Ora on the cover of their September issue, which is usually the most popular issue of the year!
In this news, Rita hits the cover of GQ UK. Check out some of the highlights of her interview with GQ:
On a change she’s made since seeing her popularity soar:
“I shared a room with my sister and I had to not make noise when she was sleeping. Now I have my own place, it’s like – I don’t even have to be quiet.”
On her debut album title, Ora:
“It’s my name but also ora in my language means time, and it took me so long to do this album. Like three years.”
On the best advice she’s received from Jay-Z:
“The best advice he gave me was, ‘Have you seen Chris Martin perform? You know it’s literally just him on a stage? And he just rocks it out. Jay told me, ‘You don’t need dancers and stuff around you.”
On her Jack Daniels drinking lyrics:
“I don’t literally take a shot of Jack in the morning, I mean, I have once. I have a few times. But it’s not like I do it all the time.”
check out the magazine photos here and keep up the Ritabot support!