If you don’t know the name Rita Ora, you’re about to. The budding chanteuse recently burst onto the scene thanks to her catchy R&B infused pop tunes (which she prefers to call “edgy pop”), but you may know her for other reasons. She was front row at London Fashion Week and the paparazzi recently had a field day when she was spotted leaving a club with rumored boyfriend Rob Kardashian.
Regardless of how you know Rita, I can guarantee you she is here to stay. I spoke with the 21-year-old songstress earlier — and below are some highlights from our chat.
StyleCaster:What was it like being discovered and signed immediately by Jay-Z? Tell me a little bit about how that all began.
Rita Ora:When I was 18 and I got signed it was huge deal to me. I’m a fan of Jay’s and Destiny’s Child and the whole movement. I was so happy and I thought that I would be the biggest star in the world the week after I got my record deal. Little did I know you have to record an album first! It was an amazing moment in my life, but I knew I had to get to work right away. I hit the studio immediately, and made sure that I deserved to stay there. I just worked and worked and worked until I got my album finished.
SC: Tell me about your musical influences.
RO:My musical influences vary a lot and people are sometimes confused about how they go together. Destiny’s Child is one of the biggest, I have listened to them since I was a kid. Gwen Stefani is a huge influence to me. She’s one of my idols.When people ask me about genres, I don’t know what to say. Music is music. On my album, I have the chance to put influences from a variety of genres into twelve tracks. It has a lot of reggae influences, a lot of No Doubt influences. It’s kind of like edgy pop. It’s not exactly pop, so that’s how I would describe it.
SC:You will probably face comparisons to Rihanna and Beyonc — simply because of your affiliation with Jay-Z. How do you stand out as an artist in this crowded pop climate?
RO:Being compared to anyone as a new artist is a huge compliment, so if you’re compared to someone that’s already huge and has been doing their thing for years — I’m more than happy! I take it as a compliment and use it to my advantage. I’m just happy to even be compared.And my story is different from a lot of others. I’m not from London — I’m from Kosovo. I have a story and my background hasn’t been as easy as everybody might think. I’m taking advantage of every opportunity I have. My album is mostly about having fun with your life and not paying attention to boundaries — and partying and bullsh*t!
SC: From numerous paparazzi shots I have to say that I love your style. Tell me about it.
RO:I kind of dress like how I feel that day. I love fashion as much as I love music, and I think that it’s under the umbrella of entertainment and show-business and things like that. It’s so fun to play with clothes. I have some inspirations of designers and muses. Daphne Guinness is a huge fashion icon for me. So is Vivienne Westwood andthe edge to her clothes. There’s not really a blueprint to clothes in my eyes.
SC: Who would you most love to collaborate with?
RO: Beyonc and Gwen Stefani!
Into fashion, has a killer voice and loves to party? I’m obsessed already. Rita is set to go on tour with DJ Fresh and Coldplay in the coming months and her album will be released this summer. In the meantime, check out her singles”R.I.P” and “HOW WE DO (Party),” and her official website for more info!