Rita Ora: How She Do
By Alexandria Symonds
Beyoncé is clearly a role model for Ora, whose voice is similarly powerful and versatile, but when it comes to discussing other influential artists, her list is a litany of pop’s most powerful and original female vocalists. She ticks off Lauryn Hill, Debbie Harry, and Grace Jones in the same sentence, throws in Janis Joplin and Patti LaBelle for good measure, then segues into her affection for No Doubt and TLC. One trait those women share is their ability to connect with a gay fan base, which Ora herself has begun to cultivate in Europe. “I can’t wait to perform at Gay Pride and do the festivals,” she says. “The crowds are very supportive, and they make noise and they love having fun! I love the fact that they love that, because that’s what I’m about.”
Though a lot has changed since she moved to the U.S. four years ago to pursue her career, she says her relationship to her family has remained firmly intact. “My mum calls me up every once in a while and says, ‘Are you eating? Are you sleeping?’ ” the singer says. “You know, mum stuff.”
So is she? “Yeah, I am! I’m eating,” Ora replies with a laugh, suddenly remembering the salad that’s been ordered for her from Chop’t and digging in, making herself right at home.