Rita Ora: "Jay-Z thinks I could be as big as Rihanna"
Rita Ora dives on to a sofa, flashing glittery fingernails decorated with £50 notes. On a normal day you'd notice these straight away, or if not you'd definitely notice the hair – a haywire mass of peroxide blonde. But today your attention is diverted by what she describes as her "Technicolored Wotsit-looking jumpsuit".
Some people work hard at being a popstar, but it comes annoyingly naturally to this 21 year old. Were we not banned by the Guardian's Department of Bad Puns, we'd say she had a real Ora about her. She's certainly as upbeat as they come, and with good reason. Her guest vocals on DJ Fresh's Hot Right Now became the first ever drum'n'bass number one back in February and she's now gearing up to release her debut solo album after signing to Jay Z's Roc Nation label. Looking at the collaborators she's worked with already – Drake, Chase and Status, Stargate – you can see why some people have her pegged as The Next Rihanna (TM).
"I don't think there will be a next Rihanna," she says. "But I think [Jay Z] definitely sees me as someone who could be as big as Rihanna. She's a superstar now but they first knew her as a small-island girl – and they want to repeat that success."
Ora feels a kinship with Rihanna – both have become pop stars from unlikely places, but instead of Barbados Ora life started in Kosovo, although her family moved to London when she was a baby. Her first musical loves were Spiceworld and Celine Dion – earlier today she bought a vintage T-shirt with Dion's face on – before she graduated to reggae from her local Notting Hill shop (Bounty Killer, Sizzla, Beanie Man) along with "artists who were not afraid": Hendrix, Bowie and Gaga.
She has had a few dabbles with pop stardom. These involve guesting on Craig David records and appearing on Andrew Lloyd Webber's Eurovision: Your Country Needs You! in 2009 (she pulled out, realising it wasn't for her) but she's not embarrassed by any of this. Instead she seems to absorb everything that comes in her path with a breezy confidence, as if waking up and recording a song written by Drake – which she did for her debut UK single RIP – was as natural as, say, making a cup of tea.
[3:48 AM] poobear: its it true
[3:49 AM] poobear: that little slave girls
[3:49 AM] poobear: come on yall doors
[3:49 AM] poobear: and sell cookies :o
[3:49 AM] summer: They aren't slaves they're called girl scouts
[11:47 PM] cookie: my monotone voice and accent would make a funny rape
[11:47 PM] cookie: *rap
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