In The Works: Rita Ora

Behind the scenes of her second album…

In the two years since her debut album, ‘Ora’, first dropped like a (blonde) bombshell, Kosovo-born Rita Ora has blossomed from one of the UK’s most intriguing pop hopefuls into a global star, her defiant energy driving her up charts and catwalks everywhere. But crucially for her, the prospect of a second album offers the chance to truly represent her current life.

“The first album, I recorded it two years before it actually got released,” Rita tells Clash. “So, as you can imagine, those songs for me were two-years-old. So, for me now, this is actually happening right now, at this moment.”

“‘I Will Never Let You Down’ was literally made a couple of months ago!” she exclaims, referencing her latest single, produced by then-boyfriend Calvin Harris.

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Rita Ora, ‘I Will Never Let You Down’

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Seizing the immediacy of her own hurtling zeitgeist promises a natural immersion of the artist in the music, and therefore a deeply personal involvement. “I think the more honesty the better for me now,” she says of her songwriting. “There’s definitely more of me in there, and it has a lot of character.”

The aforementioned ‘I Will Never Let You Down’ hints at the forthcoming album’s intimate insights. She sings of reassurance and enduring support over Harris’ buoyant choruses, giving a real sense of positivity and empowerment, evoking Whitney Houston at her uplifting best. “She was the queen of having love songs you can let go to,” Rita explains.

Production duties are shared across the album, where her beau rubs shoulders with Diplo, Thiago, Stargate and Switch. As each brought their own distinctive style and methods to the table, Rita found herself gladly stepping out of her comfort zone accordingly; “I think that’s what makes a producer really good,” she suggests, “when they adapt you.”

The greatest praise, however, is reserved for her new BFF (and, judging by her Instagram, she’s got many!), Prince, whose collaboration will remain tightly under wraps until later this year.

“It was really uplifting and inspirational,” she beams. “He’s one of the only real legends we’ve got left, so I was really honoured to be a part of this.”

Reflecting on her whirlwind schedule, the constant efforts she endures, and the opportunities she’s been fortunate to experience, Rita signs off with an appreciation of the memories she’s creating, and the purpose of her perseverance.

“I can get old and say I watched Prince play his instruments – and my grandkids will probably be like, ‘Who?’ It’s a legacy that you can never forget.”

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Words: Simon Harper
Photography: Ash Kingston

Rita Ora’s second album, which she claims is titled “after a love goddess”, will be released late in 2014. Meantime, find the singer online here.

Related: more In The Works features

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