Rita Ora performs at the "Made In America" music festival
♦ 7 p.m. Oct. 26
♦ The MID, 306 N. Halsted
♦ Tickets, $26
♦ (312) 265-3990;
Life moves fast for Rita Ora, and since the August release of her self-titled debut album in August, it’s showed no sign of slowing down.
Ora signed with Roc Nation, one of the country’s premier labels, at just 18, joining Rihanna, J. Cole and MIA. Billboard has since named Ora, 21, one of “2012’s Brightest New Stars (So Far).”
Multiple Grammy winner and Roc Nation partner Jay-Z has offered a wealth of advice. “I’ve been really lucky to be surrounded by people that know the industry and who are very wise,” she says. “I take their wisdom very seriously.”
“ORA” features writing and collaborations from Drake, Tinie Tempah, The-Dream and Ester Dean as well as other artists blending British and American persuasions.
Ora was born in Kosovo. Before the 1998-99 war there, her parents fled to London, where Rita grew up and the family lives today.
A line from Ora’s first U.K. single, “R.I.P. to the girl you used to see,” could describe her rapid ascent.
“I’ve been sharing a room with my sister my whole life. I pretty much just moved out. It’s now gone from sharing a room to having your own place, you know. I don’t forget where I’m from. I thank everyone in my family, my friends and my fans every day.”
After a summer stadium tour with Brit-rockers Coldplay, Ora is cultivating her own signature performance style defined by energy and movement.
“When I perform, my aim every single time is to look at everyone and really make them smile. My whole aim for this album is to let people escape for a minute, because that’s really what music is, having that getaway.”
Gannett News Service