Remix Interviews: Rita Ora

 Rita Ora Publicity Shot 2-81836053 The last time we caught up with Rita Ora we were frantically running around a hotel in Auckland, shooting her cover for Remix in under two hours! Two years on we phoned up the Kosovian babe to talk about her new album, her role in Fifty Shades Of Grey, her tips on wellbeing and when she’s coming back to see us.
Do you remember your shoot with Remix the last time you were in New Zealand? We did a cover in less than two hours! I know, I remember, it was crazy! That was a crazy day. We have to do another one soon. I heard recently you’re planning to open a school in your native town in Kosovo. What was the inspiration behind this? I left Kosovo when I was one and I just thought it was the least I could do to give back to the community. I got in touch with my charity and came up with this idea because I just want kids to nd a base where they can create. I wanted to help the next generation coming after us; I think it’s vital. It’s going to take a while but it’s something I’m really passionate about and can’t wait to do. Your new song with Chris Brown already has 300,000 views on YouTube in under a month. Were you expecting that sort of reaction from people? Oh my god no! I’m so grateful for all the support, the reaction and the interest. I really wanted to make a video that felt intimate, just like the record. Working with Chris was awesome. Everyone was so on board and on the same page and it was a very easy, organic collaboration. You’re just about to release a new album. Tell us a bit about it. The new record is just about having this sense of freedom. I’m in a phase of my life where I really want to approach my new record with a sense of honesty and belief and be the charismatic kind of girl that I am without being too overseen by corporate people. I’ve taken it upon myself to work with who I want to work with and do what I want to do. How was it working with Major Lazer on the record? I’ve known Diplo for a very long time. He loves music and he loves to have fun – his music is like a party. He likes to make people happy, so he was the perfect guy to add into this record. Do you have one song from the album that you have a special connection to over the others? I feel like they all mean something different. I really wanted to make sure that every record on this album is on for a reason. I was really strict with myself – I recorded a lot of music but only a few made it on there. I’m still writing as we speak too. You’re going to be in the next Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Have you always wanted to pursue acting? I like to see myself as an artist that does more than one thing. I like to branch out. Nowadays I think it’s great that we can be sort of more 360 degree artists than we ever used to be, it’s very liberating to try out all different sorts of fields. I never specifically focused on the one thing, I always felt like I was a visionary, and wanted to be a part of all of these different worlds.
This issue of Remix is the happiness and wellbeing issue – when you’re not working, what do you do to keep yourself feeling happy and fulfilled? When I’m not working I try to look after my body. I work out and try to get the right sleep. I also go to the spa and try to get some quality time with myself, which is pretty difficult - especially now with being on the road a lot and being homesick. It’s really important to have that mind space. What are your tips for living well and looking after yourself? Exercising, eating healthy and having a good night’s sleep, which is sometimes impossible for me. That sort of stuff. Sometimes you have to be the person that goes to bed, instead of partying. Who are some of your favourite fashion labels? I don’t really have one specific designer, I like to branch out, but I’m really into my vintage T-shirts right now, so I like to collect rock ‘n’ roll and punk t-shirts. Who is a fashion icon that you look up to? In the last Remix you mentioned Gwen Stefani... It’s still and always will be Gwen! I love her. Freddie Mercury is another big one and I love Madonna. You and Madonna are quite good friends right? You were in her latest music video? Yeah, she’s awesome. She’s a great friend. Beauty wise, what’s the one skincare product you couldn’t live without? What do you need to put on to feel sexy? I love facemasks, anything by the French skincare brand Caudalie. Oh and moisturizer, always. Makeup wise if you had to just put something on for a dinner? I’d just throw on some foundation, mascara, and lipstick. And you’re going to be doing a world tour to promote your new album? Yes, 100 per cent! And will be heading down your way for sure! Dream collaboration? Kendrick Lamar and I just adore Sam Smith’s voice. Working with him would be amazing, and he’s from the UK too! It’s summer in New Zealand. What are some of your favourite songs from the summer you’ve just had? I love The Weeknd and I’ve been listening to a lot of his new album lately, so that for sure.