Rita Ora’s sexual quotient has never been questioned, nor has her musical talent. She’s got an off-the charts body and an stellar voice and a compelling back story. What she doesn’t have is an American audience.
Maybe her long-awaited new album, Phoenix, will be the charm. The mythical beast is an apt analogy for her music career.
She broke out with her debut album, the self-titled Ora, in 2012 through Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Columbia Records. It debuted at No. 1 on the UK albums charts, and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry the following year.
But her career was short-circuited before it could take off, when she filed suit against Roc Nation the following year to get out of her contract. The complaint alleged the label was sitting on her music and refusing to release it.
The suit was finally settled in 2016 and Ora signed with Atlantic Records. She finally announced last month that her sophomore album would be released in November ahead of the holiday season.
“I feel like I’ve just started, in the weirdest way,” she tells Clash. “I know some people in the industry who I won’t name but who have messaged me to say, ‘You’re a badass for doing what you did.’ I earned a new found respect. Now, though, it’s time to put that stuff away and get this chapter going.”
The issue, which has four separate covers, celebrates power in its many manifestations Ora is the personification of “synergetic unity, fearless emboldening, and purposeful enlightenment,” the magazine says.
Of her racy photos, she wrote on Instagram, “made me feel so comfortable to be myself and feel free, it was so liberating!!”