I was Rita Ora’s fan long before meeting her. I remember her hits R.I.P. and Hot Right Now playing at my high school parties and her Adidas fashion line being the cool thing on the block - and those were all before she became the pop star she is today. She was also really relatable on a human level. Rita was born in Kosovo, had Albanian parents and grew up in the UK. Her existence transcended borders, and that certainly resonated – at least for me, who was born in the US, grew up in Singapore, and went to university in Sydney.
When I was growing up in Singapore, celebrities didn’t come by this small island as commonly as they do today. So having the chance to hang with someone as famous as Rita was out of the question. As a VICE contributing writer, I was ecstatic to learn I'd be able to meet her in person.
Here’s what I learned about Rita when she casually popped by the VICE Asia office on a Monday afternoon.
She’s A Fashionista
Ok, technically we all already knew this, but how can you not mention fashion and Rita Ora in the same sentence?
Rita pulled up wearing a long black dress, black leather thigh-high boots, an iced out necklace and a pair of light-brown sunglasses. I asked her about her outfit, and to her makeup artist's dismay, she excitedly threw her leg up in the air, screaming: “These are my boots! They are sold at Giuseppe stores all around the world!”
She Used To Work Behind The Scenes
Rita is an actress, presenter and singer, but did you know she used to work behind the scenes as well?
We found this out through a friendly exchange she had with one of our crew members when she offered to help him set up his camera. How does she know this? Apparently, she used to work behind the scenes during her art school days at Sylvia Young Theatre School, and she still remembers a lot of the technical stuff she had to.
She’s A Foodie
Like in most celebrity interviews, I thought she would love being asked about her music and other elements of her career. Instead, the highlight of the interview was definitely when we go to a very dividing topic: food.
When I asked her to choose between “Indian, Japanese or Thai food?,” her struggle was real, and I can relate to that on a personal level. “Indian,” she exclaimed, “because I'm a spice girl.”
When I asked her, “rice or noodles?,” she had a very strategic answer to do with how she tricks her brain into thinking she eats less. Watch the interview to find out what it was.
She’s A Party Animal
Ok, maybe we knew this one as well, but it’s always a fun time with Rita. When asked to choose between a few celebrity couples, she used quite the criteria to make the decision: who is the most fun to party with.
When I asked, “Vodka, Gin or Rum?” She picked something that wasn’t even on the menu. “Tequila!” she yelled. Enough said.
She’s A Perfectionist
One thing I got to witness that you won’t see in the footage is Rita’s determination. She drew a self-portrait of herself and took us through her reasoning throughout it. However, she wasn’t happy with how her portrait made it look like she was kissing herself, so she gathered paper, tape, and scissors and found a crafty way to fix it.
She’s A Romantic
While the rooftop was getting set up for her performance of Only Want You, I managed to steal her away for a few seconds to ask her about the love song.
Any love advice for your 18-year-old self? “Patience is a virtue. You’re not going to realize that until your older, but be patient,” she said.
Is there anyone you think about when you perform the song? “Yes there is, but I’m not going to tell you.”
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