It's difficult to keep up with Rita Ora. The British vocalist just scooped up her fourth No. 1 single in the UK with "I Will Never Let You Down," an irresistibly upbeat new single penned by boyfriend Calvin Harris. She's collaborating on a collection with Adidas Originals that includes sheer tracksuits. She just wrapped production on her first film role in 50 Shades of Grey. And now, the unpredictable chanteuse is the guest of honor at Belvedere's 7th annual celebrity-soaked party at Cannes, where she's about to give the room a private performance.
It's Ora's first time at Cannes (she once flew in and out for a performance, but didn't experience anything off the stage), but tonight, as she clutches an oversized bottle of vodka etched with her name, she has a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. It could be the shimmering lights on La Croisette (and the all-too-drinkable Belvedere martinis) or it could be that the singer, who's omnipresent in the UK, is about to have a moment.
Before Rita took the stage, she sat down with us to talk about her new track with Iggy Azalea, collaborating with Calvin Harris, and the pressures of releasing her first album in the states.
Interview by @ShanteCosme
Rita: You guys gave me my first ever cover.
Complex: Yes, the one with you sitting at the desk. A great cover.
So, tell us about the new album.
This album is literally a breath of fresh air. Not just for me, I think for everybody. It's got DJ Mustard, Diplo, and Wayne Hector. It's an eclipse of me. I said to myself, I will not release an album in the States unless I know 100% that by the end of it people will say, "That's Rita." To me, it wasn't about collaborators or making a really hot record, it was just about making a body of work that was me. It's my first release in the states; I've never released anything out there before, so this is a big deal for me. I'm shittin' it—in a good way.
What was collaborating with Iggy Azalea on "Black Widow" like?
It was amazing. I've known Iggy for so many years. She supported me on my first tour. It was only an eight show tour in America. She only had "Pussy" out at that time. I've always loved her vibe and her energy. I knew [her new album] was going to be a shock and it was a good shock, and I'm really happy for her. What we've done together is so cool and "Black Widow" has an amazing message. We've always wanted to work together and we found the perfect song. It's all about women empowerment.
I have to leave tomorrow to finish it off. People are like, "Stay, stay!" I'm like I can't stay, I have to work. I have to finish it in literally in about a month's time.
We'll have to get you on another cover.
I'd love to. For the U.S., it will be released around September. So yeah, write September down. Let's do an amazing cover! I feel like it should do something liquidy. You guys have such great covers.