Rita Ora is fast becoming the next big import in the new British Invasion. She has an even more exotic background than Rihanna and recalls old school rappers like Missy Elliott, with killer looks.
Ora, 21, debuted in Las Vegas last night hosting Stereo Saturdays at Lavo Nightclub in the ritzy Palazzo Hotel-Resort Casino. It’s part of a whirlwind tour leading up to the release of her first album.
So far, she’s best known in the UK. Her self-titled debut album, ORA, will be released by Jay-Z’s Roc label in Great Britain next month (Aug 28)and will get a U.S. release date sometime after that, likely in the fall. Roc rapper J. Cole, will.i.am, and Tinie Tempah are featured on her track “R.I.P.”
Check out Rita’s photos; click to enlarge.
Working with Jay-Z puts a lot of weight in her corner. She joins a roster with J. Cole, Willow Smith and Jay Electronica. Roc Nation also manages Rihanna, M.I.A., Santigold and Shakira., according to Complex magazine, which features her in its August issue.
She rocked the house with her hit “Hot Right Now” for MTV UK’s Wireless Festival, appearing before her largest audience to date, according to London’s Daily Mail. (See video below)
Ora was born in Kosovo and is fluent in Albanian. She moved to London with her family when she was just a year old and grew up in a tough neighborhood. Older sister Elena, who doubles as her road still lives in the same three-bedroom apartment in West London.
“Rita always performs better under pressure,” her older sister tells Complex.
While the comparisons to Rihanna are inescapable, Ora plays down the connection. “It’s a great comparison but I don’t think about it. When the album’s out, it’s going to separate me from that, without me having to say anything,” she said.
“I admire Rihanna,” she says. “She works her ass off. She hasn’t had a break and she has given people hit after hit after hit. That work ethic and discipline is hardcore. That’s the kind of shit that I want to do. That I will do.”
Check out her video below: