Rita Ora Gets Schooled on Complex Cover
Rita Ora covers the August/September issue of Complex – a nod she shares with G.O.O.D. Music this month. But her amazing, co-ed themed photo spread – we love the platinum blonde curls, ruby red lips and sexy shots of Ora in school girl poses, surrounded by books – ensures that she stands out. She also shares deets about her upbringing, how much she loves Rihanna (her media-created rival) and her "relationship" with Rob Kardashian.
Ora is many things. The latest Roc Nation sensation. A Jay-Z protégé. The next Rihanna, despite having her own sexy street charm that's not all that similar to RiRi's. Despite those assertions, Ora speaks about the long, patient road to where she is now, and that's enjoying the success of 'How We Do' while teetering on the cusp of superstardom.
"When I first got signed I was this random girl from London," she said. "I was thinking my whole world was going to be turned around. I thought I was gonna be on 'Oprah' next week with a new single. Three years later, I'm just starting to come out. I wanted to release everything I'd ever recorded, but I was lucky enough to have someone like Jay to say, 'This isn’t good enough. You have to find yourself.' It was the best advice he could have given me — to be patient."
Ora, who grew up collecting Nike Air sneaks and loving '90s rap, like Biggie Smalls, insists there is no RiRi drama. "I admire Rihanna," Ora declared. "She works her a-- 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 s--- that I want to do. That I will do." Check out that confidence. You go Ri. As it in Rita, not Rihanna!
The singer, who is an ethnic Albanian and speaks the language, emigrated to the U.K. with her parents from Kosovo in 1990, when she was just a baby. They escaped the former Yugoslavia before the Serb conflict erupted into war. Still, Rita and her sister Elena returned home to Pristina every year to visit their grandmother once things calmed down in the region.
Ora also reveals, in the behind-the-scenes footage, that her father owns a few bars and pubs in London and that's why her music is the way it is: fun. She'd perform for patrons and then go home, go to bed and go to school the next day.
As for other aspects of her personal life, Ora is seeing Kardashian brother Rob very casually. She met him at a Watch the Throne gig and even double dated with Kimye. Still, Ora is quick to point out the level of low commitment, saying, "I mean, it's not really a relationship. It's not that intense. He's a cool guy. We're close. We're good friends. I got his back and he's got mine."
Turns out that's how Ora operates all of the time, saying, "To me, it doesn't matter who you are or where you're from—if you’re a good person and you got my back, I got yours. It's that easy for me."
Rita Ora is marriage material, boys!
Watch Behind-the-Scenes Footage of Rita Ora's Complex Shoot