RITA ORA Praises Filipinos As Best Vocalists, Shares About Collab With ED SHEERAN And More!
Ai dela Cruz
We know you PH Ritabots are still on a "first time high" after Rita Ora's first-ever concert in the Philippines, so we're giving you the lowdown on our MYXclusive interview with the British pop star before she arrived in Manila!
Our 10-minute phone conversation started with Rita praising Filipino singers and revealing that she actually watches their covers of her songs: "A lot of the people that cover my songs on YouTube and online—like some of the best vocalists in my opinion—are from the Philippines. They're like so good. You guys have super-talented people over there."
“Some of the best vocalists in the world really come from the Philippines.” - Rita Ora #RitaOraMNL— MYX Philippines (@MYXphilippines) March 10, 2019
We know The X Factor UK judge meant it because she even repeated it during her concert at the New Frontier Theater! "Some of the best vocalists in the world really come from the Philippines," she exclaimed to the very proud and flattered Pinoy crowd.
The "Let You Love Me" singer's Manila concert is part of her world tour in support of her sophomore album Phoenix, which she generously shared about, including the story behind its beautiful and powerful name.
"I just feel like a lot of people know me and my journey and my story and my struggle of being able to put out a second album and how long it took me to get there... I wanted to pay homage to that and acknowledge that and I thought “Pheonix” was a perfect name and represented just everyone who represented me along the way. So I wanted to acknowledge all of the fans and even the people within the music industry who supported me and allowed me to be in this position now, to even release a second album," the humble and grateful artist shared.
Don't expect this 16-track followup to have the same vibe as that of her debut album Ora though, as the 28-year-old singer-songwriter explained she grew so much in the six-year gap her albums were created: "People change in that amount of time and that reflects in my vocal, what I'm talking about—the subject title—just in general... It's me, and Ora's me, but this is me five/six years later and reflective of my journey and my vocal and musical growth."
Another awesome result of that six-year wait is Rita gaining more friends in the industry whom she ended up collaborating with, like Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX for "Girls."
"Bebe is one of my really good friends. She's also Albanian like me, so I've known her for a while and I just think she’s such a talented songwriter and artist. Charli is literally one of my best friends so I was like, 'You have to do this for me.' And also, she’s like one of the coolest people in the world. And Cardi, I’m like a massive fan of. So I was like, 'Hmm, that would be the cherry on the cake,'" she animatedly said.
If you're like me who wondered how fun it must have been to shoot that glamorous "Girls" video, then you'd be glad to know that Rita confirmed this saying, "[It was] super fun, super easy, everything was light-hearted. We didn't take anything too seriously. We just were four girls having a good time and I think that shows on the song."
It looks like they really had a great time because Bebe even tweeted last January that she wanted to do another collab with Rita, but this time, with fellow Albanians Dua Lipa and Ava Max.
They haven't started with the collab yet, but the British-Albanian beauty confirmed that they think it "would be super-cool ‘cause [they're] all Albanians" and that "it would be a magical moment for Albania for sure."
Moving on to her male collaborators, Rita also praised her "Your Song" co-writer Ed Sheeran, whom she also did a laidback unplugged version with online: "Ed is super-talented. He’s just a great guy and he’s like really down-to-earth, kind, humble… and he’s someone that makes me feel really comfortable in the studio and somebody that I’ve known for a very long time. He’s a dear friend, so to me, it was just a natural collaboration that allowed me to be myself."
But of course, we can't not talk about her steamy collab with Liam Payne, which spent weeks on the MYX charts after being part of the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack.
Rita revealed she actually handpicked her fellow Brit artist to do the song with her: "Another great friend of mine who I think is a really, really great guy—Liam. He’s so lovely and kind and I thought that... the song was perfect for the movie and I just thought that Liam was the perfect person to sing it with me."
Speaking of being part of the official soundtrack of films she also stars in, I tried to investigate about her role on the upcoming Pokémon movie Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynolds and whether or not she'll also be singing for the film.
Courtesy: Warner Bros. Pictures
Without spoiling too much, the singer-actress shared as much as she can for now: "I am not allowed to say anything about that at the moment because the Pikachu fans are like, literally, the most hardcore fans in the world and I feel like if I say one thing that’s like wrong or not like a hundred percent of how it’s gonna be, they’re literally gonna react, “You got this wrong!” So I’m gonna wait and let that roll out... But just to be honest, I had the best time doing that movie. And I got to play someone who’s opposite of me and that is like… when I’m acting or in a role or in a film, that to me is like liberating, playing an opposite character. So, I’m super-super-excited to see me play that role."
The multi-talented artist seems to really have a knack for portraying different characters, as photos of her Halloween costume showing her uncanny resemblance to Post Malone resulted to various news outfits mistakingly using her photos instead of Post's!
Rita Ora’s Post Malone Costume Was So Good, She’s Now Getting Confused For Him In Magazines https://t.co/TaUDpHR2EN— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) January 17, 2019
When I asked if she has already spoken with Post about the mix-up, she immediately burst into laughter and elaborated, "Someone used it and tagged it as Post Malone, nominated for a Grammy, and they posted a picture of me. I was like, 'Hey, that’s not Post!' I’ve spoken to him and he’s like, “You’re crazy, I love it! How did you get it so perfect?' Post is one of my really good friends. He was like 'I love it, it’s great, I can’t believe you got it so good.' ‘Cause I got like his tattoos. It took me like 4 hours to do that."
While we're all still on a Rita high, check out her newest music video released just a few days ago "Only Want You" below!