October 28, 2015

Ever since we heard Rita Ora’s “Poison” on the radio, catchy tune aside, we’re intrigued.

The song is the first single from the British singer’s upcoming, yet-to-be-named sophomore album, rumoured to be out next year – but really, here’s what caught our attention. The lyrics. “I pick my poison and it’s you / Nothing could kill me like you do.” You can tell that it’s personal, it’s poignant, and that she’s talking about a painful past relationship.

Well, it is. “It was about me being addicted to love but it poisoned me, at a point in my life, and that happens to a lot of people,” says Rita Ora candidly. “You find someone, it’s great, you love each other so much, and then… it turns sour, and it can get dangerous.”

At Hong Kong to headline LANDMARK’s boutique boulevard event in mid-October, she managed to thrill a crowd who was, just minutes before her concert, clinking champagne glasses at the upscale mall. That’s gotta be something. And she’s definitely hot right now, what with fronting fashion lines, an ongoing collaboration with Adidas Originals, while we get to see her on TV weekly since she’s also a judge on popular talent show, The X Factor.

Amidst all that, she sits down with us for an interview that delves into her music, as well as being a true style maven.

You’ve been on many a best-dressed list, and we always look forward to both your everyday and red carpet looks – or the ones we get to see weekly on The X Factor. What’s your philosophy on fashion?

It’s really about figuring out your own individual formula. Everyone has one. For me, I always figured it out by not listening to what people thought was in trend or not in trend, and even though I love trends, I tend to not follow them. I kinda feel like it closes your mind to experimenting on your own.

I’m a massive fan of fashion and I love to dress up. I never look the same. I’ll always change my hair or the way I dress, and I think I wanted to be that person because I love to have fun. And that’s my main thing. Rita Ora = Fun.

More practically though, how do you decide on what to wear?

I have an amazing stylist, his name’s Kyle [De’Volle], and what we do is to make sure that nothing’s disorganised. We look at our diary and see what we have to do and we make mood boards every week. This week, we’re going to take this, this, this, that, and there’s always a theme and I’m so unpredictable, sometimes I wake up and I’m like, I don’t wanna wear this anymore, so Kyle always has options.

Would you call yourself an impulsive shopper?

Yep I am! Especially nowadays, I don’t really have time to plan when to shop, so I shop when I can. I shop online too, it’s the only way I get to these days.

You’ve had your hand in designing too – how has your collaboration with Adidas Originals been?

I’ve been designing with them for like three years, and I’m about to drop my 10th collection! So, I think that I’ve got the best collaboration with them because they give me freedom to learn and I’ve always wanted to design – or, one day, do it on my own, you know?

Let’s get to your upcoming album. What would you say is significant about it?

Yes it comes out! It’s my first worldwide release. Even though I’ve been signed for seven years, this is the first time I get the freedom to release my music to the world at the same time, you know.

This album’s inspired by my love for soul music, and it’s got real instruments in it. I wrote some personal songs on there. And it’s driven by my experience, in everything, personally and professionally, the friends that I’ve made and lost during the way. People change, you know, and it’s just about bringing my reality into my music.

The first single’s “Poison”, and that’s something you had a hand in writing as well. What’s your take on it?

It’s a song where I needed to let go – it’s like my release song. It was about me being addicted to love but it poisoned me, at a point in my life, and that happens to a lot of people. You find someone, it’s great, you love each other so much, and then… it turns sour, and it can get dangerous.

A lot of people have messaged me and said it has helped them a lot, so that’s nice!