Rita Ora poured all the emotions she felt following her split from Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label into the songs on her new album.
The British star admits she struggled to release new music after her 2012 debut, Ora, dropped because her battle to get free of her contract rattled her enthusiasm for songwriting.
Instead, she turned to acting and landed a role in the Fifty Shades of Grey film franchise, and became a TV favorite in the U.K. and America on shows like The Voice UK and America’s Next Top Model, where she took over hosting duties from Tyra Banks.
But now she’s back with a new Fifty Shades duet recorded with One Direction star Liam Payne and an upcoming album, filled with uplifting dance music tracks and love songs.
“I had a bit of an issue, publicly, with putting out music which got me really, really, kind of devastated, and I was really down, and then I was really angry, and then I was really frustrated, and then I was really happy that it was happening,” she tells Billboard.
“It was all these emotions, so my album is definitely a rollercoaster of emotions… I’m still crazy, like, I still love to go out and party. Everyone who knows me knows that I love to have a good time, but I wanted this album to also be (something) you could put on and vibe with your friends. There’s a lot of ups and downs, but I’m very, very proud of it.”
And she admits her hit Your Song was an “introduction” to her new sound, which features a lot of electronic dance music: “I don’t want to hear sad songs anymore; I don’t want to be in the past; I want to only hear love songs. Let’s keep this train moving,” she adds. “I love an EDM drop, and I think you can see that with my music; it definitely has taken it to this kind of electronic music naturally.”
And there will be lots of new music from Rita this year: “I just said to myself, ‘2018, I’m just going to put out as much music as I can…'” Ora beams. “2018 is very fun, because we’ve got the film coming out in February, Valentines Day, 50 Shades Freed. We’ve got the song available now, which we’ll be performing everywhere. I’ve got my album coming out, probably after March. That’s my aim because enough is enough now; it’s time for new music.”