Rita Ora hits Chicago as last stop on tour with new single, ‘Body on Me’


Rita Ora’s entry into the U.S. market has been years in the making. In just the last 12 months, the singer and actress has been seemingly everywhere, featured on Iggy Azalea’s hit “Black Widow” and appearing in several films and TV shows, including “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Fast & Furious 6” and “Empire.” Her first album, Ora, was released in 2012 through Roc Nation—without a U.S. edition. Ora is currently gearing up to release her second album and U.S. debut, spotlighting her recent single “Poison” which came out on June 28. 

The LP’s third single, “Body On Me,” which features Chris Brown, has gained more than two million streams on Spotify, and its music video has gained more than 12 million views on YouTube since its Aug. 18 release. The two artists performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Sept. 8 where their chemistry clearly sparked as Ora walked through the audience to get to Brown, sitting on a couch onstage. Ora said she was excited to perform the song live on the show. The 24-year-old Kosovo-born songwriter is currently on tour promoting the single and will make a stop in Chicago at Lincoln Hall on Sept. 17. Get tickets for her show here

Ora has also dabbled in the fashion industry. She is the face of Roberto Cavalli, a well-known Italian fashion designer who started his brand in 1970 and whose trademark is exotic prints and over-the-top accessories. Ora also created her own Unstoppable collection with global brand Adidas Originals earlier this year, and it dropped in stores worldwide Sept. 4.

The Chronicle spoke via email with the  British singer-songwriter about her new single, her creative influences and her next career ventures.

THE CHRONICLE: Who are your musical inspirations or influences? 

RITA ORA:  Sade, Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Lauryn Hill, James Blake and Amy Winehouse are my influences.

What was it like working with Chris Brown for “Body On Me?”

I’ve known Chris for a few years and it was exciting to finally collaborate with him. He’s so passionate about music.

What inspired the “Body On Me” video?

I had a bunch of ideas for the video, and the director, Colin Tilley, and I came up with different treatments. Ultimately, I thought, “Let’s show two neighbors who always see each other and how they fantasize what a relationship would look like.” I think it is super relatable, as everyone experiences that in their lives.

What was your favorite music video to shoot?

I’ve loved shooting all my videos. It’s such a creative expression to translate my music into a visual, and I love all the different people I get to collaborate with to make the videos.

You’ve worked in multiple industries—fashion, film and music—which one have you enjoyed the most?

Music will always be my biggest passion. I love the whole process from writing to recording to performing for my fans.