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Rita Ora says she’s found new ‘liberating’ mindset

Rita Ora has opened up about the inspirations behind her new music, after filming an exclusive live session as part of The Independent’s Music Box series.

The Brit Award-nominated pop star has just released a brand new single, “Ask and You Shall Receive”, as she prepares to headline Mighty Hoopla festival in London.

For Music Box, Ora performed the song live for the very first time, along with a stripped-back rendition of her hit single “Praising You”.

Speaking to The Independent, Ora said the new single definitely has “that cheeky flirtation” she incorporates into all her music, and feels like “a really natural, fun record”.

She revealed that “Ask and You Shall Receive” was co-written by her friend and fellow pop star RAYE, whom she has championed over the years and thinks of as “like my little sister”.

“She’s also a resilient woman like me, [and] I loved seeing her growth… her and I really bonded during my tour,” Ora said.

“We’ve had each other’s backs, so this is a 360 moment.”

Rita Ora performs during her Music Box session with The Independent
Rita Ora performs during her Music Box session with The Independent (The Independent)

Ora, 33, explained that she wanted to go “a bit off-centre” with the accompanying music video: “Things are starting to happen and evolve, and it feels to me like my world is getting a bit darker, a bit more moody, and it’s going to lead people into the next phase of my music.”

In future songs, she hinted that she has sought out new inspiration after her husband, Oscar-winning director Taika Waititi, proved to be a positive influence on her last album, 2023’s Top 10 You & I.

Rita Ora and Taika Waititi at the 2024 Met Gala
Rita Ora and Taika Waititi at the 2024 Met Gala (Getty Images)

“With my last album I was really inspired by my relationship,” Ora acknowledged. “A lot changed in my life, I got married…”

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She joked: “I’m a bit bored of that now [as inspiration], and I want [my music] to move on, have fun and do what makes me feel good.

“That’s kind of been my motto for the last two or three years. If it doesn’t make me feel good, I’m not doing it, and I’ve found that very liberating.”

Rita Ora in artwork for her new single, ‘Ask and You Shall Receive'
Rita Ora in artwork for her new single, ‘Ask and You Shall Receive’ (Rosie Matheson)

Asked about her mood for 2024, Ora said she was taking full control of her life, two years after singing a record deal that enables her to control her masters.

“Don’t be afraid to say no,” she said. “Life’s too short, you need to take control of what you want to do.

“It’s been a long time coming for me to be in this mindset, and I’m feeling really good about it.”

Rita Ora headlines Mighty Hoopla festival on Sunday 2 June. Her Music Box sessions will be available to view via The Independent’s channels from Saturday 1 June.

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