Ahead of her live performance at Dubai’s Wake Up Call festival at W Dubai – The Palm this weekend (October 10 to 12), international popstar Rita Ora talks to Vogue Arabia about performing in the Middle East, showtime secrets and fashion must-haves.
The Kosovan-born, London-based singer returns to the emirate to headline the festival, which has previously taken place in in Los Angeles, Barcelona, and Bali. Check out who else is on the festival lineup.
Ora, who is the first female British artist to ever have 11 top 10s in a row, is set to wow the crowd with classic hits including Ritual, and How We Do (Party) as well as New Look from her latest album Pheonix. The single was actually filmed in the UAE at the iconic bridge in Meydan, in Al Seef. Here’s what we learned from Rita Ora…
Welcome back to the Middle East. What do you love the most about performing here?
I really love the food and just that the people are not scared to let go and have fun. They’re not stuck up or trying to be too cool – I love that.
What are your dressing room essentials for a show in UAE?
Sandals, water, lemon, ginger and honey tea. That’s it really. Oh, and a towel.
What can fans expect from you at Wake Up Call festival at W Dubai – The Palm?
Lots of fun. It’s the same show we did for the tour, so it will be similar version of it.
If you could wear only one outfit for the rest of your life what would it be?
Probably trainers, a short dress and a hoodie, because then you can take the hoodie off and you have a dress for a party and if you’re feeling cold, you can wear a jacket on top of a hoodie.
In 2016 you gave a moving speech on immigration and the Syrian refugee crisis, and in 2019 you were appointed as a UNICEF UK Ambassador. What is it like to be a voice for such an urgent issue?
I’m from Kosovo, and when I moved to London I was a refugee and that to me is just a personal journey.
Your successful career and humanitarian work has made you a role model for many, but who do you look up to?
What’s your best life lesson?
Be patient and appreciate things. Sometimes when things are not meant to happen, something else might happen.
What’s your one piece of advice for aspiring musicians?
It’s very important to be resilient and keep going.
Out of all of your songs, which would you like to be most remembered for?
Oh, I don’t know, all of them I guess.