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Rita Ora Takes Toronto
“I haven’t actually tried this on,” Rita Ora says, peeking out of the change room at Toronto boutique Bridge + Bardot as she slips into a pair of mint green 3.1 Phillip Lim overalls she brought for our photo shoot today, which she pairs with a ’90s-inspired Cavalli crop top. “I don’t know if my bum fits in.” Kosovo-born, British-raised Ora, 22, has nothing to worry about—her curves are perfectly showcased by the piece. The singer, and latest protege of Jay-Z, is in Canada promoting her debut album, Ora, an upbeat party soundtrack that skips through dance, pop and ’90s-inspired hip-hop. Ora is true to its buoyant vibe in person, as we learned during an afternoon of shopping in Toronto’s micro-chic Dundas and Ossington neighbourhood, dotted with local, slow-paced coffee joints, key restaurants and curated boutiques. As our entourage blasted rap anthems from an old-school boom box, Ora party-hopped the hood, alighting at vintage boutique Bridge + Bardot, classic-cool bar The Saint Tavern and gallery space Milk Glass Co.—leaving the neighbourhood hipsters grinning ear to ear.
The Album: Ora, Rita OraRihanna, make room. Much like that of her Roc Nation label mate, Rita Ora’s debut album dutifully checks off radio-ready anthems (“How We Do”), stadium slow jams (“Shine Ya Light”) and hip-hop collabs (including “R.I.P.,” which Drake originally wrote for—you guessed it—Riri). With slick work by super-producers Diplo, The Dream and Will.i.am, Ora’s more than just a first record—it’s a big-budget bid for superstardom.