Rita Ora on acceptance, her second album and why she feels like she's 'been reborn'

Rita Ora has a new lease on life in 2017.

Fresh off a pair of Top 10 hits in the UK with "Your Song" and "Lonely Together" with Avicii, Ora is gearing up to finally release her second studio album, five years after releasing her debut Ora. Over a recent phone call in the middle of her promo tour, the 26-year-old described this year as a "fresh start."

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"It just feels like I've been reborn," Ora told AOL Entertainment. "It's such a fresh start for me on so many levels. I feel like I've never been prouder. My music has an undertone of just wanting everyone to come to my party, where everyone is invited."

That theme of acceptance is one that runs through all of Ora's new material, including her forthcoming album's second single, "Anywhere," set to be released on Oct. 20.

"'Anywhere' is super important with everything going on," Ora explained. "The core of this song was written in L.A., and I really wanted to get out of there. I felt too still and that every day was the same for me, so I wrote a song called 'Anywhere' basically saying, 'Take me anywhere, anywhere away from here.' We turned that into 'Anywhere away with you,' and it became this incredible love song."

"It's about having a desperation of wanting to break free from whatever it is you're going through," she continued. 

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Rita Ora out and about
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Rita Ora seen on the set of her music video in Times Square on October 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Rita Ora seen out and about in Manhattan on October 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Rita Ora films a music video on cobblestones in the Meatpacking District on October 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Rita Ora seen on the set of her music video in Chinatown on October 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Rita Ora is seen in the Meat Packing District on October 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Rita Ora is seen in Midtown on October 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Singer Rita Ora is seen walking in Soho on October 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Kyle De'Volle and Rita Ora seen at Miu Miu X LOVE Magazine party at No 5 Hertford Street (Loulou's) during London Fashion Week September 2017 on September 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Ricky Vigil/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Rita Ora seen at BBC Radio One on September 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Rita Ora during the #GAME4GRENFELL at Loftus Road on September 2, 2017 in London, England. The charity football match has been set up to benefit those who were affected in the Grenfell Tower disaster. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
BOY BAND - America, Its Decision Time! In the semifinal episode, the final eight contestants pull out all the stops to win Americas vote and become a member of the next great boy band. All eight boys will perform solo numbers and for the first time this season, audiences from coast to coast will have until Friday, August 18, at 11:59 p.m. EDT to vote for their favorite vocalists that will ultimately make up the final band, on Boy Band, airing THURSDAY, AUGUST 17 (8:009:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) RITA ORA, BRADY TUTTON
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: Singer Rita Ora arrives at the Teen Choice Awards 2017 at Galen Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: Rita Ora (C) performs onstage during the Teen Choice Awards 2017 at Galen Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BOY BAND - Girl Power! The pressure is building as the top nine contestants perform hits made popular by superstar female artists. This week, we follow three new bands as they bring new songs to life and perform LIVE before architects Emma Bunton, Nick Carter and Timbaland. The architects will critique their performances and select the bottom two vocalists who are up for elimination. Audiences at home will then vote LIVE and decide who will stay and who will go, on Boy Band, airing THURSDAY, AUGUST 10 (8:009:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) RITA ORA
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 08: Rita Ora arrives at the Variety Power Of Young Hollywood at TAO Hollywood on August 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08: Rita Ora seen out in Manhattan on August 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 07: Singer Rita Ora is seen in the East Village on August 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 07: Singer Rita Ora is seen walking in Midtown on August 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 07: Rita Ora is seen at Good Morning America on August 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03: Rita Ora is seen on August 03, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Nikos/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
BOY BAND - Soundtrack Hits The remaining 13 boy band hopefuls perform iconic songs from the greatest movies of our time. Then we follow three new bands as they learn new songs, new harmonies and continue to build new bonds with their bandmates. Each of the bands will perform, live, before architects Emma Bunton, Nick Carter and Timbaland, who will critique their performances and select the bottom two vocalists who are up for elimination. Audiences at home will then vote, live, and decide who will stay and who will go, on Boy Band, airing on THURSDAY, JULY 27 (8:009:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) RITA ORA
NEW YORK - JULY 17: Rita Ora seen out in Manhattan on July 17, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 17: Singer Rita Ora is seen walking in Soho on July 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 17: Rita Ora arrives at Youtube studios on July 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
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Ora will bring her mission of spreading positivity through her music to the next level with The Open Mic Project, in collaboration with Absolut Vodka's Create a Better Tomorrow, Tonight. From now until Dec. 1, fans will be encouraged to submit their personal stories of acceptance that will help inspire a song written by Ora to debut in January.

"Everyone is invited," Ora explained of the premise. "It's a big invitation for people to share their story and remind people that it's all going to be okay. Even before this project, I've always had a connection with my fans. We always talk, and I've heard some of their incredible stories that really touch me."

And it's not just her fans' stories that Ora will use to inform the song -- she'll also use her own story as a refugee seeking acceptance to inspire the project's lyrics. As she told us, her own struggle with fitting in is what connects her so deeply to her adoring fans.

"Me just being a young refugee, who is finding my own voice and confidence -- now is more important than ever [to talk about that]," she explained. "For me, acceptance was a journey. It didn't happen overnight. It was so much about just being accepted in the cool gang and having the right clothes and all that stuff. You become obsessed with it, and it's horrible."

At the end of the day, Ora simply wants to remind people that there is a place for everyone, and she hopes her current and future musical projects continue to convey that message.

"No matter your background, your belief or your border, you matter," she said. "It's about coming together and just shutting the hell up and accepting people for who they are."

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