Rita Ora feels connected to the acceptance-themed Open Mic Project
2017 has been quite a busy year for singer-songwriter Rita Ora. From starring in "Fifty Shades Darker," to hosting ABC's "Boy Band" and the MTV EMAs, to doing charitable work with UNICEF and to partnering with brands like Rimmel cosmetics, and most recently ABSOLUT Vodka, Ora has proven she's a tour de force. She's also is in the process of putting the final touches on her second studio album which includes the hit dance-pop single "Anywhere."
"The Open Mic Project is basically people who have an amazing acceptance story, whatever it is, [they] have the chance to submit their story and then it comes through the website and then comes to me and I get to read all the millions and millions of stories," she explained of how the project works. "What happens is I then write a song with my team and it comes out Grammy week next year in January."
Ora felt a strong connection to the project via her journey of self-acceptance as a refugee at an early age. She had to move from Kosovo to London when she was just 1-year-old and her childhood experience wasn't glamorous. She and her family were impoverished for a long time and struggled to meet their everyday needs. Because of that, Ora "didn't have to think twice about it at all" when offered the Open Mic Project.
"It's a very personal subject for me and it's a very important cause I truly put my heart and soul into it," she said. "I'm very proud to be partnering with ABSOLUT for this specific cause."
Ora admitted she cried many times reading peoples' entries that were sent in and that it was very inspirational, more so than what's seen in weekly tabloids. "I find it so amazing that I had a chance to just shine a light on a story that I think that is way more important than whoever is snogging whomever."
"I just really wanted to show the people who submitted that it's okay to be open and to just express yourself."
Expect the soon-to-be-released song (tentatively titled "Proud") to address the importance of being "proud of who you are and where you are from and what you've become."
"I hope you guys like it," Ora aspired.
In March of next year, Ora will finally be releasing her second full-length album.
"I just wanted to approach this record so honestly and make it independent," she explained. "The journey I had to get to that point of having the freedom to do music that I wanted to do was so [difficult] that I just thought to myself, 'Hell with it, I'm going to do what I want to do,' and hopefully inspire people with the same, sort of, journey," Ora explained.
You can expect songs dealing with themes of self discovery, acceptance, moving forward and overall optimism for the future.
You can check out the official website for The Open Mic Project to read some of the inspiring submissions Ora mentioned. You'll also be able to get all the latest news updates as we get closer to the release date of the special song.