Film, fashion, music, diplomacy — Rita Ora does it all

Rita Ora, who last appeared in The City at the Regency Ballroom in October 2012, is a Kosovo-born, British-based Renaissance woman busy overseeing her vast empire, which extends from acting (in films like “Southpaw” and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” as Christian Grey’s sister) to fashion (in campaigns for DKNY, Calvin Klein, Madonna’s Material Girl, and her new Adidas designs), to reality TV (judging the UK singing competition “The X Factor”). Somehow, she found time to finish an upcoming, as-yet-untitled sophomore album, featuring cameos from Ed Sheeran and new collaborators she adores like Felix Snow and Julia Michaels.

The president of Kosovo just named you an honorary ambassador, in a ceremony with Tony Blair. How awesome was that?
It was so cool. I felt like I was getting baptized – it was amazing. Nothing momentous really happened. They just praised me for my efforts and success, and how – from my generation – I was being a voice and using it wisely, and really trying to acknowledge the political values from our country. So it was more about raising awareness.

Did you have discussions with Kosovo’s president?
Yeah. I shared my thoughts with her on what I feel like I can do to help. I’m going back there in October, and my plans aren’t something that’s happening overnight, and it’s definitely not something I can do alone. But it’s going to take some time to reinvent our country, since it was a war zone for a mighty long time. So I really want to get the education system to the point where it needs to be.

Do you ever look in the mirror and think, “Whoa — what is it I do, exactly?”

No. Because I know exactly what I do. I do a little bit of everything, including singing, of course. So there’s just a bunch of things happening, and I feel like it’s only the start. But I like being busy, you see. And there’s my album, which I’m super-excited about, because it’s the first time I’m releasing a record worldwide.

In some monthly fashion magazines, you’ve wound up in back-to-back ads, wearing two different designers.

Yeah! But it’s vice-versa, you know. It takes two to tango, You’ve got to really keep working at it, and you’re only going to get a result if you work hard. If you wake up every day and go and do the small things, you will then one day get the bigger result. That’s just how it is.

Will you have your own clothing line?

Yeah. Definitely. That’s something in the works.

Rita Ora
Where: The Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Aug. 25
Tickets: $25
Contact: (415) 771-1421,

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