We’re not claiming to be psychic, but apparently we are … well, sort of. A few months ago we dubbed Rita Ora fashion’s “next big thing,” and it looks like we were right: Jay-Z’s British protégé just made her U.S. magazine debut on the cover of Complex‘s August/September issue.
The stylish 21-year-old singer, who is signed to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation and opened for Coldplay’s European tour, is well on her way to becoming as successful as Rihanna — a superstar she’s often compared to.
“Rita is the kind of artist who’s going to win by just being herself. When Rihanna came out we heard the Beyoncé comparisons,” Tyran “Ty-Ty” Smith, a partner in Roc Nation, tells Complex. “Now they’re saying the same thing about Rita, that she’s the new Rihanna. She just has to show them who she is and she will be fine.”
Ora embraces the notion. “I admire Rihanna,” Ora explains. “She works her ass off. She hasn’t had a break and she has given people hit after hit after hit. That work ethic and discipline is hardcore. That’s the kind of sh** that I want to do. That I will do.”
And though the singer has proven she has an innate fashion sense, she’d choose a pair of sneakers over stilettos any day — she even grew up collecting Nike Airs. “I’m like a dude,” she admits. “Jordans are my favorite. I wear them all the time for shows. I can get girly-girly when I want to, but I can’t perform in heels. I would bust my face open on stage and we don’t want that.”
To read the rest of Ora’s interview, head over to complex.com and pick up the issue, on newsstands Aug. 7.