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News 11 Jul 16

Rita Ora's New Album to Pay Tribute to Kosovo

The Kosovo-born UK pop star plans to include rhythms and sounds from her native country in her next record. 

Rita Ora. Photo: Facebook 

Pop star Rita Ora plans to infuse her new record with vibes from her native Kosovo homeland, she told a British newspaper.

“I have specific instruments that represent my nationality, where I’m from,” the UK Daily  Mirror reported on July 8.  “I’m going to incorporate it together and make this album as ‘me’ as possible.

“I think it’s important to be yourself. I was very lucky to be raised in a city where I was blessed with so much to do. I can’t wait to stay in London more. But I’ve got ethnic sounds, live music and soul. I’m from Eastern Europe so you’re gonna hear some of my culture, which I’m excited about,” she added.

Born 25 years ago in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, when Kosovo was still part of Yugoslavia, she was named Rita was named after her film director grandfather Besim Sahatciu's favourite star, Rita Hayworth.

She was actually born Rita Sahatciu, her surname coming from the Turkish word "saatci" which means "watchmaker", but her father later added Ora, which means "time" in Albanian, to the family surname so that it could be easily pronounced.

Her family left Kosovo for political reasons, citing Serbian persecution of ethnic Albanians, which worsened as Yugoslavia disintegrated. They moved to England in 1991, when she was a year old, settling in London.

Ora began singing from an early age, but become popular worldwide around five years ago after cooperating with US rapper Jay Z.

In 2012, she made a triumphant return to her hometown of Pristina to shoot the video for “Shine Ya Light.

“I can’t explain to you what this means,” she said in her native tongue. “This is the only place I wanted to shoot my video.”

She performed a traditional Albanian dance while standing on top of the Newborn monument and filmed scenes on the back of a motorcycle that were later included in the video.

Ora often talks about her life as a refugee in UK and recently participated in a global campaign to welcome refugees from the Middle East in Europe. 

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