Rita Ora admits she wasn’t expecting the controversy that surrounded her single “Girls”, which was widely criticized by members of the LGBTQ community for its glib depiction of bisexuality.
Coming out as bisexual herself after the song’s release in May 2018, Ora was slammed by fellow artists Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani, ultimately leading Ora to issue a statement apologizing for the song.
Speaking with Michelle Visage on the “What’s the Tee?” podcast, Ora admits she was devastated by the reaction the song received, insisting she felt responsible “to make sure the message in the single was clear.”
She also reveals the origins of “Girls”, which she says reflects her own personal experiences with bisexuality.
“When I was younger I was very experimental — in my late teens, early 20s — so I wanted to make a song about girls who may have been confused about who they are,” she explains.
Meanwhile, Ora’s mother, Vera Ora, opens up about the long-lasting impact her battle with breast cancer had on the entire family.
Writing in the Sunday Times‘ Style magazine, Vera Ora explains, “The whole family is still left with the anxieties that cancer ingrains. Rita gets anxious and sometimes has panic attacks… she fell into a depression during [Vera’s] chemotherapy treatment.”
To cope with her illness, says Vera, Rita “rebelled a little, bunking off school for a couple of weeks — it was her mental escape.”