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Rita Ora was a theatre school rebel

Published 14/08/2016

Rita Ora
Rita Ora

Rita Ora started an open mic night at her dad’s pub before making the big time.

Rita Ora’s voice didn’t suit the theatre school she studied at.

The Body on Me singer started honing her craft at London’s famous Sylvia Young Theatre School, where her classmates included Jesy Nelson from Little Mix. Amy Winehouse and Emma Bunton were also past students.

During her school days Rita would infuse her own musical tastes into her lessons.

“It was a musical theatre school and I didn’t have that kind of voice,” Rita told Britain’s Cosmopolitan magazine. “In singing classes I’d let rip, turning a musical theatre song into an R&B record. I was never the quiet one – I was always the girl with the annoying laugh. I still am. It’s very potent and very loud.”

After leaving school at 16, Rita badgered her parents into letting her try out singing as a career. She asked for a year away from studying to try and make it work as a performer, putting in shifts at her family’s pub to help out. It was here that the beginning of her career took off.

“I started my A-levels (British educational qualification) and then quit,” she recalled. “I just wanted to give this a shot, so I worked my magic and begged my parents for a year out so I could continue doing music. I started doing open mic nights in my dad’s pub, and I’d help my dad behind the bar. It’s very hard to pour a good pint, FYI. I can give you some pint-pulling lessons. But yeah the crowds just got bigger and bigger.”

Rita recently signed a new contract with Atlantic Records and is now working hard on the follow up to her debut 2012 album, Ora.

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