I like to think that I’m a decent little observant music monkey, and sometimes when I put my headphones on and have a closer look at things, I just have to address my funkdafied findings. Take for instance last year, when one of my observations for the year in music was that UK diva Jessie J tries really, really hard to get recognition in the American music market. Let’s face it, you didn’t buy her album,’Sweet Talker,’ when it came out last fall, and the only reason you liked her penned hit, “Bang Bang,” with Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande….was because of Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande. (you know it’s true.) So, in fact, Jessie J does indeed try really, really hard for our stateside music love…and we have yet to give it back to her.
Today, I have to bring another UK diva into the American-music-struggle-is -real category, Ms.Rita Ora. Since signing to Jay Z’s Roc-a-Fella records in 2009, Ms. Ora has had much trouble gaining music heat stateside. Her singles, “How We Do,” “I Will Never Let You Down,” “Radioactive” and “R.I.P” are all delectable pop ditties…..that barely cracked the top 30 on the Billoard singles charts. Overseas, however, she’s delivered hit-after-hit and even landed a swivel chair last year on ‘The Voice’ UK edition. Here, well, all she’s got are a few mediocre charting singles and a torrid break up with Rob Kardashian. Upon further investigation, I feel that at this point, the American music struggle will always be real for Ms. Ora….and I have 5 Reasons Why….dive in.
1.She performed at the Oscars….and no one said a word about it….
So, if you were an overseas artist not named Sam Smith, Adele or Sia and were trying to (finally) make it in America, a dazzling performance at a high caliber awards show like the Oscars should’ve done the trick, right? For Rita Ora, who performed the ballad “Grateful” from ‘Beyond the Lights,’ well it worked the exact opposite. Not only was she overshadowed by Lady Gaga’s show-stopping ‘Sound of Music’ tribute (hell, even Best Actress Julianne Moore was overshadowed by THAT performance.), but it seemed as if was no one was talking about her performance the next day….at all. In fact, when I told my friend Jaiye that she performed at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, all he said was, “She was there??” I rest my Lady Gaga red dishwashing gloves. Oh, and that dress you wore, Ms. Ora? No. You sounded great, though!
“How We Do(Party)”
2.Last year’s massive Twitter fail did some damage….
Last year, Rita not only had a highly public and epic Twitter fail, but she also caused a major hate-wave among other Twitter birds. On Halloween, the singer tweeted that she would release new music if she got 100,000 retweets bearing this fabulous news. Sadly – LOL – she only received 2,000 retweets, and soon the announcement was magically deleted.
That’s when the backlash began. One twitter hater said, “where her 3.9 followers at when you need them smh.” Adding more salt to the wound, Ora decided to retweet her fan’s sentiments but ultimately removed the tweet from her account. Making matters even worse, Ora claimed that her Twitter was hacked: “by the way my Twitter got hacked somebody is threatening to release new music I’ve worked hard on. Nothing comes until I’m ready.”
WTF? Without going into all the responses that people tweeted out, the one that pretty much sums up this debacle is the one that said, “bitch, stop lying.” On further bespectacled observation, this just seems like a classic case of another celebrity buying Twitter followers to get their names out there.
Hey, we get it, you need some recognition. You buy those followers, boo – just don’t make it seem like you actually purchased them …
“I Will Never Let You Down”
3.Her biggest U.S. hit was on an Iggy Azalea track…as a featured artist.
Another case of putting yourself on a track with a big named female artist….and have it do nothing for your music career. On Iggy’s summer smash single, “Black Widow,” Ms. Ora sung the web slinging hook with pride, all the while catapulting the song, along with Iggy’s mediocre raps,to the top 5 of the Billboard singles charts. While for a certain time, Rita seemed like she was finally getting some U.S. recognition, but alas, she has yet to follow up “Widow” with another hit single. The same can also be said for Iggy’s other hook partner in crime, Charli XCX of “Fancy” fame, with the exception of summery single, “Boom Clap,” she, too hasn’t caused too much chart damage since she linked up with Iggy. Hmmm…maybe it’s not Rita OR Charli’s fault for this one…who’s left?
4.She was in ’50 Shades of Grey’….and still….no one cared…
While ’50 Shades of Grey’ was laced with bad reviews and U.S. box office disappointment (overseas though…get it!), you can’t deny that the buzz leading up to the film was gigantic-and should’ve done wonders for all of the, ahem, actors involved. I have a feeling that a lot of you might not have even known that Rita Ora was even in the movie. Although it was a small part for the diva, it should’ve done at least something for her career, right? Sigh….I rest my music spanking bench.
5.She couldn’t make it work with Calvin Harris…
How could you not make it work with THIS? Something is seriously wrong here, right?