Two years after settling her legal battle with Roc Nation, Rita Ora accuses her former record label of discrimination.
Speaking with Britain’s Sunday Times, Ora explained why she felt like JAY-Z’s label discriminated against her as a woman.
“I want to find the right word here, and maybe this is my interpretation,” she explained, “but I do feel I got discriminated against because I was a woman. I almost felt — maybe this is just my interpretation — I could have had a better chance if I’d been male.”
Despite this feeling, Ora said the Roc Nation split was amicable. When she later bumped into JAY-Z and label president Jay Brown, she said they “were very cordial” in greeting her.
Now, she is moving on with her sister, Elena, who is her business manager. “I’d always wanted to become a household name [not just a pop singer], that was my dream,” she said. “My sister and I, we argue like crazy all the time, but we’re very proud of what we’ve done up to this point.”
During the interview, Ora also denied rumors that she is “Becky with the good hair,” the infamous woman that Beyoncé sang about on LEMONADE’s “SORRY.” “All I want to say to that is, dude, if I were BWTGH, wouldn’t I actually have to have good hair? Look at it,” she said. “It’s all weave and extensions.
“And, I mean, Beyoncé?” she added. “Omigod. She’s the nicest person, bestest person I have ever met in the whole industry. I’m not just saying that. I’d die for her. Nobody can ever say anything wrong about that woman in front of me. I get emotional just talking about it.”
Ora sued Roc Nation in 2015. “When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist,” read her complaint. “As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita’s remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company.”
The label countersued the following year, before the parties reached a settlement.
In 2016, Ora addressed JAY-Z and Beyoncé with gratitude. “I’m still happy I’ve had this incredible experience,” she said. “Jay is one of my idols and Beyoncé is obviously the queen of life. I’ll never not appreciate the experience I had with them and the things I’ve seen.”
Up next, Ora plans to release her new single “Girls,” featuring Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX. The song is due May 11 via Atlantic Records, the same day as the launch of Rita’s upcoming European “Girls Tour.”