Rita talks new Music and the X-Factor

It’s been three years since Rita Ora released her last self-titled album, but in that time since she’s certainly not been taking it easy. Anything but.

A snap shot of a day-in-the life of Rita right now includes filming The X Factor, on which she is a brand new judge, a few hours of radio and TV interviews, a quick fashion shoot, followed by a string of more interviews.

Oh, and she’s flying back to LA on this weekend to do more promo work for her new single, ‘Body On Me’ and continue her US tour. And she’s already been there this week for VMAs – where she posted several instagrams with ELLE’s October cover star Miley Cyrus.

‘Miley’s fun, I adore here! She has a lot to give,’ she says. ‘She’s living her life right now and that was a big moment for her. I’m very proud of her.’

But despite all the work, some hard-core jet lag, and a serious lack of sleep - Rita doesn’t have a single word to complain about when we catch up this week at the Sanderson Hotel.

In fact, she’s powering through - and clearly excited to talk about her new music.

‘It’s been my aim to do something that I love, which is R&B and soul music,’ she says about her new single ‘Body On Me’. ‘Collaborating with Chris Brown was something I’d been wanting to do for a while. I respect him musically, and he’s a good friend of mine.’

The chemistry between Rita and Chris in the video is clear. And she admits that it’s the sexiest video she’s ever made.

‘All the intimate scenes felt very natural,’ she says. ‘Chris is such a fun character, so we had a blast!’

The song’s R&B vibe hints at what we can rest of Rita’s forthcoming album coming this November.

‘When I did my first record, I was 20. I’m 24 now and I feel like I’ve changed quite a lot since, and it’s reflected in this album,’ she goes on to say.

Of course we want to chat The X Factor.

‘I’ve never done anything like it,’ she says. ‘It’s really inspiring – meeting so many new people and finding new talents, it’s exciting! Like discovering a new diamond.’

She’s got the rep for being ‘the nice one’ on the panel that also includes Nick Grimshaw, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell. As a contestant on the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 perhaps she knows how scary it can be for contestants.

‘I try to look at them with a clean instinct and look past their nervousness. And sometimes if you got it, you got it!’ she say, but admits that when contestants cry, her motherly instincts kick in. ‘I’m not a bad person, I don’t like saying no. I just really want to give them positive, constructive criticism.’

Ora thinks of long-time judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini as her big sister, and of Simon Cowell as her BFF.

‘The last thing he [Simon] texted me was ‘Well done’. It’s really nice to get a positive text from your boss after a good 12, 13 [hour] day of filming,’ she tells me.

When it comes to sharing stuff with her fans on social media, Ora is all about fun.

‘Social media’s there for showing sides of your personality that your fans might not get to see,’ she says about her silly selfies and tweets. ‘Sometimes, you never get to meet your fans. I think it’s genius that they can feel like they know me through social media.’

So will she ever get a day off?

‘Oh god,’ she says, sinking into her chair. ‘I think the only time off I get is when I’m on a plane. Literally.’ The last time Ora had an almost-full day off, she was in LA. ‘I was with my friends, and we woke up late and ate food… and just chilled out.’

Rita Ora’s ‘Body On Me’ is out now, her yet-to-be-titled new album will be released in the UK this November. (x)