Rita Ora is resilient. The seven years between her debut album and this powerful follow-up were, by all accounts, tough, with record label legal entanglements, high-profile relationship drama, and unseemly rumors. “I was like, ‘I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m frustrated, I’m alone, I’m single, I’m sexless,’” the British singer told Apple Music. “Not anymore.” Armed with renewed self-confidence and a good-vibes-only outlook, she started fresh.
Phoenix, of course, is a nod to rebirth. The album is adventurous, triumphant, and unflinchingly honest. “My fans deserve to know exactly how I feel, exactly what I went through, and exactly why they had to wait so bloody long for a Rita Ora album,” she said. Here are the stories behind a few of the album’s standout songs.