“People are tired. Most of them are broke. Work is limited due to corruption. So what do we do? We fucking party. We’ve got nothing to lose.”
Pop singer Rita Ora has announced that she has begun shooting a documentary in her native Kosovo, chronicling the country’s underground youth culture.
In a recent interview with The Sun, the The Voice Australia co-host shared that returning home was “emotional” for her, stating that she “can’t connect the dots of that little bit of hope that [the people of Kosovo] have lost.”
Rita Ora was born in the disputed territory in 1990 at the precipice of Yugoslavia’s catastrophic dissolution – the shockwaves of which are still being felt today, particularly in Kosovo which is claimed by its northern neighbour Serbia.
Rita’s Albanian-born parents fled to the United Kingdom in her early childhood, where her later pursuit of music would go on to earn her immediate success, her debut single “How We Do (Party)” and feature on the DJ Fresh track “Hot Right Now” both catapulting her to number-one on the singles chart in the Spring of 2012.
In spite of political tension, the underground club scene in Kosovo – particularly its capital Pristina – has been quietly thriving for a good few years now. “Parties are welcomed with open arms regardless of what is happening on the news,” explained DJ Rron Kurtolli to The Calvert Journal in 2019, “People are tired. Most of them are broke. Work is limited due to corruption. So what do we do? We fucking party. We’ve got nothing to lose.”
Even emerging from the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Kosovo indicates a burgeoning and vibrant youth culture – one decidedly open to exploring new sounds, spun by DJs in makeshift warehouse venues or newly opened clubs.
With a median age of thirty (as recorded in 2020), Kosovo is home to the youngest population in Europe; “sixty per cent of our population is under thirty-five, which is super young” Rita relays. As well as being the wife of famed film director Taika Waititi, the involvement of whom in the documentary is yet to be clarified, Rita Ora says that she is “working with producers who are really passionate about Kosovo and where [she] come[s] from.”
Rita Ora is reportedly working with the team behind Nirvana’s latest documentary.
Words By Harrison Jones