LOS ANGELES — Sensitive, soulful singers don’t always come across in cavernous basketball arenas. But if you watched Frank Ocean make his performance debut at the : 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, then you know that his heart-stopping rendition of “Thinkin ‘Bout You” was impossible to take your eyes off of.
And whether you were at home or in Staples Center, that intimate, serene performance played like a big screen drama. Roc Nation singer Rita Ora felt it, telling MTV News backstage that she was totally moved by the Odd Future crooner’s emotionally-charged VMA debut.
“I love Frank Ocean,” said the “How We Do (Party)” singer. “I thought it was so sensitive and sincere. It was so kind of clean. It was just his voice. It was beautiful. I loved it.”
The Kosovo-born, London-raised Ora, who is prepping her debut album with songs featuring Drake, will.i.am and The-Dream, said despite the potentially sound-swallowing space, the Ocean song killed it in the house. “It was amazing. It just filled the whole room up,” she said. “It was incredible. I loved it. I could watch a whole show of Frank Ocean.”
Clearly inspired by Ocean’s example, Ora said she planned to blow minds in a similar fashion … when she makes her VMA debut. “Well, I think we just gotta wait to see when I perform here,” she said of what she envisioned her pulling-out-all-the-stops VMA bow would look like. “But it’s definitely going to be a big deal.”