In the chorus of the track, Rita is heard singing: “Sometimes I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls, red wine I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls”, while the lyrics of the verses also expresses admiration for the women in her life.
But while some music fans have expressed their love for the track, others are less convinced, including singer Hayley Kiyoko.
Hayley, who identifies as gay, criticised the song in a statement she posted on Twitter, claiming she feels the track “does more harm than good” and “belittles” the LGBTQ+ community’s “very pure feelings”.
She wrote: “I literally have a knot in my stomach right now. To be clear, I fully support other artists who freely express themselves and applaud male and female artists who are opening up more and more about their sexual identities.
“But every so often there come songs with messaging that is just downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community. A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalising the idea of women loving women.”
The ‘Curious’ singer continued: “I know this wasn’t the intention of the artists on the song, but it’s the lack of consideration behind these lyrics that really [gets to] me. I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life.”
Following Hayley’s statement, fellow pop star Kehlani also spoke out over her feelings about the track in her own string of tweets:
Similarly, Katie Gavin from the band MUNA shared her thoughts on the subject on Twitter, claiming she felt “grateful” to the song for reminding her that “the songwriting world is full of people that feel entitled to write about communities to which they do not belong”, noting she had “a renewed fire… under her ass to give us queer people better bangers”.
HuffPost UK has reached out to Rita Ora’s representatives for her thoughts on the matter.
‘Girls’ serves as the fourth single from Rita’s upcoming sophomore album, following ‘Your Song’, ‘Anywhere’ and the Liam Payne collaboration ‘For You’.
The album is slated for release towards the end of 2018, six years on from the release of her debut offering.
Rita is currently touring the UK to promote the impending release, having also named her tour after ‘Girls’.
Take a listen to ‘Girls’ below: