Dipped in Dollars: First off, how is the new album going? Does it have an official release date?
Onra: We’re aiming at September/October for the release date. I put it on hold. I’ve basically got 90% of the tracks but they all need a lot of work. I’m planning to finish it during the summer.
DID: How did you first get into beatmaking? Was there a particular artist or album that inspired your start?
O: I started in the very beginning with a software you could find in supermarkets for something around 15€. I was rapping at that time, and we needed instrumentals, so I started for fun. Then when I got deeper into it, I was revisiting hip hop classics at the same time, and started paying more and more attention to the beats than to the MC’s, and that’s how I got inspired by all the greats in hip hop. But my main influence overall is Jay Dee aka J Dilla.
DID: What day jobs have you had to work while getting your career going?
O: I have been very fortunate cause as soon as I graduated, I started releasing music. It was very rough for the first years. I was really broke, so I found a job for three months. I was a sales assistant in a furniture company. I got fired, then released my second and third project in the same year. Then I started touring…
DID: What hardware and/or software have you been using to make beats?
O: I make beats with the Akai MPC 1000. That’s basically it.
DID: Have your recent live shows influenced the way you make new beats?
O: Yes and no. Some beats I make I know aren’t gonna be for the live set, so I don’t even care how I build or structure them. Some others, the more banging or uptempo ones, I revisit when they’re done and make them easier to play live.
DID: How did your time at the RBMA influence your approach to beatmaking?
O: It didn’t really influence my approach to beatmaking, it was just an extraordinary experience that I seriously recommend to anybody into music. I met a lot of great people, learned quite a few things, and it was just awesome for two weeks, all included.
DID: Speaking of the RBMA, what were some of your favorite memories from your time there?
O: The creative moments of course. When you’re in a studio with someone, then one guy comes in and plays bass, another one comes in and plays on a fender rhodes, another one with congas and in 20 minutes we’re all jamming and improvising on different instruments and equipment.
DID: All of your albums work around a specific theme or genre, do you have an idea for what you’re going to do next?
O: I have a dub project that I’m working on right now, a deep-house project, and a second volume of chinoiseries.
DID: What gigs are you most excited for this upcoming year?
O: I’m looking forward to go back to Japan. My current tour there has been cancelled, for obvious reasons, but I hope it’s gonna get better there and hope I’ll be able to go back real soon. It’s one of my favorite countries on earth so far.
O: I’d love to reply but it’s simply impossible to ask me this question, it’s gonna take me a week…
DID: Where do you want things to be by this time next year?
O: I have no idea, I just want progression. Let’s see how it goes…