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Arnaud Bernard’s Chinoiseries album ensured his stage name, ONRA, was etched into the history books forever. Receiving many an accolade, the French beatmaker, naturally alongside his trusty MPC, is soon to return with Chinoiseries Pt. 3, the anticipated finale to the trilogy that has garnered such positive reviews. Looking deeper though, I was keen to discuss ONRA’s story, what Chinoiseries means for him and discover what he thinks of the current state of music.
What are you up to in London at the moment?
I’m on tour right now in the UK, I perform live, I do DJ sets sometimes, mainly a hip-hop producer I would say but I do other stuff as well. I’m from Paris, I’m French. I moved to Paris when I was eighteen, I was born in Germany. I grew up like an hour away from Paris, but it’s like a big country and also my Mum lived in The Ivory Coast for over thirty years so I’ve been going back and forth between France and The Ivory Coast where my Mum lives.
I feel like your music paints that story, even if you didn’t know it.
It feels very ‘of the world’ and I guess a lot of the samples that you’re known for conjure up ‘Exotic Far Eastern Landscapes’. Anyway, what have you been up to since the release of fundamentals?
After Fundamentals came out last year, I worked on a TV series for Nike. It’s about basketball in the Philippines, like a TV series / reality show where they take young kids and try and take them to the professional level. I made music for this last summer. Then I worked on Chinoiseries part three which I finished in December, since then I have completed another album that’s almost ready to come out.
Can you tell me about [Chinoiseries] part three and the new album?
Chinoiseries Part Three. Exactly the same concept, the same amount of tracks, just the third. The new album, I don’t have a name for it yet, I still have to rework some stuff so I can’t really communicate on this too much, but it’s more in the vein of who I really am. I’m known for the Chinoiseries project but I don’t think it defines my sound at all. It’s just a side project or a gimmick, some shit that happened spontaneously when I was travelling in Asia. I found some records, took them home and made some beats, but it wasn’t intended to be anything more than that….
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