Monday, April 7, 2008

Two and a Half Questions with Onra

I think the concept of your latest album is fascinating. Do you think there is a limited supply of such untapped material, and at which point it may saturate the market?
I think southeastern music is really special, there is not a lot of differences between artists, music, instrumentals... It’s different from Indian music where they evolved with their sounds and were not afraid of taking risks. The songs often have the same sound, so I think sampling that kind of music is quite limited. Even if each person has its own touch, the sampling source has so much identity that it will sound a bit alike at the end.

I’ve been quite excited about Chinoiseries. What sort of response have you received overall?
I’ve had much positive feedback, a lot of people understood the concept as I wanted it to be. It’s not just hip-hop beats with Asian music samples, there’s a whole story behind it, and that’s what the people loved about it. I’m really proud of that. I was expecting some attention because this is my third album, my first as solo, and it had a unique concept. There are more people who listen to my music now, and not necessarily hip-hop orientated listeners.

What do your parents say about the album?
I’m mixed; my father who was born in Viet Nam is proud of it, even before releasing my first album with Quetzal, he was already talking me about it like "When does "Chinoiseries" is gonna come out?". That was in 2006, he always has been excited about this project. My mother, who is french, is proud just like any mother should be proud of her son. At first she didn’t believe in it because she thought it was too particular, and that nobody was going to understand it... but then when she listened to the whole album entirely, she really loved it, she said Chinoiseries is a soundtrack and she has the movie in her head.

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