I’de like to introduce to you yet another softly spoken, insatiably shy human being who most definitely deserves the ‘funnest life possible’ sash. Presenting Onra… A beat making, waffle loving, globe trotting, hip-hop devoted, adventurer who is passionate about supporting his team the Pacers, obsessed with all things Ancient Egypt, and has an incredible nose for sniffing out rare old things. What a mouthful. That ain’t even half of it.
A producer of great music, Onra‘s game is curating. I think the skill of curating is something that the Universe only grants to those who have earnt the tools of the trade. In his case, when I say tools, I mean an encyclopaedic brain for some really specific genres in music. I count myself super lucky to have witnessed his careful attention to detail when hunting for certain sounds. The quality of the sound, subject matter, cultural history behind that subject matter, instruments, and of course the actual sound vibrations, are all comprehensively considered on his quest for the most euphonious-life-possible. He showed me that the devil is always in the detail, and being thorough can open doors to new realms. These maestro tools and good values make him a specialist in his world. Time and time over, I’m impressed by his capacity to cook up exciting music that has essentially been plucked from the existing sounds that colour our past and present. Most of us don’t even take notice of these tiny keys that hide themselves behind shrubbery and under doormats in our audible world.
I spend a rainy afternoon in Paris with Onra in a sound bubble of buzzing insects, raindrops, and rustling leaves. Regardful of his astutely observative mind, I shoot him in an environment that is abundant with touch-y, feel-y, smell-y, noisy things to capture the man of my words above. It’s difficult to do this A) when there are swarms of kamikaze insects flying up our noses B) with a camera C) when this amazing person I speak of would prefer to hide in the bushes rather than be the star of the show. This humble state of being is probably the magic dust that I call ‘goodness’ in his music. It’s goodness in the raw… no need for bravado in this game.
Look ONE / Vintage Paisley Shirt / 90s French-Made Denim Jacket /
Look TWO / Vintage Paisley Shirt / A.P.C Denim / Vintage Anorak / New Balance 999s /
Photography & Styling / Ponytail Journal /
Shot in Square Rene Le Gall, Paris /
Pictured BELOW / Patagonia Cap / AKG Headphones / Artline Fineline Pen / Onra’s Records /
Q/ Describe WHAT YOU DO as if you were talking to a five-year-old.
[He crosses out ‘five’ and replaces it with a number 8]
I make music and I’m a DJ.
Like David Guetta, but way cooler.
Q/ Tell us how you slipped into MUSIC.
When I first heard a good Hip-Hop song, around 1991.
Q/ What did you have for BREAKFAST this morning / What do you wish you had for Breakfast this morning?
This morning I was in a 4* hotel in Poland but got up too late to enjoy the whole buffet. Luckily there were three crepes left and I had all of them with Nutella. It was perfect.
Q/ What does the word GOODNESS mean to you?
I can’t really explain it, I can just feel it –
Just like music, “if it’s good, it’s good.”
Q/ Draw us a picture of ONRA STYLE.
[He turns his back to me, guarding the piece of paper while the sound of the pen scribbling away becomes louder and louder. Im not allowed to peek until it’s done… Then out comes a pictorial vinyl cover called ‘EGYPTIAN PUPPIES’ with a pyramid that seems to have puppies lining up out the front.]
Q/ What is a typical SUNDAY in your world?
I usually work on Saturday night, so typically, I’m just waking up in a hotel room, and gotta rush to the airport to go back home. Not so fun! Ideally I’d be spending them at flea markets, buying old stuff and eating sausages & fries – (or just walks).
Q/ What’s always in your POCKET?
Phone, lighter, keys, iPod (optional), money, cigarettes.
Q/ What was the last thing you GOOGLED?
J. Quest – “The Question…” some R’n’B stuff!
Q/ Who’s IG account distracts you MUCHLY?
Daz Dillinger, a West Coast rap legend!
Too much greenery! His videos are hilarious.