Yannick Ilunga / Petite Noir
Raised:Cape Town, South Africa
About:Yannick Ilunga, better known by his stage name Petite Noir, is a singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. He was one half of chillwave duio Popskarr with record producer and DJ Terrence Pearce, a member of the music collective Capital of Cool, has become a close collaborator with Cape Town-based MC Yasiin Bey (formerly the Brooklyn-based Mos Def), and toured with singer and self-styled tastemaker Solange Knowles
Did You Know?Ilunga began making and sharing music online at age 16. While studying towards a degree in sound engineering, he received an invitation to perform in London and had to convince his academic parents to let him drop out of school to pursue his musical endeavors.
The Buzz:Life Is Beautiful gathers its charm from the music behind him. Syncopated percussion splits up African-blues guitars and '80s synth. The combination fuels the record's unrelenting energy, and at times it recalls Atoms For Peace ("MDR") or M83 ("Seventeen (Stay)"), riding on its electronics in purely atmospheric ways. – Under the Radar
Style:Ilunga refers to his musical style as “noirwave,” but it’s something that he also sees is becoming a movement and changing the way people engage with images of Africa.
"As Africans, we grow up not knowing ourselves," says Ilunga. "It starts from school - you have to think a certain way and you always want to fit in with a specific type of crowd. Because I was able to travel and break down my borders, it is now my duty to pass my knowledge forward."