Directed by Travys Owen with art direction by Rochelle Nembhard, “Best” the new video by Petite Noir explores the modern day ‘Noirwave’ Africa. It examines the perception of Africa as a ‘dark continent’ – largely unknown, exotic and distant. It shows the forward-thinking, progressive Africa and illustrates what Ilunga calls the ‘Noirwave’ movement. It looks at how only through visiting the continent can anyone gain a sense of one of its most fascinating features, that of its split identity; how incredibly and indescribably beautiful it is on the one hand, yet on the other hand, how raw and unforgiving it can be.
Director Travys Owen says, of the video: ‘We wanted to make 4 distinct ‘tribes’ of people. This allowed us to create the visual journey that Yannick is on, running through all of these different landscapes, and allowed us to create these rich scenes which were very different from each other. The four main elements in the video are Fire, Malachite (earth/rock), Water and Gold. The video is about Yannick’s journey through all of these landscapes meeting all of these different tribes.’
Rochelle Nembhard explains further: ‘I wanted to break all boundaries in how we portrayed the continent and her people. The video showcases the beauty of the continent, the richness in her landscapes, the sacredness of her culture, the immense diversity of her tribes and the natural inherent beauty and style of her people.’
La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful represents the first full expression of what Ilunga calls ‘Noirwave’, which is more a concept than a specific sound. Inspired by innovators like Mos Def and legends Fela Kuti and Tabu Ley, Noirwave encompasses a ‘new African aesthetic’. ‘I think for me,’ says Ilunga, ‘it’s just the story their music tells and the sense of freedom. It’s about seeing the positive in dark times’.
Sun August 23 || Brooklyn, New York || AfroPunk Festival
Tues September 15 || London, UK || Lexington
Wed September 16 || Glasgow, UK || Stereo
Thu September 17 || Manchester, UK || Deaf Institute
Sat September 19 || Nurnburg, Festival, Germany || Melt!
Mon September 21 || Paris, France || Badaboum
Tues September 22 || Brussels, Belgium || Botanique/Witloofbar
Thu September 24 || Amsterdam, Netherlands || Melkweg
Fri September 25 || Hamburg, Festival, Germany || Reeperbahn Festival
La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful Tracklisting
01. Intro Noirwave
04. Seventeen (Stay)
05. Just Breathe
06. La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful