La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful

We are pleased to announce the debut album release by Yannick Ilunga, AKA Petite Noir, ‘La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful’. The 11 track LP from the half-Congolese, half-Angolan, Cape Town-residing artist is due for release on 11th September 2015. This follows the release of his breakout EP, ‘The King Of Anxiety’, earlier this year.

Recorded at Box Ten Studios in London with Oli Bayston (Boxed In) and Leon Brichard (Ibibio), ‘La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful’ is a highly accomplished album with a unique concoction of influences. The record seamlessly fuses intricate contemporary electronics and raw post-punk energy with Yannick’s stirring, soulful vocals and African shuffles that echo his homeland. Named after a revered Congolese film of the same name, the album is both a beacon and a vessel of inspiration, offering empowerment to those who need it.

With footage filmed around the streets of Lubumbashi during Yannick’s recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the first track to be shared from the album - ‘Down’ - blends unrehearsed imagery and joyful sounds to paint a contemporary portrait of Petite Noir's Congolese background and his hopes for the country's future. Watch it HERE.

La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful represents the first full expression of what Ilunga calls ‘Noirwave’, which is more of 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’, plain and simple. ‘I think for me, it's just the story their music tells and the sense of freedom. It's about seeing the positive in dark times’.