Stream Petite Noir's Debut Album 'La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful'

Petite Noir's debut album 'La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful' is streaming a week early via NPR First Listen.

Photo Credit: Travys Owen

Yannick Ilunga– the Cape Town-raised, Congolese-Angolan Noirwave founder known as Petite Noir– is gearing up to release his 11-track debut album, La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful, next Friday, September 11, on Domino Records. So far he's shared the singles "Down," "Best," and most recently the love song "MDR." As of tonight, the album is streaming in full via the now-embeddable NPR First Listen.

La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful is the follow-up to The King of Anxiety, a 5-track EP out in January that included "Come Inside," "Chess," "Shadows," "The Fall" and the early Noirwave staple "Till We Ghosts." The record, which takes its name from a Congolese film of the same name, looks to expand on Petite Noir’s concept of ‘Noirwave’ — a forward-thinking African aesthetic influenced by the likes of Fela Kuti, Tabu Ley Rochereau and Yasiin Bey (who he has previously collaborated with). “It’s just the story their music tells and the sense of freedom,” Ilunga says in a press release. “It’s about seeing the positive in dark times.”

The album is available for pre-order through Domino Records and iTunes. Listen below.

La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful Tracklisting

01. Intro Noirwave

02. Best

03. Freedom

04. Seventeen (Stay)

05. Just Breathe

06. La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful

07. MDR

08. Colour

09. Down

10. Inside

11. Chess


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


Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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