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Noirwaver: Petite Noir Takes New York City

We go behind-the-scenes with Petite Noir at his Brooklyn concert, the last American stop on the 'La Vie Est Belle/ Life Is Beautiful' tour.

Petite Noir in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. All photography by Dexter R. Jones


Petite Noir is sitting backstage at a Brooklyn venue watching skateboarding videos on his tablet phone while he waits on his sound check.

The Congolese-Angolan songwriter is finishing up a run of shows in promotion of his debut album La Vie Est Belle/ Life Is Beautiful that have seen him and his band perform across Europe and America.

New York City is his last stop in the U.S. and, though his reserved stance doesn't show it, Petite Noir will be playing a roaring live show for a sold out crowd at Baby's All Right later that evening.

Petite Noir, aka Yannick Ilunga, has been crafting and perfecting a sound that he calls 'Noirwave' in his home of Cape Town for over three years.

'Noirwave' channels electronic production, post-punk intensity, and Ilunga's baritone vocals into a forward-looking sound influenced by the likes of Fela Kuti, Tabu Ley Rochereau and Yasiin Bey (who he's previously collaborated with).

"Noirwave is a new wave with an African aesthetic, it grew from just being a sound to a whole movement. It’s a mental thing," Ilunga mentions.

We sent photographer Dexter R. Jones to capture behind-the-scenes, black-and-white moments of Petite Noir surrounding his Brooklyn performance.

Petite Noir in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photography by Dexter R. Jones

Petite Noir in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photography by Dexter R. Jones

Petite Noir in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photography by Dexter R. Jones

Petite Noir at Baby's All Right. Photography by Dexter R. Jones

Petite Noir at Baby's All Right. Photography by Dexter R. Jones

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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