“Oh my god…striking and unique” The Guardian
“King of the new Congolese cool” Rolling Stone
“the most beguiling young voice” Dazed & Confused
“it’s wonderful…it hits so sweetly” Pitchfork
“A definite one to watch” Clash Magazine
“An artist going places” Zane Lowe
“a very special young talent” NME
If that doesn’t say it all, we don’t know what will. It’s been an extremely exciting year for the 22 year old half-Congolese, half-Angolan solo artist Yannick Ilunga, aka Petite Noir.
His music is unique concoction of influences, seamlessly fusing intricate contemporary electronics with stirring, soulful vocals and African shuffles that echo his homeland. In 2013 he signed to Domino and supported Foals on tour. Earlier this year we supported Petite Noir to attend South By South West (SXSW) 2014 through our International Showcase Fund.
PRSF: Thanks for being our Guest of the Month and for fighting the jet-lag to answer our questions! You’re just back from Texas – what was your highlight of SXSW?
PN: My highlight of SXSW was playing at the Saint Heron showcase for Solange Knowles. It was a really amazing crowd, who packed out Cheer Up Charlie’s from the moment the doors opened till the very end. The reception I got was amazing and the vibe during my show felt really special.
PRSF: What made you go to SXSW this year?
PN: I was invited to play 3 amazing showcases that I knew would be really important for my career and my music. After doing SXSW and a couple of key US festivals last year, I really wanted to do SXSW this year to continue building the profile in the US. The response from press for the shows was amazing and it seems like a lot of good things are coming from the trip.
PRSF: What would you do if you won a million pounds tomorrow?
PN: Give my family some. Give my team some. Buy a new bus. Open a charity and invest in Petite Noir.
PRSF: [ed: What a nice guy!] Any last words?
PN: Always keep a positive attitude and a strong vision for the future.
We recommend keeping an eye on this guy – and stick the 15th June in your diary, when he’ll be performing at the Meltdown Festival at The South Bank Centre.
You should also check out Yannick’s manager Russell’s application writing tips!