With the addition of this Congolese producer to the music scene on the continent, Afro-tronica is here to stay.
Name: Petite Noir née: Yannick Iluga
Where He’s From: Based in Capetown, South Africa, but originally from the Congo
Genre: Electronic-soul or even better, Afro-tronica
Most Similar: A swinger’s party featuring Arthur Mafokate, The Week-nd, Fela & Joy Division.
When He Started: 2011
Sounds Like: The moment you walk into an after-hours joint.
If Yannick Iluga is an indication of what the continent of Africa has on tap with respect to new wave, then all roads to the future must point there. As Petite Noir—Iluga’s misspelled moniker—the 21-year-old Congolese producer is making much noise, like bad meaning good. Like, really good.
While his wailing laments remind us of our never-ending love affair with emo, how they ride over his unique (read: perfect) mashup of digital and analogue sounds, electronic and live drums, is a different story altogether. It’s the sound that one would hope for if Fela arrived a few decades later and spent his career working with New Order . Or if The Week-nd spent his childhood summers abroad in London listening to kwaito. It’s indigenous in the most contemporary, unforced and altruistic way possible.