petite noir debuts stunning video for 'best'

The artist on the rise shares his 'Noirwave' vision of Africa in a clip that explores the richness and diversity of the continent.

by Courtney DeWitt
10 August 2015, 7:42am

Petite Noir AKA Yannick Ilunga has just blessed us with the video for 'Best,' the second single from his upcoming debut record La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful. In the boundary breaking video directed by Travys Owen with art direction from the artist's muse, Rochelle Nembhard, we see a vision of the 'Noirwave' Africa of now, in all it's vast, rich and raw glory.

'Best' depicts Petite Noir on a journey through a progressive land, meeting four distinct tribes, powered by raw elements and precious stones: fire, Malachite, water and gold. Director Travys Owen elaborated on the use of the tribe motif: 'We wanted to make 4 distinct 'tribes' of people. This allowed us to create a visual journey that Yannick is on, running through all of these different landscapes and allowed us to create these rich scenes which were very different from each other."

The clip is unique in offering an inspired picture of contemporary Africa, which has gone largely undocumented outside of it's borders. Art and creative director Rochelle Nembhard explains the importance of viewing Africa not as simply 'exotic', 'I wanted to break all boundaries in how we portrayed the continent and her people. The video showcases the beauty of the continent, the richness in her landscapes, the sacredness of her culture, the immense diversity of her tribes and the natural inherent beauty and style of her people.'

Ilunga gave i-D a 'Noirwave 101' primer earlier in the year in an interview with the artist, "Noirwave about being yourself and combining all of your influences, which sounds super simple and clichéd but most people find that really difficult. So everyone cannot be Noirwave. For me, it's blending where I was born in Europe with my African heritage and ethnicity... I am what I am and the output is through my music. I'm influenced by metal, screamo, jazz, kizomba music... there's no loyalty to any existing genre."

View the entire clip for 'Best' and it's stunning stills below and explore our full interview with Petite Noir here.


Text Courtney DeWitt
Photography Courtesy Petite Noir

petite noir
Rochelle Nembhard