Petite Noir Was Born to Travel
"No one should ever be blocked from traveling. I believe it should be against the law to deny a visa. I believe that we are on an eternal journey. Technically my ancestors have been around for a very long time...and who knows where they migrated from." - Petite Noir
We sit down with Petite Noir, a South African raised, Congolese singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. His music sits in a Venn diagram of alternative, indie, electronic and afrobeats but he defines it as Noirwave; a creative expression born from second and third generation African artists, whose work is found at the intersection of European influences and their heritage.
Now based in Cape Town, Petite Noir shares with us how place and movement of self have always informed his best creativity. Travel has been something engrained within his foundations, influencing his artistry and evolving his perspectives and outlook on the world. His music is a testament to that; embracing new concepts of freedom and power through a range of left-field electronics, post-punk and atmospheric vocals mixed with traditional beats and sounds from Africa.
From a Parisian lock-in with Daft Punk and Oralson, to recommending bringing Anti-Racist spray when you visit Cape Town, we sit down and chat to Petite Noir on all things trippin.
From Congo, to Camden to Cape Town, what does travel mean to you?
Traveling makes me stretch my mind. It makes me realise how infinite we are as human beings. It is helps me feel like I am living my full potential as a human. Traveling is my birth-right. No one should ever be blocked from traveling. I believe it should be against the law to deny a visa. I believe that we are on an eternal journey. Technically my ancestors have been around for a very long time...and who knows where they migrated from.
Travel is life. Sometimes it’s forced, sometimes you just feel called to go somewhere or sometimes you go on holiday.
How has travel influenced your artistry and creative practice?
It definitely has, in a huge way! It just adds layers to who I am as a person. Traveling inspires the way I see things. I need to travel and see new things to be my best creatively...Just bumping and sharing energies with different people and applying that energy to my art, in the hope of it relating to everyone in the world. That’s my target market, everyone in the world!
What’s your wildest Trippin memory - where were you, who were you with, what happened?
I think my wildest memory was sitting in Hotel Amour in Paris with my publishers. I thought the restaurant was closing but it turned into a lock-in with me, Daft Punk, Oralson and few other legendary artists and it was only us. That’s when I realised, I’m on the right path.
How would you describe Capetown to someone who has never been?
A beautiful, clean mess.
What should we bring? What should we take home?
Tough skin. Anti-triggering gel. Anti-racist spray. You should take home all your experiences and connections you make with people. Even though it can be a triggering place, it is still really fun and the people are really nice. The food is incredible so you definitely won’t go hungry. Some of the best food in the world!
What’s one bit of advice on how to avoid being a shit tourist?
Hahaha this is a tough question... I personally don’t do tourist shit.. I hate tourist areas, so I mostly like to go to cafes and meet people. I really like to initiate myself in the culture by having a night out at a concert, or see something cultural.
The best dish to try when we touch down?
Malva pudding. Thank me later.
Who should we do our next Capetown guide with? Who in the city is pushing forward culture?
Saalik. Owner of the brand leif. Based in Cape Town.