Namibia stars in new mu­sic videos

Getaway (South Africa) - - NEWS -

Namibia is the star of a set of new mu­sic videos

South African mu­si­cian Petite Noir, aka Yan­nick Ilunga, is the pi­o­neer of a new genre called ‘noir­wave’ – lay­ers of vo­cals, post-punk elec­tron­ica and live African drum­ming. When it came to his lat­est project, a vis­ual al­bum (col­lec­tion of mu­sic videos) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Red Bull, he chose to head over the bor­der to film them.

‘Ini­tially we were go­ing to shoot in the Congo but chose Namibia in­stead for the di­ver­sity of the land­scapes,’ says his wife and artis­tic part­ner, Rochelle Nem­b­hard.

Yan­nick sports a tat­too on his arm which fea­tures in all four videos. It de­picts a cos­mo­gram, a core sym­bol of the an­cient Kongo cul­ture of Cen­tral Africa. The cir­cle with four quad­rants rep­re­sents the cy­cle of re­birth and the el­e­ments (fire, earth, air, wa­ter), and this in­spired the con­cept for the al­bum.

The four songs each rep­re­sent a stage in Yan­nick’s life – from his early years in the DRC, be­fore his fam­ily went into ex­ile in South Africa, to his search for iden­tity in a new land and his bur­geon­ing mu­sic ca­reer (play­ing gui­tar in church, join­ing a punk band and dis­cov­er­ing elec­tro via Spoek Mathambo), and what might be next.

The fi­nal song, ‘Beach’, in which a group of peo­ple wades into the sea, por­trays ‘the leaps of faith we must all take ev­ery day, to trust that while our fu­tures are all im­pos­si­bly un­cer­tain we must move for­ward,’ he says. This scene (left mid­dle) was shot at Pel­i­can Point, near Walvis Bay.

Other lo­ca­tions in­cluded the mag­nif­i­cent Spitzkoppe (above), Goanikontes Oa­sis (left bot­tom), Dune 7 – the high­est in Namibia – and the des­o­late Moon Land­scape (left top), which ‘looked as though it was man-made, like a scene out of a sci-fi movie’, says Rochelle.

‘It was amaz­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence the desert and ocean meet­ing in one place. And my wife and I thor­oughly en­joyed 4x4ing in the Namib dunes!’ Yan­nick says. • The vis­ual al­bum, La Mai­son Noir/The Black House, will be re­leased on 5 Oc­to­ber. Watch it on­line at lamaison­

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