Fighting Pop

Congolese/South African (via Belgium) musician Yannick Ilunga, AKA Iamwaves, has been rather busy lately. His group Popskarr, a new ‘electronic/Nu Disco/Misty Pop’ outfit, has just released a stylish single called Fighter; and as his alter ego Petite Noir he has released a mixtape for Okayafrica’s ‘Africa in Your Earbuds’ series (which earned him a tweet shout out from Questlove of The Roots) and a new video for ‘Till We Ghosts’ (above). He calls the music he makes ‘Noir Wave’, an African take on New Wave and Post Punk. It’s an interesting scene to be in, one that has produced genre-busting electronic acts such as Spoek Mathambo and (my personal favorite) Dirty Paraffin. While both those acts have been truly groundbreaking (both equally Afrocentric), Popskarr/Petite Noir’s nod to Bloc Party front man Kele Orekere’s solo stuff is unmistakable, including all the hipster-pandering that comes with it. However, this is something that — with a bit of guidance and experience — Yannick can easily outgrow over time. Personally, I’m looking forward to his future releases.

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