Petite Noir

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You’d be forgiven for thinking Captain Planet was about to be summoned at the launch of Petite Noir’s screening of visuals from his La Maison Noir album.

Inspired by each song on the album, the visuals tell Noir’s story through the four elements; Earth, Water, Air and Fire. The album, together with the short film come out this Friday. The launch took place in Rosebank at the Keys Gallery last Thursday evening.

One of the songs Beach, which he features Danny Brown and Nkubi Nkubi premiered by Zane Lowe on Beats 1 radio. “Beach‘ is a song about being reborn and how it took for me to fall to rise back up. In life we are constantly reborn. Every stage of our lives, from being a baby to adulthood,” said Noir.

Noir’s first single, Blame Fire was released a few months ago. The chant-inspired Blame Fire is the opening track on the film which sees Noir going through rebirth in the fire.

Set in the desert, the visuals take you through somewhat of a pilgrimage with Noir- with each track bringing you closer to where he is in life right now, from the burning and destroying to the healing waters and rising above all adversity.

“We hope that it sparks something in you that just raises the vibrations and the consciousness and helps us to keep going,” said Creative Director Rochelle RhaRha Nembhard.

The Team Behind The Magic. Photo by Sip The Snapper

Manthe Ribane handles all the choreography in the film. “Team work always makes everything work and this was such a dream, to be part of this iconic movement and thank you so much for having me on board- this is a beginning of a new birth, so I hope we feel re-birthed and recharged to take on the next step,” said Ribane at the launch.

Attendees at Petite Noir’s Launch. Photo by Sip The Snapper
Loyiso Gola at the Petite Noir’s launch. Photo by Sip The Snapper

There were a number of artists a famous faces in attendance, the likes of Okmalumkoolkat, brothers Loyiso and Lazola Gola, producer Vez and the BLK JKS’s Mpumelelo Mcata.

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Being the last day of the historic youth month, throngs of young people gathered at the Constitutional Hill to enjoy some of the country’s finest artists, express themselves at the three day festival which kicked-off on Thurday.

Saturday was the much anticipated music concert that featured what you could say are different eras of  South African youth. From the likes of Skwatta Kamp, Samthing Soweto,BCUC, Sho Madjozi the BLK JKS, Moonchild and Muzi.

The latter was playing his last gig in the country, before heading out to Europe for his month long tour. While he was playing Basha for the first time, Muzi gave the buoyant crowd reason to dance on Saturday night with a set that included a remix of Margret Singana’s We Are Growing (Shaka Zulu theme song) to Ye’s All Mine and some.

“It’s dope…getting people that really vibe with the music.  But that’s the thing about umculo dawg, the shit is universal. You can connect with everyone if you do it proper,” said Muzi. The producer from Empangeni was irritated though, by someone who he says interfered with his set. “There’s a guy that kept tapping my shoulder, telling me about time and that I have to finish up. Which I really didn’t like,” said the producer.

“I like enjoying my music. So I’m not the stay behind decks, and look cool typa guy. Sometimes I leave it, I just press play because I’ve mixed it proper, and vibe with the crowd.” He did that by grabbing the mic in the first half of his act, to perform one of his songs.

His European tour will see him play at Northstar in Scotland, Beatherder Festival in England and Base in Milan, Italy among others throughout July and returns just in time for Oppikoppi in August.

He doesn’t prepare different for an overseas audience, juxtaposed to the audience here at home. “…Even us as black people, we’re still kinda indoctrinated so we still have to relearn our culture. When I play a song uZenzile for instance, which I couldn’t play here, I get the same reaction from everyone. Nathi as abantu abamnyama, we’ve sort of assimilated to whiteness and that’s what we think success is. It has to be honest music…it can’t be sugar coated to suit a certain crowd.”

Madjozi’s performance which was just before Muzi’s was enjoyable, whilst Skwatta Kamp’s energy on stage was impressive for men who no longer perform week in week out. Bar the fact that singer Relo, looked a tad uncomfortable throughout their performance. A young looking Pro (Kid) performed some of his new songs, but the crowd were eating off the palm of his and when he played classics such as Wozobona.

The BLK JKS’ performance was also a big crowd puller. They had the crowd singing ‘aweyawo’ when they performed Molalatladi while everyone was charged up by Mzabalazo. The festival lived up to its theme, Join the Movement, which each performer did in their respective style. A scantily dressed Moonchild gave a great performance, as though channelling her inner Brenda Fassie. Black Motion’s stage presence and showmanship is right up there with some of the country’s best.

It was embarrassing though, when the night’s MC butchered DJ Akio’s name before his set began- the crowd kept screaming the DJ’s actual name to correct the blunder. It’s always a good sight seeing an artist who isn’t on the line-up, attending an event just to have fun. I spotted Kelly Khumalo, Petite Noir and Lunga Shabalala among others in the crowd, having jump at the festival.

I was impressed by the security presence at the event, not only that but how they never imposed themselves on the patrons. I never saw one being manhandled for rolling a joint unless, they were staring trouble. I was a victim of pick-pocketing on the night, after my cell phone was mysteriously stolen, but was fortunately able to recover it with the help of a security guard and crowd members who were ironically victims of the dude with a number of phones in his pocket. He was taken-in by the security.


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