Petite Noir: South African Sounds
The South African vocalist and musician selects his favorite tunes, from Spoek Mathambo to Miriam Makeba.
Petite Noir is a South African vocalist and musician whose sound brings together his Congolese and Angolan heritage with a contemporary R&B sound. Inspired by electronic pop and rap, tinged with psychedelic and gothic tones, he’s wryly described his style as “noirwave.” After appearing on Solange’s Saint Heron compilation in 2015, he released his debut EP and album that same year. With candid, sensual lyricism and a richly woven sound, Petite Noir is, happily, hard to classify. In recent years, he’s collaborated with Detroit rapper Danny Brown and performed with young rap royalty such as Kendrick Lamar and Vince Staples. For this episode of Headphone Highlights, Petite Noir selects his favorite music out of South Africa, ranging from contemporary artists like Spoek Mathambo and Batuk to classics by Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela.