Milandou Badila goes by the name of Young Paris. The musician from New York, whose work moves seamlessly between rap and electronic music, has roots in Congo. In fact, on stage, he and five of his siblings don Congolese traditional attire and body paint. They bring to mind a new-age troupe not unlike Fela Kuti’s (but with fewer wives).
Young Paris’s break came when he was chosen to perform at the fundraiser festival, Kanpe Kanaval by Arcade Fire’s team last year. Since then he’s been a favourite across the AfroPunk network, performing in Paris and NYC. YP’s music videos sum up the vibe he’s going for: proudly African and consistently original.
His parents are the dancers Elombe and Pamila Badila. His father co-founded Congo’s first ballet company, while his mother was a dancer in the company too. YP’s music videos are great to watch. They’re so fresh and basically one big family dancing it out! His videos trace elements of his heritage and his sampling of traditional African drumbeat brings a more intense rhythm to the electronic/rap he’s putting out.
YP is pretty entrepreneurial too. He runs the tumblr MELANIN MONDAY, a celebration of black skin in all its colours and shades. He’s pretty active on Facebook and Twitter too (using the hashtag, #MelaninMonday). It seems like he’s planning to build a bit of an empire with ‘collaborations to evolve the MELANIN brand into a music record label, modelling agency, fitness center and event establishment.’
With all of YP’s projects, I think we’ll be seeing be seeing more of him!
Young Paris is supporting Akon on September 23 at Petit Olympia, Quebec Canada.
Check out his Twitter @Young_Paris