As an alternative to the Victoires de la Musique, the first edition of “Flames” celebrates rap

The Flames, music awards dedicated to rap and other affiliated currents, alternatives to the Victoires de la Musique, announced their categories on Tuesday January 24 for the first edition on May 11 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

The creation of the Flames, announced at the end of 2022, is now taking shape with the revelation of its categories (nominations will be announced in April) that make room for everything that the Victories hide.

Also read: Stromae, Orelsan, Angèle… Discover the artists nominated for the Victoires de la musique 2023

That is “21 different awards addressed to artists, creators and creators, but to more withdrawn personalities that deserve to be highlighted”, write the organizers in a press release. This is double the Victoires de la Musique, only 10 categories for their ceremony on February 10 at La Seine Musicale, at the gates of Paris.

“Popular Cultures”

The Flames ceremony was born at the initiative of the media specialized in “popular culture”, such as YARD, Booska-P, without forgetting Smile, a consulting agency. This event also receives the support of Spotify, the first music platform in the world.

The Victoires de la Musique, which has long been criticized for not having enough space for the rap and R’n’B spheres, was not mentioned in the press release from the organizers of the Flames. But clearly intended when they describe “some” WHO “too long to say no” to suit these musicals “the meaning they deserve, at the height of what they represent”.

Winnings are taxed regularly“systematic invisibilization of rap, which is nevertheless a bestseller today”as Eloïse Bouton, journalist and founder of Madame Rap, a media dedicated to women and LGBT + in hip-hop, told AFP in 2020.

Marseille rapper SCH, upon receiving his Victory for the most streamed male artist last year, said his “ashamed”live on the microphone, not to see rappers like Jul or Dinos present at the ceremony.

“The wealth of our music”

Next to the categories expected as “rap album of the year”, Les Flammes is renewed in “featuring of the year” (guest artist in the title of another). Or “the Afro or Afro-inspired song of the year” and “the Caribbean or Caribbean-inspired song of the year”.

Influences we can see in Aya Nakamura, the most listened to French-speaking artist in the world and still not measured by Victories. “She’s unique, she’s the queen of this mix of sounds, a bit West African, a bit Caribbean too, a bit zouk, a bit dancehall, a bit Afro-pop”presented in 2021 at AFP Diplo, a well-known American DJ-producer.

Flames like to meditate “the richness of our music, its diversity and the fact that it continues to evolve by being permeated by influences from around the world”. They will also recognize a “social commitment of the year” category.

“New Pop”

“These categories will allow us to celebrate popular culture in the first year, but nothing is set in stone”, officials warned. The categories “will change” if needed. The “most Flames” will be awarded “by equal mixing” two panels of voters, professions related to the music industry and the general public.

For its first edition, Les Flammes will present gendered categories (female artist, male, female revelation, male of the year). Even “Not defining music by its artist’s genre is clearly the right thing to do”underline the organizers. “In our cultures, this will only be possible when women are more numerous, and more supported. In the meantime, they will be represented”they finished.

In their categories, Les Flammes privilege the term “new pop”, making it possible to avoid the “urban music” label that is sometimes found elsewhere. “Behind ‘urban music’, we can imply ‘music of scum, of peripheral areas’, like when we say ‘traditional music’, it can imply ‘music of scumbags'”denounced Naïma Huber Yahi, historian and researcher, in a round table at the Trans Musicales de Rennes in 2021.

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