The Théâtre du Châtelet , an emblematic place in the French capital, experienced a memorable evening last Thursday. More than 2,000 people, made up of artists, music industry professionals and fans, gathered for the first edition of Les Flammes. This awards ceremony, initiated by the media Booska-P and the Yard agency, was dedicated to rap, a musical genre which has experienced a meteoric rise in recent years.
The evening began with flashes of light and echoes from the crowd gathered around the theater. On the red carpet, elegant outfits rubbed shoulders with more eccentric looks, reflecting the diversity and creativity that characterize rap culture. Inside, the program promised an evening rich in emotions, with 21 award ceremonies and 14 live performances from key artists on the current scene.
This Flames ceremony was imagined as a response to the under-representation of rap at the Victoires de la Musique. Indeed, for many years, French-speaking rap, driven by a generation of prolific talents and growing popularity, has struggled to find its rightful place in traditional award ceremonies. Les Flammes were thus born from a double challenge: to celebrate the undeniable success of rap, but also to fill a gap, by offering this musical genre its own platform of recognition.
Preparing for the event required four intense days of preparations and rehearsals. On stage, technicians were busy orchestrating sound and light tests, while the artists refined their performances. On the eve of the ceremony, despite a multitude of details still to be resolved, the organizing team displayed unfailing confidence and determination.
The first edition of Les Flammes was marked by a desire to embrace the diversity of French-speaking rap. She thus proposed broader prize categories, reflecting the different sensibilities of the genre: new pop, R&B, Afro and Caribbean inspirations. The term "urban music", often used in a reductive way, was deliberately set aside in favor of a "ceremony of popular cultures", more likely to promote the richness of French-speaking rap.
In terms of awards, the evening was crowned by several highlights. The young rapper Tiakola, with three victories in the new pop, R&B and afro categories, established himself as one of the revelations of the ceremony. The best artist awards went to singer Aya Nakamura and rapper Gazo, the latter of whom also won the Spotify award for his album KMT. Dinos, another talented French rapper, received the award for best rap album for his work “Hiver à Paris”.
Here is the list of winners in the main categories of the first edition of Les Flammes:
- Best Female Artist: Aya Nakamura
- Best male artist: Gazo
- Best rap album: Dinos for “Winter in Paris”
- Spotify Prize (main partner): Gazo for his album KMT
- New pop category: Tiakola
- R&B category: Tiakola
- Afro inspiration category: Tiakola
The Flames ceremony was able, in one evening, to position itself as a major event on the French-speaking rap scene. Beyond the musical performances and the prizes awarded, it was the values of diversity, creativity and inclusion that were celebrated. These values, fundamental to rap culture, were embodied by the artists present and by the organization of the event itself.
The end of the ceremony was marked by an impressive medley from the two big winners of the evening, Tiakola and Gazo, to the enthusiastic applause of the audience. This first edition was praised by both industry professionals and fans, proof of the success of this new meeting of French-speaking rap.
The Flammes initiative should also be welcomed for its impact on the music industry. In a context of the "streaming revolution", where rap artists dominate the charts, the event was able to seize the opportunity of this digital era to celebrate and promote French-speaking rap. He thus contributed to the growth and recognition of this musical genre, not only as a commercial phenomenon, but also as a cultural and artistic force.
The success of this first edition is promising for the future. The Flames ceremony, which aims to be lasting, has already laid the foundations of a tradition which aims to celebrate each year the talent and diversity of French-speaking rap. Hamad, co-producer of the event, is already looking forward to future editions with enthusiasm. “We are already on season two. Then there will be three, four, five…”, he confides.
With Les Flammes, French-speaking rap now has an event commensurate with its success and influence. A ceremony that celebrates its diversity, creativity and cultural impact. A ceremony which, like rap itself, pushes boundaries and redefines codes. A ceremony that we hope will continue to shine and inspire for years to come.