The public can vote until April 10 to choose three finalists in each of the 13 categories (out of 21) open to them (with 10 nominations so far in each category).

A jury also gives its opinion and the finalists will be revealed before May 11, the day the winners are revealed.

Two names stand out: Tiakola, a rising rapper from the Paris region, and Ronisia, an r'n'b sensation, born in Cape Verde and arrived as a baby in the Paris region.

He, whose album "Mélo" was the 9th best selling music in France in 2022, has 11 nominations.

She is cited 7 times, notably in the categories of female artist and female revelation. The artist sings in French and has a title, "Nha Terra", in Cape Verdean Portuguese Creole. Tiakola features her track "Comme moi".

They are ahead of their elders and heavyweights of rap / r'n'b / new pop that are Aya Nakamura (5 nominations), Gazo and Josman (9 nominations each).

Singer Aya Nakamura arrives at the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes, southeastern France, November 18, 2022 © Valery HACHE / AFP / Archives

The public vote, on a dedicated site, must weigh on the future, while at the Victoires, it is solicited for only one category.

"We were not built in opposition to the Victories," Hamad (without other surname used), co-founder of Booska-P, told AFP.

This media stamped "popular cultures" is at the initiative of the Flames with its counterpart, the media-communication agency YARD. Not to mention Smile, a consulting agency, nor the support of Spotify, the first music platform in the world.


"Les Victoires is an institution that has existed for a very long time, that has done things well but has not managed to understand what rap is and all its other currents. We see ourselves as a complement," he continues.

The history of Victoires and rap is, indeed, a long misunderstanding. As in 1999, when the group Manau, claiming a Celtic variety, receives, embarrassed, the rap trophy (which no longer even exists) in front of the NTM monument. And Aya Nakamura, the most heard French-speaking singer in the world, won only a minor trophy for the most streamed female artist...

The Victoires have also unknowingly delivered an assist to the Flames: in 2022, the rapper SCH, at the time of receiving his trophy of the most streamed artist, delivers at the microphone a speech on all the other rap artists who deserve to be there.

"We had been working on the Flames project for some time, we were looking for funding, we decided to send the teaser at that time, to take the place and make the project real," Tom Brunet, co-founder of YARD, told AFP.

"Societal causes"

The Flames stand out for the diversity of their categories. There is an award for album launch strategy of the year or social commitment of the year (not open to public voting).

"Often, with rap, it's not necessarily the positive things that are put forward," Hamad said. "More and more artists, labels, are involved with associations, charitable initiatives, close to youth, societal causes," adds Tom Brunet.

The organizers of the Flames, for educational reasons, favor the name "new pop" rather than "urban music", a pejorative label, to designate the satellite genres of rap.

Can we imagine on May 11 at the Châtelet a guest of honor like the footballer Kylian Mbappé, relay between current music / sport / fashion, to give more luster to the ceremony?

"It's part of the profile of people we contact, without us having confirmation currently. To award prizes, we look for athletes, cinema, humor, art, fashion, etc., anyone with a more or less strong link with rap and its currents, "concludes Tom Brunet.

© 2023 AFP