French rappers, singers, songwriters and personalities from various fields gathered Thursday (May 11) for a historic evening.
They attended the first edition of the French Urban Music Awards known as 'Les Flammes' ceremony.
The Paris event was dedicated to celebrating rap, R&B and afro Caribbean music among other popular genres. Guests in attendance welcomed a long overdue ceremony.
"It's a victory. There have been lots of projects similar to this one, the French Urban Music Awards. The fact that this ceremony is taking places here, at the Chatelet theatre, on a beautiful stage, a red carpet, this is good. So I'll say it's better late than never," French rapper Passi said.
His accolyte of the venig added: "We've been working for this genre, this culture since the eighties, the beginning of the eighties", Stomy Bugsy says.
"Here we are today. We're looking forward to a beautiful ceremony and I hope that this will be the first editions of many more, I hope it will become an institution, Les Flammes, it is important, it must last forever."
The ceremony that lasted over 3 hours gathered more than 2,000 people according to French newspaper Le Parisien.
Rapper Dinos congratulated the nominees and talked about his vision of success: "It's not a sigh of relief, it's more a 'here we are, we've managed to do our ceremony'," he said.
"When you take a look around you, see all theses people, all the work that was put up. Plus you know that people are watching, the artists are there. And as far as I'm concerned, all those who are nominated, all those who attended, they have already won. From the moment your music crosses borders, once people listen to it in your country, once people live through your music, and as soon as you can earn minimum of money thanks to your music and live, you have already won."
Genres shunned by mainstream awards
Artists, labels, producers were celebrated for their contribution to popular cultures in the French speaking world.
Despite reigning supreme on the list of most sold albums in France, Rap, R&B and new French pop artists rarely shine in other music ceremonies.
Rapper Djadju who is of Congolese descent celebrated the end of this era.
"Artists have been complaining for a long time. Finally, they made it, they did it, they had to. It was important and they managed to do it, especially for the community, for urban music, urban culture."
Aya Nakamura, one of the most streamed French-speaking musician in the world received the Female artist of the year award. Gazo was named Male artist of the year.
Congolese artist Falli Ipupa was honored for his career.
Before receiving an award French rapper Rosnia who launched her first album in 2022 was grateful.
"Honestly, I'm super happy. And it's a great source of pride because I've been nominated in several categories and only the first edition, so of course it's a great pleasure and I'm honored"
The Flammes awards celebrated the young generation and trade blazers.
21 prizes also called Flammes were awarded.
The ceremony was broadcast live on Youtube and 14 artists performed during the evening.