Thursday, 11 February 2016

Victoires de la Musique 2016 preview

Friday February 12 sees this year's Victoires de la Musique award take place in Paris. It's the 31st time the event's been held, the ceremony being the French equivalent of the Grammy Awards in the US or the Brit Awards in the UK.

It's prestigious and a big spectacle, and while it's easy to criticise the relevance of awards in a field like music, there's little doubt that the expose an act can get as a result of a win can establish careers.

Like last year, I thought I'd take a look at the short list, and throw in my predictions. Last year I got some right, some wrong, but it was fun to take an in-depth look at the event.

Male Artist 

Dominique A
Kendji Girac

My money here would be on Dominique A on the strength of his Éléor album. He's an artist who has created some great work over the years, his most recent album certainly is as good as anything he's previously done.

Female artist 

Yael Naim
Veronique Sanson

I think Zaz might pick this one up. Another great year for a singer who has become for many an ambassador for French music internationally and her Paris album released at the end of 2014 took on a different meaning in the light of events in the French capital in 2015.

Breakthrough album

Jeanne Added - Be Sensational
Jain - Zanaka
Louane - Chambre 12

My personal favourite here would be Jeanne Added, but I think this award will go to Louane, a pop star of the truest sense, going from winner of The Voice to top of the charts via a César award.

Breakthough act

Faada Freddy
Feu! Chatterton
Hyphen Hyphen

While all worthy winners, surely this must go to Feu!Chatterton, worthy winners of this blog's best release of last year award.

Chanson album

Frero Delavega - Des ombres et des lumieres
Johnny Hallyday - De l'amour
Yael Naim - Older

Difficult one to call, with three releases that are all strong and deserving of the award. I'd be surprised of Johnny goes home empty handed, but I do think this might go to Frero Delavega.

Rock album

Lou Doillon: Lay Low
Les Innocents: Mandarine
Rover: Let it Glow

Again, another difficult selection here. Lou Doillon's won before, but it would not surprise me if she picked up this award.

Urban album 

Booba: D.U.C.
Nekfeu: Feu
Youssoupha: NGRTD

Some hugely popular acts, arguably at the top of their game. My money would go on Nekfeu, the youngest and least established of the three on the list.

World Music album

Tiken Jah Fakoly: Racines
Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal: Musique de nuit

Hindi Zahra: Homeland

A fine release by Hindi Zahra, which should hopefully see her pick up the award.

Electronic or Dance music album 

St Germain: St Germain
The Avener: The Wanderings of the Avener
The Shoes: Chemicals

Some strong releases in this category, but my suspicions are The Avener will get this one, his work meeting with massive commercial and critical success since the album came out.

Original song

Johnny Hallyday: De l'amour
Louane: Avenir
Maitre Gims: Sapés comme Jamais
Nekfeu: On Verra

Some very varied work here, but I reckon this might be one for Johnny Hallyday. A surprisingly sprightly number from the veteran performer that took a lot of people, incuding Johnny's fans, by surprise.

Musical show/Tour/Concert 

Louis, Matthieu, Joseph and Anna Chedid
Christine and the Queens
The Do

Another category where it would be no surprise whoever won, but I think the sheer likeable qualities of Louis, Matthieu, Joseph and Anna Chedid will win the day for them.

Video clip

Christine and the Queens: Christine
Stromae: Quand c'est
The Do: Miracles

Not a bad one on this list, all favourites of this blog. Christine won massively last year, Stromae is also no stranger to the awards. The Do picked up best rock album last year. But judging on the clip alone, it would have to be Stromae that gets my vote.

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