November Ultra wins the 1st Josephine Prize

November Ultra wins the 1st Josephine Prize

For Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui en France, it was “the most beautiful record of the spring”. The Joséphine Prize made it the most beautiful album of the year. Singer and musician November Ultra and her album “Bedroom Walls” won this new musical prize rewarding diversity, audacity and uniqueness. It was presented to him this Friday evening at the Maison de la Radio and live on FIP by Keren Ann, who presided over a jury composed solely of artists, Imany, Oxmo Puccino, the Empress duo, DJs Chloé and Myd, beatmaker Guilty, author and composer Numah, singer-songwriter Doriand, musician and producer Sage, director and sound engineer Bénédicte Schmitt.

“Bedroom Walls” is the first solo album by this 33-year-old artist, who chose her pseudonym in reference to her birth month and her favorite album by American rapper Frank Ocean, “Nostalgia, Ultra”. Nova, as she is also called, grew up in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine) of immigrant and worker parents. From the first to the last song, the chilling “Over and Over and Over” and “Open Arms”, she amazed us with her exceptional voice, her compositions with high emotional potential and her production, modern and inventive, between folk, pop and electro. His music is called “bedroom pop” because it originates in his bedroom. But she is anything but skimpy and corseted.

No wonder she travels. On tour since the spring, she returns from New York and Montreal, she will go to London and Brussels in November, to Antwerp in March… She performed this Friday evening at the Maison de la Radio with seven of the nine other artists selected for the prize: Malik Djoudi (“Troy”), Laurent Bardainne and Tigre d’Eau Douce (“Hymn to the Sun”), Léonie Pernet (“The Circus of Consolation”), Gaspar Claus (“Tancade”), Eesah Yasuke (” Exquisite Corpse”), Koki Nakano (“Oceanic Feeling”), Zuukou Mayzie (“Segunda Temporada”). Only two selected, on tour abroad, could not be present, Orelsan (for his album “Civilization”) and the duo Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul (for “Topical Dancer”).

Albums and artists “who do not necessarily have the visibility they deserve”

The jury of artists had to choose from among the 40 albums selected by a committee of journalists from various musical genres (Les Inrockuptibles, Télérama, France Inter, France Musique, Le Parisien, etc.) who had themselves listened to no less than 315 albums. registered, in all styles (pop, rap, electro, neo-classical, French song, jazz, rock, etc.)

“We listened to a lot of good albums, enthuses the president of the jury, Keren Ann. It was also very pleasant to choose completely independently, to have no style constraints and to be able, on the model of the Goncourt prize, to highlight ten albums for several months. It was time there was a prize in France like the British Mercury Prize, which made us discover albums and artists who do not necessarily have the visibility they deserve. »

The two initiators, Christophe Palatre and Frédéric Junqua, have been working in the recording industry for twenty years. The first was president of the Victoires de la Musique in 2014 and 2015, boss of the Delabel (Manu Chao, David Guetta) and Parlophone France (Souchon, Aubert, Renaud, Aya Nakamura) labels. The second directed Virgin France (Biolay, Daho, Cassius, Hardy, Mickey 3D) and created the Kitsuné editions. Their common objective was to fill a gap between the Victoires de la Musique, which remain prescriptive, but highlight fewer and fewer artists and styles, and the NRJ Music Awards, which reward the most listened to and played artists in radio. They succeeded oh so much with November Ultra as the first winner. Long live Josephine.

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