French radio stations are up in arms about government plans to make them play a greater variety of music sung in French. However, for French pop fans like me, encouraging home-grown talent like this is a great way to keep French music alive.
Stations such as Europe 1 and NRJ staged a boycott of Gallic songs last week over the 20-year old rule that 40% of the songs they play must be in French.
Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin claims that stations simply play the same French songs to meet the quota. She is introducing a new law that says the ten most frequently aired French songs can only account for half a station’s quota.
“A new law says the ten most frequently aired French songs can only account for half a station’s quota”
This can only be good news for singers trying to make it.
For me, the breakthrough artist of the year is Louane (Emera). She was discovered through TF1’s The Voice, La Plus Belle Voix, in 2013, and landed the lead role in the hit film La Famille Bélier, in 2014.
Then, this spring, she hit the top spot on the French charts with the catchy Avenir. It’s my song of the year.
I can’t help but think we could do better at boosting home-grown talent here in the UK. If you look at Capital FM’s playlist, for example, you’ll find just 12% of the music it plays is by artists without a top-ten single.
That is stifling talent.
Are quotas the answer? Maybe not, but at least they force programmers’ hands.