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“We are societal animals”: covid, music, presidential … before the IAM concert at the W this Thursday evening, Akhenaton confided

This Thursday evening, the Marseille rappers of IAM will ignite the stage of the W, the largest hall of the festival, set up for the occasion. Philippe Fragione, better known as Akhenaton, talks about the return of festivals and the new rap scene.

For your fifth visit to the Printemps de Bourges, your concert and the others will take place under “normal” conditions after a canceled Printemps 2020 and a 2021 edition atrophied by the health crisis. It feels good ? It’s necessary and almost vital for our mental health because we love it! In addition to setting foot on stage, we live again. We resumed with medium-capacity venues, in Morzine and on tour, but it was already extraordinary.

Whether in your positions or in your new album, Rimes Essentielles, the news is always felt. Is it a source of inspiration? It is important, yes, because we are social animals. Some are surprised by our current positions, but it has always existed. We talked about the Gulf War or even subjects such as the H1N1 flu, that is not new.

The major media, politicians are targets with which you are not tender in your titles. Did the presidential deadline make you want to write? No, not necessarily, I’m more disgusted than anything. The debates are bland, it seems that the elections are played in advance

. I will vote on the other hand, my mother always told me that people died for the right to vote, so I honor her.

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Not an anecdote, but a backstage memory. An evening where we were staying in a medieval style hotel and where we sang with Bernard Lavilliers. We had finished at two o’clock in the morning in a long discussion with Omar and Fred who were also there. We only have good memories of Bourges, it’s a beautiful region, south of Paris. For the past few editions, the festival has given pride of place to the young generation of rap, with the Rap2dayz for two days. How do you view this current scene?

It’s interesting because you realize that you’re still passionate. We like to watch what is being done, including outside of France. I am very American rap now. Today, with everything that is being done, we no longer have any excuses to criticize rap. We are very unfair with this new scene when there are 100 times more bands than before. With the internet, even not to mention streaming, which is another problem, one can find what one likes quite easily. If you had to go see a rap artist in particular, this year at the Printemps de Bourges. Who would it be?

I would say dinosaurs. He had made our first part at the Olympia 5-6 years ago. He is talented, gifted and his texts are good.
Matis Rapacioli

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