French musician Zaho de Sagazan made her case clear as a future star with her double MME award win.
French musician Zaho de Sagazan has swept the Music Moves Europe Awards, winning both the Grand Jury Prize and the Public Choice Award.
The 23-year-old singer burst into tears when she received the top award, worth €10,000 with an additional €5,000 green touring voucher. Through broken English, Zaho said: “Love is the best thing in the world. I love music and bringing joy.”
Zaho was presented the award by long-time music host and British national treasure Jools Holland. Quoting a conversation he’d had with French musician Christine and the Queens, Holland said that the award “will open doors” for a young musician’s career.
Shortly after accepting the Grand Jury Prize, Zaho also won the publicly-voted on Public Choice Award, earning her a further €5,000.
Following her double victory, Zaho took to the stage for a victory performance. One of the most powerful sets of the entire Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) music expo running this week. Flanked by two musicians playing synth-laden percussion and keys, Zaho enraptured the crowd with her intense blend of dreamlike vocal melodies and intense dance beats.
The emotion of the event broke through momentarily when she had to ask an audience member for a tissue to blow her nose and dry her eyes, before Zaho jumped down into the crowd to dance.
The Music Moves Europe (MME) Awards are an annual showcase prize run by the European Union to celebrate the most exciting upcoming artists from across the region. This year the ceremony, which began on 18th January, is taking place at ESNS in Groningen, the Netherlands.
Previous winners of the MME’s Grand Jury Prize include Dua Lipa, Stromae, and Rosalía. Last year’s winner, Sans Soucis, revisited the awards as one of the co-hosts of the evening, starting the event with an enthralling DJ set.
15 artists, each from a different EU nation, were nominated for the 2024 MME Awards. The jury – made up of Gemma Bradley (BBC Radio Ireland), Cindy Castillo (MadCool festival), Kevin Cole (KEXP) and Bryan Johnson (Spotify) – picked five winners for MME awards and the Grand Jury Prize.
The five winners of the MME Awards, each receiving €10,000, were Bulgarian Cartrader (Bulgaria), Giift (Denmark), yunè pinku (Ireland), freekind. (Slovenia) and Ralphie Choo (Spain).
Quote of the night went to Bulgarian Cartrader. When the indie-pop artist came on-stage dressed in his lucky coat, made from his grand uncle Ivan’s own sheep’s wool, he made a touching dedication: “I wouldn’t be here without two things.”
“One thing is Bulgarian voodoo magic… and the other thing is German funding money,” Bulgarian Cartrader said. “Thanks for the money, and thanks to all the grandmothers in Bulgaria speaking in tongues and cutting with a knife through cold river waters. It really works!”
The other nominees for the prize were: Fran Vasilić (Croatia), Pearly Drops (Finland), ClockClock (Germany), Arny Margret (Iceland), Tramhaus (Netherlands), Berry Galazka (Poland), Ana Lua Caiano (Portugal), and waterbaby (Sweden).
From yunè pinku’s bold electronic stylings to Ana Lua Caiano’s Portuguese-folk inspired cacophony and Ash Olsen’s high-energy rap, this year’s MME nominees were an eclectic bunch worth keeping tabs on for the future of European music.