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Vitaa and Slimane at the Francofolies de Spa: kitsch and kiff

  • Post category:Entertainment
  • Reading time:5 mins read

In 2016, Slimane took over one of Vitaa’s flagship titles, “A fleur de toi”, during the show’s blind auditions. The Voice. A revisit noticed and appreciated by the original performer. Six years later, here are the two artists reunited on the “Pierre Rapsat” stage of the Francofolies de Spa, to offer this title as a duo in front of 20,000 festival-goers. This song, they’ve probably sung it thousands of times over the past three years and the release of their joint album, Versus, which is also on it. A record with phenomenal success in France and Belgium, which allowed them to organize a tour that has continued to expand.

Their collaboration was, however, not obvious at first. The two artists know each other little and are at different stages of their journey. Slimane, he benefits from his little notoriety post telecrochet. He released a first solo album, Out of dreams. While Vitaa celebrates ten years of ups and downs. They meet to record “I give it to you”, planned, basic for J4M, Vitaa’s fifth disc. Their respective teams note a certain chemistry and push them to work together. On the one hand, we find a young artist fighting to find a place in the industry and not to be forgotten from the next edition of the show. On the other, a singer-songwriter trying to reinvent herself as her favorite genre, R&B, wanes.

©Mathieu Golinvaux

Versus was released in 2019. It became certified diamond disc a few months later, established itself as the best-selling album in France the following year and sold more than 900,000 copies. But the real feat of the duo remains its ability to maintain enthusiasm over the long term. Months after the release of the disc, it is still tearing up as much and going back and forth to the first place of the charts. It is also reissued twice (Versus: Chapter 2 and Versus: theUltime VSchapter). 10 titles complete the already robust collection of 19 songs.

When the duo arrives on the main stage of the Spa festival in the early evening, the welcome is royal. The two friends are at home here, in Liège territory. A few years ago, they sat in the famous red armchairs of The Voice Belgium, shot about fifty kilometers from the summer event. The concert opens with “Versus”. The stage is adorned with white, from the floor to the microphone stands and the screens. Even the instruments (keyboard, drums, guitar, bass) are immaculate. “I give it to you”, “Gold”, “Like a film”, “XY”,… Vitaa and Slimane roll out their repertoire, allowing themselves a few solo moments. The first takes up his cult duet with Diams, “Confessions Nocturnes”. While the second presents his latest single, “The Recipe”.

Vitaa and Slimane at the Francofolies de Spa: kitsch and kiff
©Mathieu Golinvaux

The friends seem to give themselves entirely and live in the moment. Despite the hundreds of dates on their counter, they engage as if it were the first time. Or the last. Their duo will soon come to an end, at least in this form, at the end of their tour. During “Don’t Leave Me”, Slimane drops to his knees, hand outstretched to the sky. During “It’s going, it’s coming”, the two sing hand in hand, eye to eye, when it’s not back to back. So, yes, it’s totally kitsch, outdated and overplayed. We let ourselves be picked up despite everything, thanks to their assurance, their vocal performance and their generosity. But also after observing the link with their audience. There is something going on between them and their fans, something powerful and inexplicable. A real popular phenomenon, claimed and assumed.