So you’ve spent hours learning grammar and writing essays in French. You deserve a break, right? But deep down, there’s a little niggle saying you should keep on studying. Sigh. Well, take that break. You deserve it. But to keep the niggle at bay, try listening to some of these awesome French musicians. (Psst…When I say French here, I don’t just mean ‘from France! Woohoo!)
COEUR DE PIRATE
Coeur de Pirate is from Quebec! Which is nice, because I don’t want to just focus on European French singers here. And also because she’s really good. Her first album is full of cute piano songs that will make you want to just curl up with cuteness. Her second shows real progression and is just as awesome.
This girl is big stuff right now in France. She did a lot of rap writing before releasing her own album late last year. Her first single Dernière Danse has been in the French charts for weeks so it looks like she’s going to be around for a while.
The hippie friend we all want, Zaz is the lady behind Je Veux, which you will no doubt know if you’re studying French at school (and have a cool teacher who plays you music!). Well worth a listen.
When I fancy listening to Arctic Monkeys and feeling like I’m 17 again, but I know I should be studying, I compromise by listening to BB Brunes. That way everyone’s happy.
Warning: Camille is quirky. If you’re after a French pop princess, then skip this one! If you’re still with me, then definitely give her a listen. Clever, creative and sometimes confusing, it’s now over a decade since Camille released her first album so you’ve got a few songs to catch up on!
Skipped Camille and got to here? Well, you’re in the right place! Alizée is best known for her cheeky late 90’s track Moi…Lolita. You know, like Lolita the under age girl in that novel! Shock horror! More recently, she dueted with Olly Murs on a half French version of his song Dear Darlin’.
Essential to be on this list. Even if you don’t like the music, Edith Piaf is someone you need to be aware of if you’re studying French. Although I think rainy Sunday afternoons were made for this genre. At least take a listen to the first song on this playlist…
Related: 10 Essential Spanish Musicians
Hey, Camille fans? You still there? You like quirky, right? Do you also like dance music? Then maybe check out Yelle. You’ll love her. Pinky promise.
There’s something about the French language that lends itself very well to rapping. I don’t know what it is, but it works. It just works. You need some French rap in your life. This is a good place to start.
Speaking of French rap…saving the best ’til last. Stromae is just too cool. Literally, you look at him, you listen to him and you are no longer in need of that Calypo. You may well recognise his song Alors On Danse from a few years back, but his new album completely blows that (already awesome) song out of the water. Seriously. His name is French slang, verlan, for ‘maestro’. You have to listen to it. Right now.