From Hip Hop back-up singer to Dance queen, trace the evolution of this top artist.
This multi-talented star makes Pop with a purpose and a positive message.
This band has a Franglo-Saxon sound that combines British Pop with French Rock.
Check out their new album.
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The essential artists and albums every modern French music lover should have. Grab these and start building your music collection:
Featured French Singers
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Tal Makes French Pop that Inspires The French singer Tal is a young Urban Pop star known for her optimistic songs and authenticity. She's been celebrated as a fresh and vibrant voice in French music, largely because she focuses on universal themes of hope, courage, and brotherhood rather than trite love and breakup songs. Her style blends R&B with mainstream Pop.
Née Tal Benyerzi, she moved to Paris from Israel when she was 1 year old. She's a self-taught guitar and piano player, hailing from a family of musicians who were fond of American Soul,…
Archimede Makes Pop Rock Franglo-Saxon Style With a sound that seamlessly combines British Pop with French Rock, the band Archimède bridges the gap between the musical past and present and between the two nations that inspire their music. Brothers Nicolas and Frédéric Boisnard create songs imbued with The Beatles' Pop melodies, the catchy guitar Rock of Oasis, the Yéyé vibe of Jacques Dutronc, and Renaud's irreverent lyrics. Nico sings, plays harmonica, and writes the lyrics (in French, thank you very much), and Fred composes the music and plays guitar. The duo began writing songs as teens in their…
Stromae: Dance Floor Provocateur If there's an artist of the moment, it's definitely Stromae. (Pronounced STROH-MAI, it's "maestro" with the syllables inverted.) The enigmatic performer is often compared to another Franco-Belgian singer-songwriter, Jacques Brel, for his realist subject matter -- even if it is delivered over a killer dance beat.
A study in contradictions, both visual and musical, this artist is currently the toast of Europe. He's struck a nerve with recession anthems and disillusioned Pop songs that make you want to both shake your booty and slit your wrists.
Corneille Enchants Across Boundaries A French singer / songwriter, Canadian transplant, and Rwandan genocide survivor, Corneille has always stood between worlds. Corneille (pronounced Kor-NAY) launched his career in his adopted home of Montreal, but it was France that first embraced him as one of their own. This platinum-selling artist triumphed over personal tragedy to become one of today's most popular singers in France and French-speaking countries around the world.
. . . → Continue Reading: Corneille Enchants Across Boundaries
Vanessa Paradis: Finally, A Serious Songstress Emerges Vanessa Paradis has certainly defied the odds. When an unlikely hit song catapulted her into the international spotlight at age 14, she seemed destined for one-hit wonderdom. But with luck and and some reinvention, she has parlayed her 15 minutes of fame into a successful career spanning over 25 years.
. . . → Continue Reading: Vanessa Paradis: Finally, A Serious Songstress Emerges
Julien Dore: Quirky French Heartthrob Quirky French heartthrob Julien Dore is known for his playful approach to music, and his penchant for making downright wacky music videos. He gained notoriety during season 5 of Nouvelle Star (French "American Idol"), when his riveting performances quickly became the main draw.
But there's more to him than a pretty face, perfectly tousled locks, and a reality show title.
Born and raised near Nimes in the south of France, Julian Doré is the great-great-great-nephew of the artist Gustave Doré, illustrator for the literary works…
M: French Rock Superstar The innovative French singer M is known for his playful Rock compositions and wildly theatrical live shows. His cooing falsetto is perfectly suited for his Rock-meets-Disco Funk sound.
Born Matthieu Chedid, he chose the pseudonym "-M-" and fashioned a whimsical superhero alter ego (with his wild suits and "M"-shaped hairdo à la Grandpa Munster -- a look he's since traded for "M"-shaped sunglasses) to help him overcome his shyness on stage.
Over the course of 5 studio albums, live recordings, and numerous soundtracks (including an…
Joyce Jonathan: Bubbly Pop, a la française If you like cheerful Folk Pop you'll enjoy singer/songwriter Joyce Jonathan. Her sweet voice and acoustic guitar strumming are an irresistible combination. At just 20 years old, she conquered the French music world with her award-winning debut album of feel-good acoustic Pop.
Jonathan grew up in the northwest suburbs of Paris, and began playing piano at the tender age of 5. By age 11, she was writing her own songs. Her musical influences include the late French R&B singer Teri Moise, Jason Mraz, and Tracy…
Christophe Mae: French Acoustic Pop Singer Singer-songwriter Christophe Mae performs acoustic Pop infused with Folk, Reggae, Blues and Soul. His music has an upbeat acoustic vibe, similar to Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, or John Mayer. He's one of the biggest Pop stars in France today.
The singer, born Christophe Martichon, hails from Carpentras, a town in the Provence region of southeast France. A self-taught musician, Mae is heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Tracy Chapman, Otis Redding, Ben Harper and Jack Johnson, and one can hear threads of them woven throughout his…
Alizee: Can the French Britney Spears Grow Up? It takes former teen stars a while to find their footing once they grow up. No one knows that better than Alizée, the one-time teenage protege of Euro Pop queen Mylene Farmer.
I'll admit up front that I am NOT a fan of Alizée's music. In her early days, she came off as a French Britney Spears, with a layer of icky Euro Pop icing. She was too "packaged" and manufactured, which I instinctively interpreted as a cover for a lack of talent. But the "Lolita" stuff was doing…
Natasha St-Pier: French-Canadian Chanteuse Success in Canada is no guarantee of stardom in France. Only a few have made the leap across the Atlantic in any significant way. Veteran singer Natasha St-Pier is one of the precious few. She's won over both Canadian and French audiences in her decade-long career. With six albums to her name and over 2 million records sold, she's an international music success story.
. . . → Continue Reading: Natasha St-Pier: French-Canadian Chanteuse
Zaz Wins With Her Bohemian Throwback Style The French singer Zaz (Isabelle Geffroy) is perhaps the best ambassador for her country's music these days. She's topped the charts in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany, and even won over some globally minded music fans in the U.S.
Something about her raspy voice, bohemian appeal, and throwback style of Gypsy Jazz-meets-Chanson Francaise struck a chord and made the world take notice of what the Frenchies were up to. It turns out that what they were up to was exposing a whole new generation to classic styles of French…
Amandine Bourgeois: The French Amy Winehouse Amandine Bourgeois has always stood at the intersection of Rock and Soul music. Before winning the 6th season of Nouvelle Star (French American Idol), she sang in both Rock and R&B/Funk bands.
Her bluesy sound hints at her wide range of influences, among which she counts Led Zeppelin, Rachelle Ferrell (an underrated American R&B singer) and Joss Stone.
. . . → Continue Reading: Amandine Bourgeois: The French Amy Winehouse
La Femme: Trippy French Surf Rock Band The band La Femme brings us New Wave Surf Rock, French style. Their hazy vocals, pulsating synths, Yé-yé vibes, and lo-fi aesthetic combine for an eclectic signature sound.
The haze also extends to the band members themselves, who are deliberately shrouded in mystery through costumes and camouflage.
Even the band's name is an enigma. We know it translates as "the woman," but what woman? Not to mention, we only seem to get passing glances at their faces in their head-scratching videos.
French Music Videos I've been wanting to do a post like this for a while. Avid French music fans in the United States often miss out on great songs and artists because the music isn't digitally (or physically) available. It frustrates me to no end when I hear a cool French song or artist, but I can't blog about them because their music is not in the U.S. iTunes store.
Sometimes the albums do EVENTUALLY show up -- a year or more after their release in France, but a lot of music…