La Fouine is one of the top French hip hop artists today. The lanky rapper with the self-deprecating moniker (“la fouine” translates as “weasel”) is known for his highly melodic, American-style, French Hip Hop, and a flair for Pop and R&B hooks that appeal to the mainstream.
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Photo by François Rotger
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 of Balzac, Victor Hugo, and others. He attended Fine Arts school in Nimes, studying music, acting, drawing, photography and film editing — which explains the trippy music videos.
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If you like cheerful Folk Pop you’ll enjoy French 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 Chapman. Personally, she reminds me a lot of Colbie Caillat.
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Photo by Bernard Benant
French singer-songwriter Christophe Maé 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. Check out his top songs.
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It’s hard out here for a former Lolita. Alizée, the one-time teenage protege of Euro Pop queen Mylene Farmer, continues to search for a grown-up fan base with her fifth album, 5.
I’ll tell you up front that I was NOT a fan of Alizée’s early music. 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 interpret as a cover for a lack of talent. But the “Lolita” stuff was doing it for men of France, apparently, who couldn’t get enough of her lip-synching and prancing around in rompers and pastel mini-dresses.
Thankfully, Mylene Farmer’s control over her music waned, and by her third album, and the Corsica native began to show some promise. 2007′s Psychédélices was the first half-listenable album in Alizee’s repertoire, and in my opinion, she’s been heading in a more serious direction ever since.
Read More: Alizee: The French Britney Spears Grows Up >>