écrivains français avec des chats. (Great French writers with cats.) Pictured from top to bottom, Colette, Jean Cocteau, Michel Foucault, Celine, Francoise Sagan, Georges Perec, Marguerite Duras.
Basically, artists and songs that I enjoy listening to in my French-learning endeavor. As any playlist, it’s completely subjective, as well as a tad bit messy (since I’m not very systematic when music is concerned so expect time eras to overlap freely), but I hope you will like it anyway!
Édith Piaf –no surprises here, she really is a classic (and understandably so). I also love older music, so it wasn’t long before I was obsessed with a couple of songs. Personal favorites are Les Mômes de la clôche [x] (this one is reeeally old, it dates back to 1936!), L’Accordéoniste [x], Sous le Ciel de Paris [x] and the universally known Non, je ne regrette rien [x].
Zaz – definitely a more recent one, even though she has covered many classic pieces; I’m mostly in love with her jazzy voice and vocalizing. The first song I listened to was Je Veux [x], but I would also recommend On Ira [x], Gamine [x] and her wonderful cover of Dans Ma Rue [x] (be ready to bawl your eyes out).
Michel Sardou – whatever your opinion on the movie La Famille Bélier, it’s difficult to deny that its musical side was pretty cool. Listen to Je Vole [x] (here goes also Louane’s version [x]), En Chantant [x], and, if you are a les Mis fan, enjoy him Enjolras-ing in the Original French Concept album [x]!
Stromae – I’m well aware he’s actually Belgian, but I shall use the term French to designate the language here. There’s probably no further need to recommend him as I’m sure he’s pretty well known, but I like him so much that I’ll do it anyway, haha. Personally, I enjoy his original take on Bizet’s Carmen [x], Tous Les Mêmes [x], and of course Papaoutai [x].
Georges Brassens – a singer-songwriter that inspired many (and among those Fabrizio De André), his witty lyrics and rich voice are timeless. Listen to La Mauvaise Réputation [x], Mourir Pour Des Idées [x], and Les Passantes [x].
Joe Dassin – I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t have extensive knowledge of his discography, but I do know Les Champs Élysées [x] and truthfully it such a fun song to sing along to that I just had to include it in this list.
Les Choristes – actually a movie and not an artist; I first saw it in my last year of primary school and had its soundtrack stuck in my head for weeks. If you like choirs, these songs should be a good fit: Vois Sur Ton Chemin [x], La Nuit [x] and Caresse Sur L’Océan [x].
MIKA – kinda sure you’ve heard of this guy ;) There’s not much more to say other than his songs are extremely catchy in any language. The only ones I know well are Boum Boum Boum [x] and Elle Me Dit [x], but I’ll gladly listen to more if I find them!
Dalida – the Egyptian-born Italian-French singer (!), who tragically committed suicide in 1987, sang both in French and Italian. Personally, and for obvious reasons, I am more versed in her Italian production, but I can say that T’Aimer Follement [x] is a huuuge earworm for me, just like the French version of Ciao,Amore, Ciao [x] (I’ve got to warn you, though, if you aim for a native-like pronunciation don’t imitate her, for as far as I can tell she has a discernible Italian accent).