I chose ten current French singers that seem, from my point of view, interesting for learning French. The different criteria for those French artist singers were that they are easy to understand and the signification of their texts. One more thing, they are mostly all established French artists or French bands with a successful career. I chose different styles of music from French rock to French dub and French rap.
1 – M
Seems obvious for this French artist, M is his stage name. His real name is Mathieu Chedid and the M stands for his first name Mathieu. He created a rock’n’roll character named M. You might do not know it but his last name was the reason he went for a stage name. His dad, Louis Chedid, is a famous French musician and Mathieu Chedid did not want his success was explained just because he was the son of a celebrity.
I went to his concert twice, and I was lucky the last time was for a special concert that reunited all his family members in Lyon. His dad is a musician but also his sister Émilie and his brother Joseph are musicians.
I would highly recommend you to go to one of his concerts, he is a real showman, he always goes to the mosh pit to play guitar, sing, or both. He sings mostly about being positive in life, there are a lot of good vibes in his texts and concerts.
A video of one of his hits “Machistador”
2 – Manu Chao
Spanish speakers might be really surprised but Manu Chao from his birth name José Manuel Tomás Arturo Chao is a French citizen born in 1961 in Paris from Spanish parents. His first success was in 1987 with his band named Mano Negra. After that, he decided to take an eight years break and wrote the excellent album Clandestino (1998). His songs are in Spanish, French, English, or a mix of the three.
Here again, he is excellent at live concerts, he puts so much energy in it, I love it. He might stay longer if the public asks for more songs. He stayed at least, two more hours when I went to his concert!
His texts are about inequalities in the world, corruption, or love. I recommend you listening to the album of 2007 “Radiolina”.
Besoin de la lune – Radiolina
3 – Dub Inc
This is a French Dub music band that comes from my hometown Saint-Étienne. Those French singers are probably the most famous dub band in France. Dub Inc was founded in 1998, and some of his members got diverse origins and sing about politics, French society, and racism.
Like the two previous ones, they are fantastic for live concerts. They sing mostly in French and sometimes in Arabic or English. Their big hit is the French songs “Rude Boy” (Created before the Rihanna one’s 😉 ) but I prefer the next one.
Tout ce qu’ils veulent live at Olympia
4 – Oxmo Puccino
He is born in 1974 in Mali and came to Paris at the age of five, he has French nationality. From this list, he is probably one of the best for text writing. I am a big fan of his songs, he has such a charismatic voice. By the way, he made a featuring with M in the song “Bal de Bakamako”
I am a big fan of this song “Toucher l’horizon”
5 – Odezenne
This French band from Bordeaux write melancholic and beautiful French songs about life. To be honest, you shouldn’t listen to it when you feel depressed, it wouldn’t help 🙂 Their songs are like poems with electro sounds.
Souffle le vent
6 – Big Flo & Oli
I have to be honest, I am not a big fan of this duo French rap group of two brothers from Toulouse. I have to admit that their texts are good, I like the fact that they are singing about life issues. Those French singers became famous in France be posting some videos on YouTube. It is funny, they look so young in the next video. I remember this freestyle was everywhere on Facebook back in 2011.
From 2011, they are now two big stars in France and perform their concerts in stadiums. For the story, their dad is from Argentina and their mother has Algerian origins. Their French songs are perfect to be taught in a French class.
7 – IAM
This French rap group comes from the city of Marseille. It is composed of the two singer leaders Akhenaton and Shurik’n. Those French musicians belong to the old school French rap. Compared to most of the French rappers, IAM sings about life and the French ghetto with beautiful and well-written texts.
The complicated part in terms of understanding is their accent of Marseille that you can easily hear. Here my two favorite songs: (I could add “Petit frère” or “Je danse le Mia”). I enjoy the video of the French song “La fin de leur monde” which was a concert in Egypt in front of the pyramids of Gizeh to celebrate their twenty-year anniversary of the group.
This French song was a tribute to the saga Star Wars: “L’empire du côté obscur”
8 – Eddy de Pretto
I already wrote about him in this article: 10 French Music Artists that You Need to Listen to Now. You will learn more about him 🙂 This talented French artist became famous with the French song “La fête de trop”. I recommend you to listen to his album “Culte” released in 2018. Great French artist to learn French, he sings in a clear way with no accent. The texts are, here again, well written, and he sings with a great flow.
La fête de trop
9 – Clara Luciani
I wrote about her in this article: 5 French Pop Music Artists to Follow Now (if you want to learn more about her and other French artists). She has a great voice and her French songs are modern and super energetic.
Here my favorite song from Clara Luciani: “Nue”
10 – VIDEOCLUB
I wanted to end up with my last French music discovery. They are a duo of two young French artists that sing with eighty vibes and electro-pop instrumental. I was surprised at how young and talented they are. The group is composed of Adèle Castillon born in 2001 and (I learned while writing this blog post) she was famous before VIDEOCLUB by being a YouTuber and acting in the French movie “Sous le même toit” with the famous actors Gilles Lelouche and Louise Bourgoin. The other member, Matthieu Reynaud also born in 2001, learned during his childhood to play many instruments like the bass guitar, synths, and drums.
They sing mostly about love and relationships in a very French way (article about French love songs). They did not release an album yet just some great EP. The group released in 2018 “Amour Platique” telling the story of two teenagers falling in love, like them. Yes, because they meet each other at a party and fell in love at times after. They realized that they were sharing some interests and decided to create this French music group. From my side, I really like the French songs “En nuit” and “Mai”.
I hope you liked the original selection of French singers that will help you to learn French through listening. Do you know some other French music artists? Let me know about it in the comment section 🙂 From now, you can discover other great French artists in my next article: 15 Current French Bands That You Need to Discover.
Credit photo cover @Carlos Gerardo García