While some critics argue that French musicians ignore the French language in their songs, some excellent artists highly value their language. With a mixture of English and French lyrics, these musicians develop interesting lyrics to satisfy their fans. However, some of them only sing in French and manage to produce great music that exports worldwide.
I’m not sure that I would call them the best French music artists, but they’re sure are one of the most popular in 2020! Without further ado, here is a list of ten French singers to listen to right now!
1. Black M
Black M rose to fame in 2015 after his smash ‘Sur ma route,’ which hit during the summer season. Black M is his stage name, where the M stands for Mesrimes, a reference to the disreputable French criminal “The name of a thousand faces” or Jacques Mesrine. Mesrimes is a French word that means “my rhymes” as seen in Black M’s amusing lyrics.
With his catching music, you will find yourself tapping your foot and nodding your head as you enjoy the rhythm. Alpha Diallo, which is Black M’s real name, uses a tongue-twisting rhyming style in his music. Apart from ‘Sur ma route,’ his other popular hits include Je suis chez Moi, Mme Pavoshko, French Kiss, among others.
Louane has already gathered international acclaim at only 20 years. Her full name is Louane Emera and she started from “The Voice: la plus belle voix,” which is similar to the American singing contest popularly known as The Voice.
Although she didn’t win the contest, Louane was hunted to feature in the 2014 film La Famille Belier where she acted as the teenager Paula; a character that won her a Cesar award. Her studio album, Chambre 12, collected rave reviews from mainstream audiences and critics. Her interesting songs are similar to American pop music: relatable, fun and very catchy. Some of her recent songs are Nos secrets, Desolée, and Peut-être.
MHD is another young musician paving his way into French music. The popular rapper created his original musical genre known as the “Afro Trap.” The genre features both trap and African beats creating an interesting rhythm.
MHD releases music videos that feature his neighborhood and his friends. He has received acclaim in the US and Europe, creating a favorable platform for his music. Besides, MHD recently concluded the American leg of his own world tour.
His new songs are mainly posted on his YouTube channel. Some of them are Bébé, Bella, A Kele Nta, La Moula.
4. MC Solaar
Popular both in the French and English world, MC Solaar is a truly versatile performer. He has several solo albums in French and has recorded English albums while collaborating with British group Urban Species. With a smooth voice, MC Solaar’s lyrics exhibit his astonishing eloquence.
Like Jay Z is to the American rap, MC Solaar is to the French rap. With a full sound and a relaxed tone, his music is fun and easy to listen to. He was lucky enough to experience quick success from his first popular single, Bouge de là, meaning “Get out of here”.
His other songs are Clic clic, Sonotone, Da Vinci Claude, among others. MC Solaar is also featured in my list of famous French rappers.
Soprano is a talented musician who releases his solo albums and still features group collaborations. He is also apart of a hip-hop group Psy 4 de la Rime based in Marseille. This group is quite popular among the French youths’.
Soprano is a very diverse musician who keeps changing his sounds while experimenting with different genres. Besides, he is among the few French rappers who don’t curse in their songs. You can listen to some of his popular hits like Courage, Musica, and many others.
Popularly known as Medine, Medine Zaouiche is a French-Algerian rapper who amuses his fans with interesting tunes. His lyrics often address hardships relating to the western perception of Muslims. He mainly focuses on poverty and oppression while passing the message to his fans.
Medine is from the norther town of Le Havre and practices rapping as a full-time job. However, the rapper has also written several articles, such as one titled “How much more French can I be?”. He always raps on effortless beats stressing the political activism in his amazing lyrics. Apart from the recent Grand Dla Tess, Medine has other interesting tunes like KYLL, Alger pleure, among others.
7. Maitre Gims
Maitre Gims is another well-known French musician. He started his music career when he joined Sexion d’Assaut, a hip-hop music group. Before his first album, the singer and ex-rapper illustrated a continuous comic books series titled Au Coeur du vortex, translated as In the Heart of the Vortex.
While leaving a rap career behind, Maitre Gims now sings with an interesting deep and compelling voice. He just released a new single, Marabout, from his 2018 La Ceinture Noire album. He also has other songs like Bella, Reste, La même and many others.
8. Clara Luciani
Clara Luciani is among the rising French musicians. She is connected to the La Femme group, where she featured two songs on the Psycho Tropical Berlin album. This is not the only album she has featured on, as she is also featured on the Cyborg album.
Her first album ‘Sainte-Victoire’ was published in 2018, and she won the ‘Victoires de la Musique’ the following year. Some of her other loved songs are “La baie” and “La grenade.” Although some of her music features different styles, they mainly share the same theme.
9. Christine and the Queens
Referred to as Christine and the Queens on stage, Heloise Letissier combines several trades. While featuring in music, the artist is also into art videos, photography and drawing. Drag queens inspired her as she visited London, where she got the name “queens”. She dedicates her music to transgender individuals as she creates amazing tunes in what can be categorized as French pop that mixes in electronic music.
Christine and the Queens said she targets being the black sheep in popular culture by challenging gender, queer culture and femininity in one of her interviews. The artist is unique and focused on the voice of others, as seen in her songs. Some of her songs include 5 dollars, Tilted, Girlfriend, among others.
Zaho is an R&B singer who discovered the music world after moving to Montreal. Though she moved there at the age of 18, she released her first album in 2008. She won the Best Francophone Artist Award the same year.
She is quite popular as her recent hit “Laissaz-Les Kouma” features on the top of the France hip hop list. With beautiful and catching tunes, Zaho has quite a number of songs. Some of them include Allo, Boloss, Divisés, and many more.
I hope you enjoyed this list and perhaps discovered some new French music artists to enjoy! Let me know what you’re listening to in the comments!