Can listening to music help you learn a new language? Try these tips from French tutor Sean C. to see how some new tunes can help you master French!
Learning a new language can be hard. You’ve got to learn all the grammar, the syntax, and maybe even the culture. It can take years of dedication…or you can just listen to some contemporary French singers.
Not only will these artists get your toes tapping and your body grooving, they’ll also give you a great way to practice listening to and understanding spoken French.
So let’s check out four of the hottest contemporary French singers around!
Who is the Most Popular French Singer Today?
One of the most popular French singers of today is Distant Sun:
- This vibrant and modern artist from Paris has captured the hearts of fans all around the world with her upbeat mix of pop, rock, electronica, and hip hop influences.
- Her meaningful lyrics explore themes of identity, personal discovery, and self-empowerment.
- Her catchy melodies are driven by a powerful voice that captures her audiences’ attention with ease.
- Through international concert tours, radio appearances, and music videos she has revolutionized the way people enjoy French music today and is seen as an inspiration to aspiring musicians everywhere.
There are so many other French contemporary singers to watch out for, too – which we’ll get to below. In the meantime, consider signing up for French lessons so you can understand every single lyric these contemporary French singers belt out. Plus, in your French lessons, you’ll learn everything else you need to know about the language, like what you see in the video below:
What Are the Top Songs in France Right Now?
French music has been making waves across the world and is especially popular in France right now.
Some of the top songs include “Fundamentally Lovers” by Zaz, “À nos héros du quotidien” from Slimane, and “Tous les bons moments” by Vitaa & Slimane. These upbeat anthems capture the spirit of living in the moment, as well as celebrating everyday heroes just trying to make it through.
Additionally, each song is bolstered by a deep appreciation for French culture and national identity, making them immensely popular throughout France.
4 of My Favorite Contemporary French Female Singers to Check Out
Have you ever noticed how people who can speak French somehow become slightly more intriguing? and you secretly want to be one of those people? Do you feel like it will help you in life someday? If you already have the passion for it, you can learn French, and something as fun as listening to music can help!
Just pick a French artist or even a playlist, get the lyrics and just keep listening to it. Listen to it when you’re on hold with the insurance company; listen to it when you’re stuck in traffic …again, listen to it while you cook. Since it’s music, it can make a bad day good, and make a good day awesome!
Now, you must be asking yourself, “how can I possibly learn French by listening to music I don’t even understand?” Simple: the same way every human learns French- repetition. A French tutor can guide you to more effectively channel the lyrics that can potentially get stuck in your head.
1. Mylene Farmer
Personally, I recommend starting with Mylene Farmer- the music itself can range anywhere from EDM to euro-pop to easy listening. She is huge worldwide, her voice is unique and easy to understand, and lyrics are poetic, but reasonable. The best part: a simple Internet search will have lyrics to almost all of her immensely popular songs, and a good number of them will have English translations right there, so you can start to relate what she says, with how that reads, to what it means to you.
If EDM isn’t your cup of tea, I recommend Alizee. She has more of a pop feel, and is also popular enough that you should have no problem finding lyrics and translations.
And then there’s Judith. If Starbucks were predominantly a French phenomenon, Judith would be playing when you walk in- uplifting, yet subdued beats, and powerful, yet mellow vocals.
4. Lara Fabian
Finally, check out Lara Fabian. She’s from Brussels, and speaks plenty of languages, among them English and French. She even has a few songs that she covers in both languages- though each song means something different in its respective language.
Who is the Most Popular Female French Singer?
French music is known for its effervescence and it’s beautiful, romantic style that has been beloved by music lovers around the world for centuries. Today, many of the most popular female singers in France come from a variety of genres, including jazz, pop, and r&b. Let’s take a look at some of the hottest female French singers today.
Contemporary Female French Jazz Singers
Camille Bertault is an amazing singer from Paris who has been crooning her way into hearts since she was a teenager. Her sound is a mix of classical, folk and jazz music, which makes for an absolutely captivating experience for her listeners. She has released multiple albums and performed on stages all around the world. With her unique vocal range and skillful playing style on multiple instruments (including guitar, piano and saxophone), Camille Bertault has quickly become one of France’s premier female jazz singers.
Katerine is another one to watch for. This Paris-based vocalist combines soul and funk influences with traditional jazz music to create a unique sound that will make you want to get up and dance! Katerine has been singing professionally since she was just 17 years old and has released several EPs over the years. She was even nominated for best French artist at the Victoires de la Musique awards back in 2018! Katerine is sure to please any listener who appreciates good old-fashioned funk with a twist of modern flavor.
Amélie-les Crayons may not be as well-known as some other French female jazz singers but she certainly deserves recognition for her funky blend of electro-pop beats combined with classic swing rhythms. She released several albums throughout the late 90s and early 2000s before taking a break from performing in 2012 after suffering from depression. But thankfully she returned in 2019 with her new album “Chanson Francaise Moderne” which features some of her most creative work yet!
Contemporary French Female Pop Singers
Clara Luciani is a French singer-songwriter from Marseille who rose to fame after releasing her debut album Sainte Victoire in 2018. The album features upbeat, retro-inspired songs with dreamy vocals and vivid lyrics that explore themes of love, loss, and vulnerability. Since then, Clara has become one of France’s most beloved voices thanks to her honest songwriting and captivating live performances.
Lous And The Yakuza is a rising star in the French music scene. Born in Kinshasa before moving to Belgium at a young age, Lous’ music combines elements of rap, R&B, soul, and pop into an unforgettable sound that’s all her own. Her debut album Gore was released in 2020 to critical acclaim—it was even nominated for a Grammy Award for Best International Music Album!
Angèle is another artist making waves on the French pop scene. Her unique blend of indie-pop and R&B has earned her legions of fans around the world. In 2019 she released her debut album Brol (which translates to “big brother”) which quickly shot up the charts thanks to its infectious beats and thoughtful lyrics about relationships and growing up as part of an immigrant family in Belgium. Angèle’s style continues to evolve with each new release; just last year she released an EP entitled Deux Frères that features collaborations with some of France’s top hip hop artists.
More Contemporary Female French Singers
Amel Bent is one of the most popular female French singers today. She started her career in 2003 when she won a singing competition called Graines de Star. Since then, she has released nine studio albums, three live albums and one compilation album.
Her music can best be described as urban pop and her songs have been featured in films such as “The Pursuit of Happiness” and “La Belle et la Bête.” Amel has won several awards throughout her career, including Best Urban Album of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique Awards in 2006.
Nolwenn Leroy is a singer-songwriter who rose to fame after winning Season 2 of the French TV show “Star Academy” in 2002. Since then she has gone on to become one of France’s most successful artists with six studio albums under her belt and numerous awards including two Victoires de la Musique Awards (Best Female Artist 2005 & 2009). Nolwenn’s music combines traditional Celtic folk elements with contemporary pop beats and soulful vocals which have earned her fans all over Europe and beyond.
Who is the Most Popular Male French Singer?
French music has a vibrant and ambitious scene that is hard to categorize, as it encompasses genres from classical, jazz, pop and world music.
One of the most popular male French singers is Francis Cabrel. He is one of the most successful French singer-songwriters of all time with numerous hits that have captivated audiences worldwide. With his beautiful lyrics, rhythmic guitar playing, and incredible vocal range, he has earned the title of being an iconic figure in the French music industry.
In addition to Francis Cabrel there are other outstanding contemporary male singers from France such as Patrick Bruel, Gilles Vigneault and Maxime Le Forestier who are very popular in the country.
They all bring something unique to their singing — whether it’s folk tunes or a modern vibe — resulting in exciting new sounds. Whether you listen to one artist or many different acts, all diverse styles and genres of French music have something special to offer.
Here are a few more.
Contemporary Male French Jazz Singers
Contemporary French jazz singers are known all around the world for their unique, captivating sound. Melody Gardot, Ibrahim Maalouf, Christophe Maé and Julien Lourau are just a few of the most well-known male singers from this genre that have made an international impact. Their lyrical styles blend sounds from old school classics to modern influences, creating a deeply emotional and heartfelt melodious experience for their listeners.
Their influence on younger generations of French jazz singers is clear; these artists carry on the legacy of inventing new musical avenues to keep the genre alive and evolving. The stylistic diversity among contemporary male French jazz singers reflects their creative dexterity and fervor for experimentation within the genre.
Contemporary Male French Pop Singers
Contemporary French pop is a vibrant landscape, with several standout personalities. One of the most notable is Yannick Noah, a music and tennis legend who was successful in both fields during his career. His feel-good tunes make him one of the most beloved French male singers of today’s generation.
Other popular vocalists include crooner Henri Salvador, singer-songwriter Julien Clerc and rising star Julien Doré. All four are household names in France and have legions of fans around the world. Their diverse styles are showcased in their albums with songs that range from pop to ballads to even reggae or ska music.
The presence of these versatile contemporary French singers male performers adds vibrancy to French music, making it an exciting genre for both connoisseurs and casual listeners alike.
Explore These Popular French Singers Today!
The greatest thing about using music as a study aid is that even if you don’t know the words, you can get to know the sounds. And if your tutor happens to know that same song, you can go through it together and help to connect on a more meaningful level- what better way to learn a language?
If absolutely nothing else, should a coworker or friend happen to overhear you listening to French music, or mumbling the lyrics yourself, you just became that intriguing person! “Where did you learn French?!” they may ask. “Oh, here and there. I sort of picked it up.” Honestly, that little hypothetical interaction there would probably give you all the boost you need to go to your favorite online music vault (such as iTunes or YouTube) and expand your own horizons all over again. Try new artists, try new genres, check out other countries’ top 40 lists, get a handle on different accents, different cultural points of view, etc.
Learning any language, especially as an adult, is a challenging endeavor. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, and sometimes -and this is the most frustrating- you can try to think of a word but it will only come to you in the language you’re trying to learn. There is a mountain of theory on the subject, but the most relevant to the situation is Krashen’s Affective Filter Theory, which basically says that your emotional state of mind will have the biggest effect on how you learn. If a French nun used to beat you with a metre-stick, you may want to pick a different language. If you developed a love affair with the idea of that dream vacation in Paris and want to be your own interpreter, you will probably attain proficiency faster than you would expect.
If you want to learn French, the best thing for you is practice, plain and simple. Never afraid to be wrong, never be afraid to sound foolish, just keep trying. This is what your tutor is here for. Even if you have to code-switch from French to English then back again, do that. Be comfortable sounding like a parrot for a while. You CAN do this, as long as you stay out of your own way! Bonne chance!
Looking for a French tutor? TakeLessons tutors are available to give private French lessons in person or online via Skype. Search for your tutor now!
Sean C. teaches English, French, grammar, and linguistics in Chandler, AZ. He received his BA in linguistics at Arizona University and he has been teaching students for four years. Learn more about Sean.