I’ve noticed a trend becoming more and more popular over the last few years in French music, songs in a mix of French and English. Some are duets, some are solo artists or groups, most are from France or other Francophone countries like Belgium and Canada but they are also from a handful of other countries too. For some artists it’s a one-off and for others most or all of their music is in this French-English mix. It’s kind of the perfect mix for an Anglo-French family like mine. Here is my choice of 18 French-English songs you should know.
French-English Songs to Listen to
Apart from a couple of isolated songs from a while ago (at the end of the list), I think I started to be aware of this blending of language with Mika’s hit “Staring at the Sun” in 2015. If ever there were a polyglot, it’s Lebanese-born British singer Mika. He speaks English, French, Spanish and Italian fluently and some Mandarin and Arabic thrown in for good measure. Mika is huge in France and acts as a coach and mentor on the French version of The Voice. Bizarrely while in Italy recently I happened to flick on the telly to see him presenting an excruciatingly awful game show in the nude! (Yes really!)
The next song I’ve chosen has a personal link and a link back to Mika. At only 16 years old, Louisa Rose was a participant in The Voice, on Team Mika, while at school with my son, The Teen. Here she sings with French singer Brice Conrad in a Franco-English duet “Hands are Shaking”.
Next up, another The Voice participant Franco-Israeli Amir, who also went on to represent France in the Eurovision Song Contest. I don’t like much of his music but I do like this one, “J’ai cherché”. (As a fairly irrelevant aside, this year another 16 year old kid from The Teen’s school was in the semi-finals for Eurovision, it seems to be producing some pretty good singers!)
And yet another contestant in the semi-finals for Eurovision, Franco-Australian Malo’ with “I believed”.
“Chou Wasabi” by Julien Doré ft. Micky Green. And would you know it, Julien Doré is the winner of Nouvelle Star, the French equivalent of The X Factor….
“Roi” by Bilal Hassani, who started singing at the age of 5 and at 13 entered The Voice Kids. He really rose to fame however through his YouTube channel which led to representing France in the Eurovison finals, with this particular song.
“Streets and Stories” by French pop duo Part-time Friends
French-American duo Freedom Fry with “Shaky Ground”
“Dreamin” by Frenchie Damien Lauretta (an X Factor participant!)
“Open Season (Un Autre Saison)” by Australian singer Josef Salvat, a francophone who, having lived in Paris as a teenager, always wanted to sing in French. Et voilà! (This is not his only one in French).
“Nation” by French singer Tibz
Belgian singer Angèle with “La Loi de Murphy”
Canadian artist Peter Katz (with Rémi Chassé) “Brother”
“Sur la Lune” by Belgian singer Milow
“C’est la Vie” by Malian singer Inna Modja
French group Diva Faune “Shine on my Way”
Some Older French-English Songs
And finally those early French-English songs. This is probably the first one I was aware of “Help Myself” by Gaëtan Roussel from 2009.
And also from 2009, Lily Allen’s French version of “22” with Ours.
What do you think of these French-English songs, do you like any of them?
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