Today is Bastille Day in France. This is the day the French overthrew the monarchy, chopped off Marie Antoinette’s head and basically installed their first “republic”.
Since then, France has become a tourism hotspot, the land of wine, fine food and grumpy citizens but remains less famous for its music. Aside from a few French crooners like Gainsbourg and pioneers of La French Touch (Daft Punk, Air), the land of Brie has a poor reputation when it comes to making decent music.
However, for the past 2 years, France has been making an important musical comeback. Indie acts are getting more attention than ever before on the global stage and French festivals are becoming a big attraction for music lovers across Europe. Mainstream acts like Stromae and the exceptionally talented Christine and The Queens have been featured on big US shows like The Tonight Show.
But there is a new wave of emerging French talent that have huge potential to cross the ocean. The production is astounding, the artists are talented and intense and their work is as catchy AF. Do not turn your nose up at French artists, they’re about to bring the house down. Here are a few acts that you really need to know about:
The Blaze is made up of cousins Jonathan and Guillaume Alric. They live in Paris but both grew up in small villages listening to their parents’ classical music. They don’t make a lot of music but their tracks are always accompanied by breathtaking short films, which add an incredibly sensitive dimension to their dance music. Their songs focus mainly on the importance of bromances, traversing one man’s life made up of solitude, violence, intimacy, generosity and brotherhood. An absolute gem and glorious lesson on life.
Douchka joined Nowadays Records in 2015 with his remarkable first EP Joyful. His music is warm, welcoming and invigorating, bouncing with youthfulness and anticipation. His music collaborations are happy and honest, reminiscing about the good times, lazy Sundays, making love and just seizing life’s rarer moments. Who needs the fountain of youth when you have Douchka, brimming with life and infectious juvenile wonder.
25 year-old Jain was born in Toulouse France, but travelled around the world due to her father’s job. She has lived in Dubai, the Congo and Abu Dhabi, and credits her music to these trips. Her music is a pure product of multiculturalism. Although it would be easy to accuse a white expat of cultural appropriation, her art demonstrates experience, knowledge and appreciation. It’s not about fashion or picking and choosing strong emblems from a culture without any insight to their meaning. Her art comes from her life, her vision and she has never tried to be anything other than a white girl who has seen and travelled more than most of us will in a lifetime.
Møme aka Jérémy Souillart is a 26 year old musician raised in Nice and an expert in ‘Chillwave’ sound. His single “Aloha” took the radios by storm and was a massive hit back in France. Starting out from the Soundcloud Community and now supported by the DDM Recordings label, Møme is set to go far, and is the living proof that when it comes to Electro, France’s still got it.
Petit Biscuit is young (and by young we mean 17 years old) and, boy, is he set to take on the world.
He studied cello at the prestigious classical musical school Le Conservatoire, before discovering the wonderful world of computers at the age of 11. His tracks are impressive, sun-soaked, nostalgic and delicate and have racked up a big following on SoundCloud. His song “Sunset Lover” is the song summer was waiting for, and is now paving the path for more hits to come.
No, Killason a.k.a Marcus Dossavi Gourdot is not American, he’s a 22-year-old French rapper and one of the scene’s most promising hip-hop artists. Following the release of his first EP The Rize, this musician, beatmaker and dancer is killing the French rap game, and has his sights set on crossing the borders like a whirlwind.
Gracy Hopkins uses his Brazilian, French and Angolan roots to create his very own hip-hop genre, which defies linguistic barriers by mixing English grime with French urban rap. His music is rich, political, fluid but above all promising and disenfranchised from hip-hop’s rules.
Listen to our French Editors’ playlist of rising French artists who are set to conquer the globe: