(Get over the) hump day inspiration: fun French music

Indochine in concertA compendium of the French music that has been introduced to me over the course of my twenty years (on and off) of studying the language:


My first year of French, in eighth grade, the teacher would start each class with a few songs from one of her French albums. She played them on an actual record player, which is how I know it really was a long time ago. Indochine is the only music I still remember from that year. I loved it because it took me on a nostalgic trip back to the new wave of my 80’s childhood, but at the same time it was completely new and catchy to me. Call me crazy / 47 years old, but I do really think Indochine makes good music.

Here’s the album my teacher would play for us. My favorite song was and still is “Tes Yeux Noir (scroll forward to 35:47):

Diam and Koxie 

In grad school I took a French class after ten years without formal – or really, any – study. For one looong and humbling semester I endured the snarky looks of barely-adult undergrads who had no patience for my halting mangled French. I made friends instead with the one other grad student (who also spoke much better French than I did – I was the worst in the class by a long shot). The one favor those haughty undergrads did for me was to introduce me to Diam and Koxie, both woman rappers of immigrant ancestry. At a recent Meetup I learned from the Togolese guy that Diam wears the hijab now and has stopped making music. Perhaps the two things are related, perhaps not – I leave that to you to Google if the spirit moves you.



At another recent Meetup, Kery James was another French rapper recommended to me:

And at yet another one, I was told to listen to MC Solaar:

And just for fun, since this has become a list dominated by French rappers, here’s a song from the (highly derivative) Busta Flex album I bought pretty much at random the year I studied abroad in Ireland and spent a day in Paris on spring break:

For good measure, a beautiful / spunky / easy-to-follow-even-if-you-speak-terrible-French song that Emmanuel sent to me, by Françoiz Breut:

What do you think?

(Photo of Indochine doing the we-can-still-rock-in-middle-age thing: Laurent Breillat)