Culture Through Music: The Best French Artists to Listen To

More and more people are seeking to become culturally diverse with fusions of music, language, and food crossing borders and becoming imprinted on new types of people, with music being one of the easiest ways to experience another culture.

Just by popping in some earbuds and loading up a track, the rich history and style of various cultures can be experienced in a few short minutes. Spanish, Indian, and French music are all just a click or tap away.

For the French, they’ve produced several artists over the years, and many that are well worth a listen, no matter what continent the listeners are in.


Jacques Brel

Originally an artist in Belgium, Jacques Brel was a singer and actor who did most of his work in French, focusing on thoughtful lyrics about love. His music was popular across the continent and beyond, with many artists such as Frank Sinatra and David Bowie translating his songs (such as Amsterdam) into English and releasing them to wide acclaim.

Maxime Le Forestier

A French Singer and Songwriter who originally started as a cover artist for other French singers, Maxime soon wrote his own songs after joining the military even basing one called Parachutiste off of the parachute regiment he was a part of. After his service, he began focusing on French music for several albums and many of his songs have entered French Folklore.


A two-man French Hip-Hop band that lines their music with clever wordplay, dark humor, and commentary on both French and World events. This band focuses on problems such as racism, broken relationships, poverty, and war and blends both serious events with humor. For people who like to both understand and have a chuckle at some of the more painful events in the world, Sniper is the band for them.

Manu Chao

This artist is a melting pot of musical culture with songs in French, Spanish, and other languages. Manu not only blends the languages of his songs, but also the cultures of his music. Everything from reggae, salsa, rock, and the deep lyrics of the French Chanson make appearances in his work to blend and support one another in one fantastic song. For people who want to find multiple cultures in one place, this is the artist to listen to.



With hundreds of French artists to choose from, getting immersed in the French culture has never been easier than right now. Music from all over the world can be accessed with just a tap of a finger or a click of a mouse, and then an insight into the culture of the French can be discovered through the deep lyrics and soaring melodies.

Then the sky is the limit, some listeners might want to learn the lyrics and figure out what that meaning is, while others will just want to sit back and enjoy the song. Regardless of what they do with the music, experiencing a little musical culture is always a victory for both the listener and music itself.