Over the Christmas-New Year holiday period I had a look at the music charts in various Romance language-speaking countries to see what’s hot and trending. Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball seems popular – but I have not mastered the twerk yet – along with songs by the likes of Swedish DJ Avicii, Eminem/Rhihanna and even New Zealand singer Lorde, while Pharrell Williams’ Happy is doing really well. Why not, who doesn’t want to be happy? I can’t really picture a song called Miserable making it to number one in the charts.
What I was really looking for, though, is what local artists, singing in the local language, are doing well amidst the deluge of English. In France, Belgian singer Stromae is still doing exceptionally well (see my post Stromae takes France by storm), but another very popular singer is Maître Gims. And just as Stromae has links to Africa – he is half Rwandan, half Belgian – so too does Maître Gims. He was born in Zaire but came to France at an early age, and his fathers and other relatives were musicians, so you can clearly hear an African influence to his music. At the same time, his French is very clear and he is a good model for anyone wanting to get better at the language. So try singing along to his current hit, Zombie – it’s very catchy and I have chosen a clip with the words displayed.
I will revisit this song in another post later when I am back from holidays and look at the vocabulary.
Maître Gims also has another song currently in the French charts, Changer, and he is also popular in Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands (I must say the Dutch to their credit are very open to songs in other languages) but I prefer his earlier hits. Here are the ones that first brought him international recognition, J’me Tire and Bella.
Put some Stromae and Maître Gims in your life in 2014 and your French will certainly benefit. You might even twerk!