Calogero is from Échirolles (near Grenoble) in southeast France. In the 90s, he formed a band with his brother called Les Charts before launching a solo career in Y2K. Calogero is a big deal scoring diamond and multiplatinum albums. He has not yet landed a #1 hit but has placed several in the French Top 10. His latest song “Je joue de la musique”, a pop-rock charmer with nice retro currents has made the Top 3. It heralds Calogero’s upcoming album Liberté Chérie. We embed a live performance below.
Juliette Armanet grew up in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, a medium sized city in northeastern France, before moving to the Parisian suburbs when she was 16. She studied theater and literature, and as a journalist made some documentaries. Juliette has returned to the songwriting she enjoyed as a teenager and has released her debut album, Petite Amie. The opening track “L’amour en solitaire” is both melancholy (few capture such a mood in music as well as the French) and merry. Armanet has been compared to Véronique Sanson.
The last couple of years have seen the French charts dominated by Anglo pop songs and Franco autotuned rap; good Franco pop songs are harder to come by. One artist who has saved 2017 is newcomer Alma from Lyon. She represented France in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Requiem” which became a Top 5 hit in her homeland. Apparently, she is tetralingual speaking French, English, Italian, and Portuguese. She has lived in Brazil, Italy, and Belgium. Alma’s debut album Ma peau aime was released on May 5, 2017. Enjoy the music video for “Requiem” below.
A famous sculptor, France’s Richard Orlinski has stepped into music with a little help from Dutch singer Eva Simons. The result of the collaboration is delicious EDM track “Heartbeat”, and it has topped the charts in France. Simons previously made a splash in Europe with her song “Policeman”. She is a fabulous singer as you can hear from the “Heartbeat” MV below.
After topping a number of charts around the globe with Major Lazer (thanks to “Cold Water”), Canada’s Justin Bieber joins forces with France’s DJ Snake on “Let Me Love You”. It is not the most original composition, a combination perhaps of “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots and the former track by DJ Snake and Major Lazer, “Lean On”. “Let Me Love You” continues the proclivities of 2016 EDM to favour giddy-up beats. The track appears on DJ Snake’s just-released debut album Encore. He is fairly new at the game first releasing music in 2013 and his real name is William Sami Etienne Grigahcine. Justin Bieber has become a highly sought after vocalist especially for electronic dance music makers. Arguably, his preferred singing style is more in the vein of R&B than pop, warbling over the melody (if there is one) rather than carrying the melody. The Biebs burst onto the scene as a teen star releasing his first single “One Time” in 2009. He has sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide and has to date scored more than forty Top 40 hits in his home country both as the main and as a featured artist.
For those who like football, The 2016 UEFA European Championship is taking place in France from June 10 – July 10. French EDM superstar David Guetta was charged with authoring a theme song for the event and he selected Sweden’s Zara Larsson to provide the vocals. We do wish the song had been performed in Swedish, or French for that matter, but we will have to settle with English. The official MV for the song entitled “This One’s For You” came out last week and we embed it below.
France’s Christophe Maé has topped the singles chart in his home country with the cute and catchy song “Il est où le bonheur”. Christophe scored a number of big hits in the last three years of the noughties decade. Bonheur is his first huge hit in the 2010s, so we can call it a comeback. In the music video, he goes through a number of age changes. Have a look below.
Benjamin Biolay’s new album Palermo Hollywood, his 9th, is doing well, near the top of the French charts. The baritone French singer has been compared to Leonard Cohen and Étienne Daho. Palermo Hollywood’s rich instrumentation is gorgeous and savory, and the whole album is good. We have embedded the MV for the 007-style title-track opener which should whet your appetite.