18 Super Popular French Songs for Your Next Jam (or Learning) Session
Looking to spice up your Spotify listening?
Try these 18 popular French songs on for your listening pleasure!
We’ve compiled a list featuring a wide range of genres, from modern pop and EDM, to old-school rap and rock.
You’re sure to find your new favorite hit among these famous French tunes.
- 1. “Tout va bien” (Everything Is Fine) by Alonzo
- 2. “Suavemente” (Sweetly) by Soolking
- 3. “Tous les mêmes” (All the Same) by Stromae
- 4. “Tu T’en Iras” (You’ll Go Away) by La Zarra
- 5. “Dégaine” (Draw) by Aya Nakamura feat. Damso
- 6. “Bienvenue chez moi” (Welcome to My Home) by Bigflo & Oli
- 7. “J’me tire” (I Shoot Myself) by Maître Gims
- 8. “Hanoï Café” by Bleu Toucan
- 9. “Je te promets” (I Promise You) by Zaho
- 10. “Demain c’est toi” (Tomorrow It’s You) by Zaz
- 11. “On était beau” (We Were Beautiful) by Louane
- 12. “Folie arcadienne” (Arcadian Madness) by Arcadian
- 13. “Ego” by Willy William
- 14. “Basique” (Basic) by Orelsan
- 15. “J’ai cherché” (I Searched) by Amir
- 16. “Pays imaginaire” (Imaginary Country) by Polo & Pan
- 17. “Tourner dans le vide” (Spin in the Void) by Indila
- 18. “J’ai demandé à la lune” (I Asked the Moon) by Indochine
1. “Tout va bien” (Everything Is Fine) by Alonzo
“Tout va bien” is praised by many for its great beat, melodic sound and especially Ninho’s smooth singing in the chorus. The song celebrates being in a good place with money and relationships, being able to afford nice things, and generally being content with how life is going.
2. “Suavemente” (Sweetly) by Soolking
Genre: Hip-hop, pop
Algerian singer and rapper Soolking (Abderraouf Derradji) is the voice behind this silky French take on the 1998 Merengue hit by Elvis Crespo. But while the original song was all about the sensuality of a kiss, Soolking’s song is more about partying and getting those Italian ladies.
Looking closer at the lyrics, this song is also a celebration of rising from nowhere to be in a much better place in life—but still remembering and honoring the people and situations that helped the singer along the way.
3. “Tous les mêmes” (All the Same) by Stromae
Born in Brussels to a Rwandan father and a Belgian mother from Flanders, Stromae sings about social norms, gender stereotypes but also having a good time.
“Tous les mêmes” features the artist as half male and half female, with the two sides having an argument with each other (literally, in the case of the music video). It’s an uncommon look at the more nonsensical elements of relationships, those senseless arguments that lean into stereotypes and being hateful to each other just because they can.
4. “Tu T’en Iras” (You’ll Go Away) by La Zarra
With a nostalgic synth-wave sound and super-slick voice, it’s no wonder that Canadian-born artist La Zarra (Fatima Zahra Hafdi) will be representing France in Eurovision 2023.
This particular song shows a woman who’s been burned over and over by men who lose interest in her and leave her. She sings of how little energy she has left to go through the motions and say goodbye again, but how she still awaits the inevitability of the current man leaving her.
5. “Dégaine” (Draw) by Aya Nakamura feat. Damso
Genre: Urban Pop
Don’t be fooled—this isn’t a love song. The singer and the man she’s interested in aren’t looking for romantic strolls along the beach. Instead, she wants a “bad boy” and is willing to be just as bad in return. This track oozes confidence and strength, as Aya sings about knowing she’s got bewitching curves and knowing how to use them to get what she wants.
6. “Bienvenue chez moi” (Welcome to My Home) by Bigflo & Oli
Bigflo & Oli take their listeners on a tour of the nooks and crannies of France (as well as Belgium, Switzerland and Corcia). At each stop, we hear a little about what makes each place special, from the point of view of locals.
The great beat will have you listening to this one again and again, while the music video is a travelogue and a great way to travel around the country without leaving your home.
7. “J’me tire” (I Shoot Myself) by Maître Gims
Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
Maître Gims moved to Paris at the age of 12 with his family as illegal immigrants. This gave way to a difficult childhood and harsh upbringing in various Paris ghettos and squat homes, which is reflected in his modern music.
Gims sings quite clearly and slowly, making it easy to follow along. However, his Congolese French accent provides a nice twist and challenge for the untrained ear. If you like the song above, also check out “Changer.”
8. “Hanoï Café” by Bleu Toucan
Bleu Toucan is made up of the duo Emmanuel and Leonard and their music features a trippy and dreamy sound. “Hanoï Café” is a mix of indie and electronic music, providing an upbeat, summery tune to dance and sing along to easily. The song is literally composed of two paragraphs that repeat themselves, so it isn’t too hard to keep up with the lyrics.
9. “Je te promets” (I Promise You) by Zaho
Some things just cannot be promised. That’s what Algerian-Canadian musician Zaho sings about in this touching tune about getting back together, fighting again and not being able to foresee a stable future. However, she still mentions everything both her and her partner would like to see happen, although nothing can be certain. Despite the difficult topic, the song itself is easy to listen to, focusing on Zaho’s clear, beautiful vocals.
10. “Demain c’est toi” (Tomorrow It’s You) by Zaz
Although Zaz’s most famous song is probably “On ira” (“We will go”), “Demain c’est toi” is an equally touching song about empathy, compassion, standing up and being vulnerable to others—even if they’re strangers to us.
The lyrics can seem complex, as some of the verbs aren’t used in everyday life, but its rhythm is friendly to language learners. Additionally, most of the verbs used are in the simple present tense, making it easy for you to get familiar with more verbs in this very common tense.
11. “On était beau” (We Were Beautiful) by Louane
Young French singer and actress Louane rose to fame after winning a César Award for her role as Paula in the French film “La Famille Bélier” (“The Bélier Family”). In “On était beau,” she reveals how obsessively she keeps thinking of her former lover with whom she shared many meaningful moments.
12. “Folie arcadienne” (Arcadian Madness) by Arcadian
When you’re having one of those days in which all you need is positivity, good vibes, great music and a relaxing sunset, the French and Swiss group Arcadian has prepared something just for you. “Folie arcadienne” is a feel-good summer tune that invites you to walk the hipster corners of Paris with the band members, getting to know its colorful spots and enjoying the river Seine.
13. “Ego” by Willy William
“Ego” has become a hit on the dance floor due to its vibrance, modern sound and creative rhythm, but the narrative is rather serious. It’s focused on ego, vanity, superficiality and living in a bubble where you’re always the best, until you realize you don’t want that reality anymore.
The music video is extremely fun to watch and adds to the image of a wind-up doll or a music box that’s hinted to with the backdrop music. Give it a watch!
14. “Basique” (Basic) by Orelsan
In this short but practical song, Orelsan explains basic facts of life that he believes everybody should know by now. He keeps it simple for the dumb audience—that’s us!
His opinions are mostly related to society, politics and culture, and the entire song basically consists of him dropping truth bombs on the listener. These range from general facts of life—politicians lie to get votes—to more difficult pills to swallow—if you often find yourself alone with your problems, the problem is you. Ouch!
15. “J’ai cherché” (I Searched) by Amir
French-Israeli singer Amir Haddad represented France at Eurovision in 2016 with the song “J’ai cherché,” which tells us about the human search for understanding, happiness and meaning after pain.
The uplifting song and music video talk about the difficulties of finding a place to belong in the world. It also raises up the people along the sidelines, who give a helping hand to those who are still lost in the search for meaning.
16. “Pays imaginaire” (Imaginary Country) by Polo & Pan
“Pays imaginaire” is a song that inspires us to think about dreams, imagination, alternative realities and a happy place to go to.
While the first half of the song focuses on describing past actions using the passé composé, the second half describes a wonderful, peaceful place of love and contact with nature, giving you plenty of vocabulary for a challenge.
17. “Tourner dans le vide” (Spin in the Void) by Indila
French singer and songwriter Indila is no stranger to the diversity of cultures around the world, and in fact calls herself a “child of the world”—she’s of Algerian, Egyptian, Indian and Cambodian descent, and the influence of these cultures in her singing style is clear.
“Tourner dans le vide” is a love song to the lower class, to those who are looked down on. In the song, the love interest is a manual laborer and the singer laments that he’s shunned by society as being of a low status—but she will always remember him as her love.
18. “J’ai demandé à la lune” (I Asked the Moon) by Indochine
In “J’ai demandé à la lune,” iconic French rock band Indochine sing a catchy tune that can be interpreted to mean different things.
It might be about a mysterious love that wasn’t meant to last. Or it might be about a rare skin disorder where any exposure to sunlight literally burns the skin. People afflicted with this disorder are called “children of the moon” in French. One listener even says it’s made them think of their love and acceptance of their autistic children.
What does the song mean to you?
That concludes our Francophone Music Tour! Once you’ve listened through the various artists, make sure to pick out your favorite songs and incorporate them into your language learning routine.
Using FluentU could also be helpful for this—the language learning program comes with a ton of authentic French video clips like music videos, and adds interactive subtitles to help you learn more effectively. Just hover your cursor over the lyrics to get detailed information about them or to add them to your personalized flashcard decks.
However you choose to listen to French songs, one thing is for sure—you’re bound to be entertained!