Famous French Musicians – Part 3
The third and concluding part of our blog to discover the important French musical artists of modern times picks up with Zaz and Noir Desir. In the last blog we looked at an eclectic variety of musicians from African / Caribbean to hip-hop.
All the artists featuring in this blog have made a statement to French music and left the scene a stronger and more encompassing cornucopia of musical flavors.
Zaz comes into the more recent fold of French musicians, Isabelle Geffroy who performs as Zaz is almost single handedly reshaping modern French music. Zaz started her musical career on the streets of Montmartre as a busker, but now is a household name all over Europe as well as France. Isabelle released her first album in 2010 and the single Je veux, taken from the album became an international hit catapulting Zaz into overnight stardom. Zaz is without doubt highly talented and she writes and sings most of her own material. Her music is a fusion of French classical styles, soul, acoustic and gypsy jazz. Zaz has fans literally all over the world from America to China, and her songs have topped charts in numerous countries including Germany, Belgium and of course France.
Possibly the most popular rock band in France is Noir Desir, hailing from Bordeaux they have maintained churning out hits from the 80’s to 2000’s and all the decades in between. Their first recording hit the streets in 1987 and was an EP entitled, Ou Veux-Tu J’Regarde with this the band had announced themselves to the French music world. A couple of years later they were back, but this time with a complete album, Veuillez Rendre L’Âme. When they released their follow up album Du Climent Sous les Plaines, the band had gained critical acclaim all over France. They had now developed a more punk-rock style, but still had a faithful rock fan base and continue to do so today.
Born in France, Mano Chao has many Spanish connections and his full name is Manuel Thomas Arthur Chao. He performs songs in many different languages including, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Galician, Italian and of course French. Like so many French artists before him, Mano Chao’s musical career started busking on the streets of Paris. Then in 1987 he put together the band Mano Negra which was successful all over Europe. The band broke up eight years later and Mano Chao once again became a solo artist. His influences come mainly from the British rock / punk rock scene and bands like The Jam, Dr. Feelgood and The Clash can be heard in his music. His brilliance is fusing this rock style with French chanson, and he has taken this further by adding salsa, reggae, ska, and Algerian rai. This melting pot of musical styles make Mano Chao a very unique French musician that still is highly popular today. Mano Chao concludes our blog to see the modern artists of France and how they are influencing the French music scene today. Many are still experimenting with different styles and are pushing the boundaries of French pop music.