A Bit of Francophilia



Francophone Music


French pop ranges from the older songs of Edith Piaf to the newer sounds of artists like Zaz. It encompasses music similar to big band sound to more 80's pop. Although there is a large collection of French pop music, French radio stations are required to play at least 40% French music in their playlists; American music is very popular.


Similar to the history and motivation of American hip-hop and rap, the French rap scene has grown so large as to be second only to that of the United States. French rap originally addressed issues such as discontent amongst the youth , the idea of justice, and other social-issues affecting disenfranchised populations. However, currently there is debate between those who consider themselves purists and those thought to have sold-out.


Zouk, meaning "party" in Creole, originated from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique with influences from Africa, France, and Carribbean islands. It is definitely rhytmical and invokes the desire to dance. Today, Zouk mixes with other styles, such as Salsa, Meringue, and Samba, to form even more layers of flavor.


Zydeco music and Cajun music are often used to describe a sound that to outsiders sound the same. However, Zydeco finds its roots in the Creole population pulling from jazz and rhythm and blues; whereas Cajun pulls more from their French Acadian ancestry and country music influences. Zydeco is noted by having a rubboard player and no fiddle.