L'exploration indépendante : Musique





This is a mockup of a site my students will see when they access this section of their independent exploration options in Canvas, our school's LMS.  For each suggestion there is some sort of follow-up "accountability" piece for me to give students credit, be it a reflection question or a screen shot.

La musique - Music
Below are some YouTube playlists highlighting music from various countries and territories that speak French.  There are old songs and new songs.  They are organized by geographic region.  Watch at least 3 music videos (and see the notes below the playlist about the artists), each from a different playlist, and then for a follow-up, answer the following 2 questions:

1.  What words did you learn or recognize
2.  What differences did you notice in the styles of music?

Note:  On many of the videos, you can get closed captions in French or English.  Click on the CC button (if it's available) to make closed captions appear.  Then, to change them to English, click the little gear icon to the right and click "Subtitles/CC" and if English isn't an option, click "Auto-translate" and select English from the list of languages.  If the closed captions are auto-translated, they will not be perfect, especially if the singer is speaking very fast or not clearly, but they will help you follow along.

Les Caraïbes / L'Amérique du Sud (The Caribbean/South America)
Many singers in French speaking parts of the Caribbean sing in both French and various Creole languages, which are languages that draw from French and African languages.



Notes about the artists:
-La Compagnie Créole is a popular band whose members are from French Guiana (a French overseas territory in South America), Martinique, and Guadeloupe.  Their song "Au bad masqué" (At the Masked Ball) is about Carnaval, which we will learn about in class (and learn this song as well), and their song "Sortons masqués" ("Let's Go Out with Masks On") is an update that the band made in light of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic to encourage folks to wear masks out in public.
-T-Vice is a band from Haiti.  They sing in French and Haitian Creole.
-Loriane Zacharie is a singer from Martinique.
-Erik is a jazz singer from Guadeloupe.  He sings in French and Creole.
-Malavoi was a band from Martinique.  They sang in French and Creole.
-Juliams is a singer from Guadeloupe.  He sings in French and Creole.
-Gayah is a singer from French Guiana (a French overseas territory in South America).  He sings in French and Guyanese Creole.  His song "Ma lettre au monde" ("My letter to the world") explores his journey as a Guyanese man who moved to mainland France but returns to his roots in French Guiana.  The music video is shot in Paris as well as all over French Guiana.
-Priscillia is a singer from French Guiana.  Her song "À vie" ("For life") is a tribute to her brother.  You will here her say "Je t'aime" ("I love you") throughout the video.
-Stevy Mahy and James Germain are singers from Haiti.  Their song and music video "Haïti chérie" ("Cherished Haiti") was recorded not long after the devastating earthquake which occurred in the country in 2010.
-Misié Sadik is a singer from Guadeloupe.  His song "Ti papa" ("Little dad" in Creole) is a shout out to all the fathers in Guadeloupe.  This song is actually sung entirely in Creole and not in French but I am including it in this playlist because it contains some beautiful scenes of Guadeloupe and its citizens, and you can get subtitles in French to see if you recognize any of the words.  In some cases, the Creole words sound very similar to their French translation.  The world "Gwada" is said often in the song, which is short for "Guadeloupe."


L'Afrique
Francophone African artists often sing both in French and in another language that is spoken in their country, such as Arabic (spoken in North Africa) or Pulaar (spoken in Western Africa).



About the Artists:
-Khaled (not to be confused with DJ Khaled, who is a different artist) is an incredibly popular singer from Algeria.  He sings a genre of music from Algeria called Raï, and he sings in both Arabic and English.  Although he is not well known in the United States, he is very popular not just in the Arabic speaking world, but in Europe as well.
-Nimy was a contestant on the Francophone African version of The Voice.  In his audition he covers the song "Aïcha" by Khaled.
-Magic System is a group from Côte d'Ivoire.
-Kids United is a French musical group founded by UNICEF.
-Angélique Kidjo is a very popular singer from Benin.
-Youssou N'Dour is a popular singer from Senegal.
-Black M is a French rapper whose family is originally from Guinea, a French-speaking country in Africa.  His song with Youssou N'Dour "Gainde (Les lions)" was the official song of the Senegalese soccer team in the 2018 World Cup.  His song with Sidiki Diabaté, "Mama," sung in French and in Pulaar, is a tribute to his mother and to all mothers in Africa.  The video takes you on a tour of several African countries.
-Sidiki Diabaté is a musician from Mali.
-Maître Gims is a French-Congolese singer and rapper.
-MHD is a French rapper whose parents are from Senegal and Guinea.  His music video for "A kele nta," a tribute to a long time friend who has just gotten married, was shot in Dakar, Senegal.
-Bébé Manga was a singer from Cameroon who was popular in the 1980s.  I have also included a dance version cover of her popular song "Amio."
-Toogan is a group from Togo.  Their song "Se laver les mains au savon" ("Wash your hands with soap") encourages kids to practice good hygiene.


L'Amérique du Nord (North America)



About the Artists:
-Céline Dion is an enormously popular singer from the province of Québec, Canada.  She sings primarily in English now but when she began her career as a young girl she spoke only French and all her songs were in French.
-Coeur de Pirate is a singer-songwriter from Québec, Canada.
-Josée Vachon is a folk singer from Québec, Canada who has performed at our school several times.  She grew up in Maine, so her songs often address her cross-cultural experiences.
-Le Vent du Nord is a folk group from Québec, Canada.
-Les frères Balfa were a Cajun folk music group from Louisiana.
-Jean-François Breau is a singer from New Brunswick, a Canadian province where both French and English are spoken.  His song "Les violons d'Acadie" ("The violins of Acadia") is in a traditional Acadian folk style.
-Marie-Ève Janvier is singer from Québec, Canada.  With Jean-François Breau, she has recorded covers in French of several famous English language songs.
-Roch Voisine is a singer from New Brunswick, Canada.  He sings in English and French.  His song "La terre promise" ("The promised land") is a cover of "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas and the Papas.
-Valérie Carpentier is a singer from Québec, Canada.  She got her start on the French Canadian version of The Voice.
-Laurence St-Martin is a country singer from Québec, Canada.
-Lara Fabian is a very popular singer originally from Belgium but who has lived in Québec for the last 30 years.
-Natasha St-Pier is a singer originally from New Brunswick, Canada.  Her song "Sous les acadiens" ("All the Acadians") pays tribute to her Acadian origins.
-"L'arbre est dans ses feuilles" ("The tree is in its leaves") is a traditional Cajun song from Louisiana. Click here for lyrics and translation.


L'Europe
French-speaking countries in Europe have many residents with origins in French-speaking countries in Africa in particular, so you will see that cultural influence in some of the songs.



About the artists:
-Claudio Capéo is a French singer and accordion player.  The accordion is very popular in traditional French music and Claudio brings a modern twist to the genre.
-Sidoine is also a French singer, who was on a show called Star Academy, similar to American Idol.
-Soprano is a French rapper whose family is originally from the Comoros, a country off the coast of Africa.
-Mika is a Lebanese-born singer who spent time in France and currently resides in the United Kingdom.  He sings songs in both English and French
-Kids United is a French musical group founded by UNICEF.
-Black M is a French rapper whose family is originally from Guinea, a French-speaking country in Africa.
-Zaz is a popular French singer.
-Sara'h is a French YouTuber who covers songs in French.
-Tal is an Israeli-French singer.
-Boulevard des airs is a French pop/rock group.
-Leslie is a French singer.
-Ivyrise is a British rock group who sing in English and French.  Lead singer Ben Falinski along with Leslie sing a cover of "Je te donne" ("I give to you"), originally sung by popular 80s/90s French rock singer Jean-Jacques Goldman.
-Jean-Jacques Goldman is a French pop/rock singer who was popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
-Michael Jones is a Welsh-French singer.
-Fredericks Goldman Jones was a French pop/rock group consisting of Jean-Jacques Goldman, Michael Jones, and American singer Carole Fredericks.
-Amir Haddad is an Israeli-French singer.  His song "J'ai cherché" ("I searched") was entered in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016.
-Amel Bent is a French R&B singer whose parents are from Algeria and Morocco, French and Arabic speaking countries North Africa.  She got her start on the TV show Nouvelle Star, the French version of American Idol, and is now a coach of the French version of The Voice.
-Christophe Maé is a French singer.
-Gary Fico and Léo Rispal are French singers.
-M. Pokora is a popular French singer who is currently a coach on the French version of The Voice.
-Axelle was a contestant on the TV show Nouvelle Star, the French version of American Idol.  She covered the song "Alors on danse" ("So we dance") by popular Belgian singer Stromae.
-Rita was a contestant on the French version of The Voice.  She covered the song "Non, je regrette rien" ("No, I regret nothing") by popular classic French singer Édith Piaf.
-Édith Piaf was a French singer who was extraordinarily popular in the 1940s and 1950s.
-Théo Sarapo was a French singer who was married to Édith Piaf.
-IGIT is a French singer who got his start on the French version of The Voice.
-Florence Coste is a French actress and singer and Julien Dassin is a French singer and the son of popular French singer Joe Dassin.  They sing a cover of "Sous le ciel de Paris" ("Under Paris Skies"), a classic song originally written in 1951 that has been performed by many French artists over the years.
-Joe Dassin was a popular French singer in the mid-20th century whose song "Aux Champs-Élysées" is about the very famous street in Paris.
-Johnny Hallyday was an incredibly popular French rock singer.
-Charles Aznavour was one of the most successful French singers of all time.
-Stromae is a very popular Belgian singer whose father was from Rwanda, a French speaking country in Africa.
-Erza Muqoli is a French pop singer and former member of Kids United.  Click here for lyrics and translation of her song "Je chanterai" ("I will sing").
-Arcadian is a French pop group.  Their song "Danser" ("Dance") was created during the Coronavirus pandemic to lift people's spirits despite having to stay home.  The video includes clips from people all over France dancing to their song at home.  Click here for lyrics and translation.
-Théo Babac (Luther) is a French YouTuber who created this humorous rap video (Baguette) about working in a French boulangerie.

La musique de Disney et DreamWorks
These are songs from Disney and DreamWorks movies that have been translated into French.  In most cases, you will be able to get closed captions in English.  You will notice that the lyrics are completely different!  That is because when a song gets translated into another language, the lyrics have to change because if they stayed the same, the rhythm of the song would be off and the words wouldn't rhyme.  So, someone carefully rewrites the song in the new language so that it keeps the same flow and rhyme with different words but still retains the essential theme of the original song.  This is definitely not something that could be accomplished with Google Translate!



D'autres sites - Other Sites
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as francophone music goes.  There are plenty of other ways to discover music, be it through Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube, or any other source.  If you come upon a francophone artist on your own, listen to several of their songs and answer the following two questions as follow up:

1.  What is the artist's name and where are they from (do a little research to find out)?
2.  What words did you recognize in their music?

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