Born in the 60s in response to the success of American rock ’n’ roll and Swinging London, French pop music has constantly reinvented itself through the years. From the early successes of a young and naive France Gall, the great lady-killer Jacques Dutronc and the glamorous Sylvie Vartan, to the most recent signings, its artists have used their fresh, cheerful and subtly provocative contributions to make French pop go down in history. The genre was first characterised by the 1960s yé-yé phenomenon. This new style seduced young people with an alternative to their parents’ music and the giants of chanson music such as Édith Piaf or Georges Brassens. Then came the 70s disco era with Claude François and his legendary Claudettes, and rock groups of the 80s like Les Rita Mitsouko.

Today, the new scene is represented by artists such as Brigitte, The Dø, and Christine and the Queens, who have no problem with pushing the boundaries of the genre. With electro sounds and hints of rap this new wave of pop takes risks and is a reminder of the nonchalant side of pioneers such as Gainsbourg. The genre also features established artists such as Stromae, often compared to Jacques Brel, whose interpretations are in line with the grand masters of chanson. French pop is therefore continuously reclaiming its musical history by paying homage to songs of protest and commitment, while also being open to contemporary sounds. It is a complex genre that has always been based on the talent of visionaries who dared to kick over the traces and give their own interpretation of popular music without forgetting its origins.