Roamwide in Paris Playlist

Welcome to Roamwide in... Playlists! A new series of playlists specially curated by us for your aural pleasure and sense awakening. Music has the power to trigger powerful positive emotions via autobiographical memories but it also has the power to heal and make us dream... All in all, music is good for us and that is why we want to share some with you. Each playlist will focus on one of our favorite destinations across the globe, or capture some of our travel memories. So, close your eyes, tune in, and let the music take you...

In this first playlist, we're revisiting some of the classic songs about Paris. We're big fans of accordion and jazz so you can expect to hear some of that. Overall, we've selected some old gems as well as some recent classics. It's a bit of an eclectic mix really, which hopefully will delight your senses. Bonjour, Paris!

If you'd like us to add some tracks or if you have some suggestions for future playlists, let us know in the comments below!


Featured artists

Dee Dee Bridgewater is a three-time Grammy Award-winning American jazz singer-songwriter. She moved from the USA to Paris in 1986 and released J'ai Deux Amours in 2005, which is a collection of French Classics. The track, J'ai Deux Amours, was originally sang by Joséphine Baker in 1930 at the Casino de Paris.

Edith Piaf, well, of course, most of us know of her... She is a French national treasure. She was a singer-songwriter, a cabaret performer and a film actress. Her songs were often autobiographical and are about love, loss and sorrow. Sadly she lived a pretty miserable life. The song, Sous le Ciel de Paris, was initially written for the 1951 film of the same name and interpreted by singer/actor Jean Bretonnière. 

Yann Tiersen is a French musician who came to prominence with his soundtrack of the hugely popular 2001 film, Amélie. Yann's music involves a variety of instruments, from accordion to guitar, piano and typewriter! The soundtrack features compositions from Tiersen's first three albums as well as new items. His musical genres are a mix of bal musette, folktronica and minimalism, what's not to like!

Léo Ferré was a prolific French poet and composer. His musical career started after WWII and lasted up until his death in the early 90's. He released some forty albums in the course of his career. Some of his songs are classics of the French chanson repertoire, such as Avec le Temps, Jolie Môme and Paris Canaille.

Charles Aznavour was a French-Armenian singer, lyricist, actor and activist, who recorded over a thousand songs in nine different languages during a career spanning over 70 years. Aznavour is one of France's most popular singers, was dubbed France's Frank Sinatra, and was awarded the 2,618th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Charles was an early supporter of LGBT rights and released in 1972 one of his classics, Comme ils disent, a song about a transvestite.

Nicoletta is a popular French pop singer who had a number of hits in the 1960s and the 1970s. She was part of the the French yé-yé generation who was heavily influenced by rhythm and blues, rock and roll and beat music. Her version of the song, Mamy Blue, which was a tribute to her mother, was a massive success.

Barbara was a tall French singer who dressed in black and sang melancholy songs of lost love. In the 1980s Barbara was active in the fight against AIDS and was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1988.

Manu Dibango was a Cameroonian musician and songwriter whose musical style fused jazz, funk, and traditional Cameroonian music. He released a disco hit in 1976, Big Blow, which achieved a considerable following in the UK. Both Michael Jackson and subsequently Rihanna, used the "Ma ma-se, ma ma-sa, ma ma-kossa" hook from Dibango's 1972 single "Soul Makossa" without his permission... He died from COVID-19 in March 2020.

Django Reinhardt was the first jazz talent to emerge from Europe in the 1930s. He was a guitarist and composer, who formed the Paris-based Quintette du Hot Club de France with fellow violinist Stéphane Grappelli in 1934. He played and recorded with many American jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Dizzy Gillespie. Reinhardt's popular compositions such as Belleville have become standards within gypsy jazz.

Zaz is a French singer-songwriter who mixes jazzy styles, French variety, soul and acoustic. She is famous for her hit Je veux, from her first album, Zaz, released in May 2010.

Yvette Horner is one of the most famous French accordionists. She is best known for performing with the Tour de France during the 1950s and 1960s. She was very prolific and released over a hundred albums in a number of musical genres. She famously wore bright red hair and extravagant costumes most notably designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier, who made her one of his muses.

Mireille Mathieu is a French singer of chanson française. She was credited the successor to Piaf by Johnny Stark, who worked with Edith Piaf and then represented Mathieu from the 1960's. Mathieu recorded over 1200 songs in eleven languages and sold over 150 million albums worldwide.

Renaud is popular French singer, songwriter and actor, who has a distinctive vocal style owning to a broken voice. Although Renaud released many successful songs, he is almost unknown outside of the french-speaking world. Amoureux de Paname was released in 1976.

Louise Attaque is a folk rock group formed in 1994. Their first album, Louise Attaque, released in 1997, sold over 2.5 million records, a feat for a French band.

Jacques Dutronc is a French singer, songwriter, composer and award-winning actor whose music incorporates traditional French pop and French rock, as well as psychedelic rock and garage rock. He wrote successful songs for Françoise Hardy in the 60's before pursuing a successful solo career. Il est cinq heures, Paris s'éveille was released in 1968 to critical acclaim and was voted the best French-language single of all time in a 1991 poll of music critics.

Doc Gynéco is a French hip hop artist whose music, a mix of ragga and rap, addresses controversial subjects such as drugs, sex, women, racism, and poverty. Dans ma Rue ("in my street" in English) is a song about the 18th arrondissement where Doc Gynéco grew up.

Morcheeba is an English electronic band formed in the mid-1990s by vocalist Skye Edwards and Paul and Ross Godfrey. Their influences range from trip hop, rock, folk rock and downtempo. Out of the nine studio albums they produced, two reached the UK top ten.

Benjamin Biolay is a French singer/songwriter, musician, actor and producer. His low-key vocal style is somewhat reminiscent of fellow pop star Étienne Daho. Biolay has collaborated with many artists and in particular he wrote, arranged or produced music for several icons of French music, including Juliette Gréco, Julien Clerc, Françoise Hardy and Vanessa Paradis.

Camille is a French singer, songwriter, well-known for her collaboration with the French cover band, Nouvelle Vague, and the famous track Too drunk to fuck. Her second album, Le Fil (2005), features a low-level B tone in the background of every song and is entirely based on the exploration of the voice. It was certified gold soon after its release.

Taxi Girl is a French new wave band from the late 70s early 80s. Their most successful album was Seppuku, produced by Jean-Jacques Burnel of The Stranglers. Unlike other tracks about Paris, Taxi Girl song entitled Paris (1984) isn't an homage to Paris but rather a dark and gloomy portrait of a boring Parisian life. One of the band notable members was Mirwais who was discovered by Madonna in the late 1990s and produced her albums Music and American Life, and part of Confession On The Dancefloor.

Etienne Daho is a French singer, songwriter and record producer, whose synth-driven and rock-surf influenced pop hits have delighted the crowds since 1981. His music, along with his low, whispery voice, established him as a pop cult hero in France. Daho is best known in Great Britain for his collaboration with English band, Saint Etienne. He's collaborated with many other artists including Marianne Faithfull, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Air, William Orbit and Vanessa Paradis.

Vanessa Paradis is a French singer, model and award-winning actress, most famously known for the hit single Joe Le Taxi, which was released in 1987 when she was just 14 years old. She's released seven albums so far including Variations sur le même t'aime (1990), written by acclaimed French composer Serge Gainsbourg, and Vanessa Paradis (1992), written by Lenny Kravitz.

-M-, or Mathieu Chedid, is a multi award-winning French rock singer-songwriter. He's the son of Louis Chedid, also a popular French singer. -M- gained international exposure through his recording of the song Belleville Rendez-vous, which was part of the soundtrack of 2003 film, The Triplets of Belleville. Chedid has collaborated with many artists including Brigitte Fontaine, Sean Lennon, Vanessa Paradis, and Johnny Hallyday.

Téléphone is one of the biggest French rock bands whose members were Jean-Louis Aubert, Louis Bertignac, Corine Marienneau and Richard Kolinka. The band opened shows for The Rolling Stones in Paris, Quebec, the United States and Japan. During the 10 years that it was active (1976-1986) the band gave over 400 concerts, released five albums, and sold over six millions records.

Zazie is a French pop singer and songwriter and former model, who is known for crafting songs notable for their wit, alliteration, homophonies and double entendres. Her first album, Je, Tu, Ils, which was recorded in Peter Gabriel's studio, was released in 1992. The song Rue de la Paix was included in her 2001 album La Zizanie.

Phoenix is a French indie pop fronted by Thomas Mars, Deck d'Arcy, Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz. The band is best known for the singles If I Ever Feel Better, Too Young, 1901, and Lisztomania. Their fourth album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was recorded in Paris in 2009, and was co-produced and mixed by Philippe Zdar of Cassius. It won Best Alternative Music Album at the 2009 Grammy Awards. The album includes the hugely popular track 1901, which is a tribute to early Paris. The track hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Alternative Songs chart, was featured in the US during Super Bowl XLV and was also performed on several US shows including Saturday Night Live.

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