Travelling on countless buses in France, almost every bus I ever travelled on used to have the radio on. This is very very rare in the UK but the norm in France. I found out something interesting while I was living over there, which is that French radio stations have to play at least one Anglophone song for every two French songs that are played. This cultural crossover does wonders for English songs and their sales and airplay but what do the French get in return for this? We never hear French songs played on British radio stations, and for that matter we never hear foreign language songs played on our radio stations… unless the track is a viral phenomenon like PSY’s Gangnam Style. So why is this? Honestly, I believe it is because French music is not as good as British or American music. The days of Edith Piaf are long gone and I believe we are not open to the idea of foreign language music because we already have too much choice from current British and American artists.
French language students are always encouraged to listen to French radio stations via the internet, but apart from the stations that are mostly chat, I feel you may as well listen to radio 1 as chériefm, for example. However, aside from the negatives of British radio not playing much foreign language music, as least there are stations on the internet where you can listen to French music, or any other language I dare say. I also hope that these stations keep being found and listened to by English speakers as there is so much French music out there and stations such as the aforementioned chériefm even have many different genres and decades of music to choose from; so if you love indie music or music from the ’70s, there is a station solely dedicated to playing those sorts of songs.
I suppose as well that as long as you keep listening to the stations, all of their adverts, news and weather will be in French so you can keep up to date with French current affairs straight from their source country. With all this said, I feel it is important to reiterate the fact that French radio stations are flying the flag for the English-French crossover in music, and if you keep listening, you may just discover a hidden French gem of an artist or song that will inspire you to research French music further.