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How the French Get Funky

When I began preparing to study in France for the semester, I had absolutely no idea of what to expect in terms of the local student culture. Would people dress differently? Did friends do the same things when they hung out? What was their music situation like? Did anyone watch SNL or Game of Thrones??? All pressing questions.

In the States, a lot of my friends listen to different types of music. There’s a few who listen almost exclusively to country, there are some who are die-hard EDM fans, a bunch who are really into the indie scene, and a group who flip out and get low for hip-hop and R&B.

Part of me was anticipating that local French artists would have a big following in the land of escargot and cheese. After all, if not in France, then where? If I’m being honest, though, I wasn’t entirely shocked to discover that by and large, what’s popular in America seems to be equally as popular over here in France.

I’ve found it to be truer and truer that the U.S. is the hub for global entertainment, and English truly is the universal language. Specifically, though, variations of electronic music (electronic pop, chill wave, indie electronic, electronic remixes, deep house, etc.) tend to be what people choose to listen to on this side of the Atlantic, and what the people want, the people get.

The school I attend here, SKEMA International Business School, happens to have a very active student union. On the main campus, where the Masters school is located, there is a student lounge where they’re constantly blasting music, smoking cigarettes, and being super French. At the Bachelors school where my classes are, music is always playing in the student-run coffee shop, as well as at the table where they sell tickets for whichever bi-weekly party is coming up.

 Outside of the SKEMA Bachelors school

Considering that I go to school not only for classes, but also just to study – let’s be real, no work actually gets done in the comfort of your own apartment – some people might think that the constant onslaught of synthetic tempos would get old.

Luckily for me, I love this kind of music, especially for studying (and for the times I imagine that my life has a soundtrack, but we can talk about that another time).


 My friend, Kirby, and I enjoying the music at one of the student events.

I appreciate most genres, so I’d be lying if I said that there was never a time I’d had my fingers crossed that Get Low or Ignition Remix would come on the playlist over the weekend (I quickly learned that the chances of this happening organically were slim to none).

But, as my time here is dwindling, I’ve made a resolution.

If the French clubs and the French students and the French coffee shops and even our beloved local station, (Riviera Radio), won’t play French music, then I’ll seek it out myself. Being the broke college student I am, a free souvenir like that is one I should probably take advantage of.

Charlotte Walker is the Fall 2014 CEA MOJO in French Riviera. She is currently a Junior at Northeastern University.



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