Korean rapper Zico and another person in article about foreign music artists
If your shuffled mix just isn't cutting it anymore, add a little diversity with artists like Korea's Zico to shake things up. (Image via Instragram)

9 Foreign Artists You Should Add to Your Playlist

With so many unique music options out there, it can be a life changing experience to add some international love to your playlist.

Sounds x
Korean rapper Zico and another person in article about foreign music artists

With so many unique music options out there, it can be a life changing experience to add some international love to your playlist.

If you’re learning a new language or are just bored of what’s currently on your playlist, these songs might be a great way to add some versatility to your listening habits.

1. Pol Granch (Spanish and French)

Pol Granch, born Pablo Grandjean, is a Spanish-French singer-songwriter who hails from Madrid, Spain. He rose to fame after he won the 2018 cycle of Factor X Spain. Granch makes authentic heartfelt pop ballads and melodic beats where he often blends Spanish and French lyrics.

Start With:


“Perdon por las Horas”

“M Conformo”


2. Emilio (German)

The 23-year-old has had an acting career for years, but began releasing music in 2016. The German singer has Moroccan and Slovenian parents, but was born and raised in Berlin. Emilio makes upbeat pop songs where he often melds hip-hop beats with slow piano tracks.

His 2019 single “Bisschen Allein,” which best translates to “A Bit Alone,” expresses feelings of loneliness in social spaces during the digital age. His most recent single, “Alle Zeit der Welt,” deals with an obsessive romance.

Start With:

“Drauf Bist

“Hast du Zeit”

“Wenn die Welt untergeht”


3. HYUKOH (Mandarin Chinese, Korean and English)

The Seoul-based indie band has been making music since 2014. The front man, Oh Hyuk, speaks Mandarin Chinese, Korean and English, weaving these languages and cultures into their music’s lyrics and compositional elements.

The band’s visual and musical aesthetic boasts a very eclectic and wide range of styles: an element that is visible in their music and wardrobe choices. Their music openly blends rock and funk influences to create generally slow-paced tracks similar to that of The Whitest Boy Alive and Mac DeMarco.

Start With:

“Comes and Goes”

“Silverhair Express”

“Settled Down”


4. Cro (German)

Most commonly seen wearing a panda mask, the German rapper has been making music under various pseudonyms since 2006. He identifies his music as a mixture of rap and pop music, which he abbreviates to “raop.” He rose to prominence with his song “Easy,” which, after its success in 2011, led to several offers from competing labels.

Cro initially refused these offers, but later signed a music publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing. Since the success of “Easy,” Cro has been credited with pioneering and being the future of “deutschrap” or “German-rap.” Cro wears his trademark panda mask to all music performances and media appearances. He claims the mask allows his listeners to focus more on his art rather than who he is as a person.

Start With:





5. Recycled J (Spanish)

The 23-year-old Madrid rapper Jorge Escorial Moreno, better known as Recycled J, has been making music since he was 16. Moreno often collaborates with producer Selecta, a fellow Spaniard. The pair has even released a collaborative album in 2019, named “City Pop.”

His style is undeniably urban rap, but he often blends in R&B, dancehall and trap elements, along with emotional lyrics, into many of his songs.  Moreno said in an interview with El Mundo that his unique style of creating pop music is what pop music is now. Pop music increasingly has eclectic elements of other genres without losing sight of what pop has always been, and the kind of music he hopes to make.

Start With:





6. Arijit Singh (Hindi, Bengali, others)

Singing in predominantly Hindi and Bengali, but sometimes other Indian languages, Singh is one of the most versatile and successful Indian singers. He owes his success to his appearance on the reality show “Fame Gurukul,” where he was discovered in 2005.

Since then, Singh has been releasing Filmi, pop, EDM and classical Indian music, and was ranked the most-streamed Indian artist of 2019 by Spotify. His songs are known for being romantic, often appearing on the soundtracks of many Bollywood movies.

Start With:


“Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas”

“Thodi Jagah


7. Elodie (Italian)

Hailing from the Quartaccio neighborhood outside of Rome, pop-music singer Elodie Di Patrizi rose to fame after coming runner-up in the 15th season of the casting show “Amici di Maria De Filippi” in 2016. She has released three studio albums, which have all entered into the Top 10 of the Italian album charts.

She has also had numerous successful singles and collaborations with many other famous Italian artists. Her newest album seamlessly blends a variety of music genres including R&B, pop, funk, rap and reggae influences. Her musical style can be compared to that of Charli XCX, Tove Lo and MARINA.

Start With:



“Mal Di Testa”


8. Stromae (French)

Brussels native Stromae began making music in 2000 at the age of 15. In 2009, he finally began gaining public attention for his music when “Alors on Danse,” from the album “Cheese,” went No. 1 in several European countries.

His music is primarily performed in French using a style that is heavily inspired by Belgian New Beat electronic music. His earlier music has Son Cubano and Congolese rumba influences. Stromae mixes hip-hop influences with house and electronic music to create upbeat danceable tracks. Since beginning his music career, Stromae has also started a successful high-end fashion brand.

Star With:

Alors on Danse

Ta fête

Tous Les Mêmes


9. Zico (Korean)

The 27-year-old Korean rapper and record producer, who occasionally sings in English, began making music in 2009. In 2011, he joined the boy band Block B as their lead rapper. While in the group he released two solo albums, “Gallery” in 2015 and “Television” in 2017.

He left the group in 2018 and has been exclusively creating hip-hop music as a solo artist since. In January 2019, Zico created his own label, KOZ (King of the Zungle) Entertainment, in order to help develop his career alongside other emerging artists. Zico makes underground hip-hop rap songs that he occasionally incorporates electronic elements into.

Start With:


“Any song


Writer Profile

Nayeli G. Peña

Colorado College
Business, Economics

Hi, I’m Nayeli. I love learning languages, traveling, cooking and finding cool new artists. I consume unhealthy amounts of chai, avocado and boba, and I’m obsessed with aesthetics, hence, my Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

Must Read