A (Very) Informal Introduction to German Pop Music

Written by Jessi-Alex Brandon

When I first started learning German during my sophomore year of high school, my teacher taught us the language through a variety of ways. 

Of course, we did the old-fashioned way of textbooks and workbooks (Kontakte, 3rd edition, anyone?), but thankfully, that wasn’t the only way we learned German.

We used games, movies, podcasts, fairy tales, even role-play assignments and poetry recitals, which were a nightmare for super-introverted 16-year-old me. But I’d have to say my favorite way of learning German was through music. If you meet anyone who’s been around me for at least five minutes, they would tell you that I am a music junkie. If I didn’t tell them straight away, they would probably see that I’m shoulder-shimmying to anything that’s playing through my headphones about 99% of the day.

Of course, just because music is my favorite way of learning a language, that doesn’t mean it works exclusively for me. There are numerous studies out there that support the notion that listening to music in your target language is one of the best ways of learning it. According to Dr. Francois Grosjean from a Psychology Today article, songs can “help L2 learners acquire new patterns of stress and rhythm, strengthen pronunciation skills and make an emotional connection to the language of choice.” This can also apply to listening to music in general.

As someone who’s not a German newbie, but certainly not at native-like proficiency (yet), I still find listening to German music to be not only super helpful, but also a lot of fun. So I wanted to dedicate my first blog post, and a few future posts, to some of my favorite German artists/songs today.

Now I am very aware that there are a lot of readers who are of German heritage and may already know about German music, and that’s awesome (feel free to comment some song/artist recommendations)! But hear me out: Do you know about current German rap, pop, or even German R&B/reggae fusion? Because that’s the route we’re about to travel! Even if you already know some songs from those genres, who knows? You may find some new gems! Trust me, it’s gonna be a great time.

I want to keep this first post short and sweet, so I’ll give you just a sneak peek of what’s to come. So without further ado, here are the top three current German songs that are stuck in my head (in a good way of course).

  1. Lieblingsmensch by Namika: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhln61FaG-8

If you’ve ever taken a German as a foreign language class, I would be very surprised if you haven’t heard of this song. It’s great because Namika sings/raps(?) in a way where the words are pretty clear and you can easily Google the lyrics. Plus it’s super catchy, which is always a plus.

  1. Perfect by NKSN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaxNgVWlcH

Summer vibes for days!!! As you could probably tell straight away, this artist does not rap as deutlich as Namika, but if you tell me this doesn’t make you feel like going out to a sunset beach dance party, you’re lying to yourself. Just kidding, rap isn’t for everyone and that’s cool, but this is my personal favorite because this is giving me “day out in a sunny beach town with your best friends” vibes, you know? 10/10 would add to any summer playlist

  1.  Girls by Teesy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrkVc3muJxs

Gosh, I love this song. You know Maroon 5’s latest single, “Girls Like You”? Think that, but in German, and you basically got this song. It’s a catchy song with a great string-instrument hook and a smooth beat, and Teesy is singing about how great girls are, even reminiscing on a crush from his Gymnasium (German secondary school) days. Plus, the video’s lighthearted as well.

 

Alright, that’s all I have for this post, but this is only the beginning! I can’t wait to see where this series goes. Until next week, tschüss!

 

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