Sometimes the anglocentric view of the world which our national media puts across can create the impression that all of the biggest talents in the world come from England and the USA, or at least from English speaking nations.
It’s a worryingly nationalistic trait of the modern press, but more than that it’s an approach which often deprives us of some of the greatest musical talents in the world. If we aren’t hearing the brilliant music acts coming from continental Europe on our radios then they may never cross our radars – and with talent aplenty in Europe, that’s a crying shame.
No longer should our interactions with acts hailing from other European nations be limited to one evening of cheesy TV (yes, we’re talking about Eurovision) a year; we should be celebrating the diversity and creativity of our European cousins and their music making endeavours as much as we do home-grown talent!
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best and biggest acts hailing from mainland Europe that you might not yet have heard of. You could discover your new favourite track, and at the very least, you’ll broaden your horizons!
Lara Fabian is Belgium’s biggest ever popstar, releasing hit albums in Europe and Canada since the 1980s. While most of her material is sung in French, she’s a remarkable multi-lingual artist who has performed in no less than eleven different tongues; Azerbaijani, English, French, Greek, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.
It’s not just her linguistic skills that are impressive though, she’s also an accomplished recording artist with 16 albums under her belt, including several which have sold upwards of 100,000 copies in Canada and France.
She has won many awards for her musical prowess and placed fourth in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988, when she lost out on the top spot to the international songstress, Celine Dion.
Blending a well trained classical voice with fun dance numbers and poppy riffs, Fabian writes much of her own material and has done so ever since she first started out at the age of just 16.
All in all she’s an impressive artist and one who is very much underrated. The Lara Fabian agent is London based celebrity agency MN2S, and she can be booked for all sorts of events and gigs if you’re looking to add a little European je ne sais quoi to your evening.
Born in Sweden in 1979, Robyn has been a fixture on the European music scene for many years, starting with her first hit, Do You Know (What It Takes), a single from her debut album Robyn Is Here, but it wasn’t until nearly a decade later that she first found fame in the UK charts.
Released on her own record label, Konichiwa Records, an eponymous album charted in the iTunes Store top ten while several singles taken from it hit number one in the UK singles chart; this helped Robyn to land a support slot on Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet tour.
Known for her quirky shock of blonde hair, the artist has continued to find fame both in the UK and abroad, and has played gigs and released music almost constantly since first hitting the music scene in the 90s – it takes a lot of tenacity to crack the mainstream and Robyn is a woman who clearly has that.
Poland’s biggest pop star, Edyta Gorniak has sold more than 2 million albums in a career spanning more than two decades, since starting out in musical theatre in 1990. An impressive four octave range singled her out as more than just a run of the mill musical theatre actress, and in 1994 an appearance on Eurovision blasted her to fame in Poland.
The single To Nie Ja (translated as That’s Not Me) was the biggest song in Poland in 1994 and was the first step on the ladder for this darling of the Polish people.
Despite being one of Poland’s most famous daughters inside the country, Edyta has not found much success in an international audience and remains a relative unknown outside of Poland; a shame because her beautiful voice makes her one of continental Europe’s best kept secrets.