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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Norris

10 non-american musicians you need to add to your playlist

non-american musicians

Music has a way of connecting people from different backgrounds and from all over the world. Music knows no boundaries. My love of all things foreign and travel inspired often leads me to scour over the international music charts searching for a new song or album. Even though America has talented and popular musicians, there are hundreds of other singers/groups from all over the world that deserve some recognition.

I've put together a list of my favorite, non-American musicians that I always have on repeat. If you are like me, discovering new artists is not only exciting, it inspires your day-to-day routine. And listening to music from across the world can help feed your wanderlust.


I discovered Yuna back in 2012 when she launched her "Yuna" album and fell in love with her bright and upbeat vocals. From Malaysia, Yuna began her career while searching for a creative outlet while attending law school. Although her voice is light and sunny, she has soul that radiates throughout her music and draws you in .

Yuna has sprung into the spotlight in recent years as she's worked with some heavy hitters like Usher, Pharrell Williams and DJ Premier. Her popularity is growing and I'm excited to see Yuna gain the recognition she deserves


alt-j is one of those bands that I always seem to replay and I never tire from their music. The English, indie rockers formed in 2008 and released their first singles "Matilda" and "Fitzpleasure" which gained huge success and put them on the path of stardom. alt-j's style is a perfect blend of folk-inspired rock with some funky guitar influences.

Their music is fun, bold and refreshing from the typical rock you hear on the radio and they are obviously doing something right. Their latest album"This is All Yours" debuted at number one in the U.K. and they earned their first Grammy nomination.


The beauty of music is it doesn't have to be in your language for you to appreciate it. Yelle's music is primarily in French and although I don't know a lick of the language, I've always enjoyed the band's unique, pop style. The French band formed in 2005 and have released several albums that showcase their upbeat personality. They are edgy, bold and their style is anything but shy.


Asa is my go to artist when its a rainy day and I am curled up on the couch with a good book and warm cup of coffee. Her voice radiates the room and is soothing.

Born in Paris, Asa moved to Lagos while only a toddler. While Asa mostly sings in English, some of her music is In Yoruba, a West African language widely spoken in her home country of Nigeria. Asa now calls Paris home and France has warmly received her as she has been nominated and won countless awards.


Many people don't know that reggae is one of my favorite styles of music. I love the effect it has on your body because once it starts to play, you can't help but sway and smile. Labeled as "reggae's next big thing", Chronixx is a newcomer to the music world and he is gaining popularity, and quickly.

Born in Jamaica, Chronixx showed musical talent at a young age. His contemporary reggae has gained international attention as his debut EP, Dread & Terrible, hit the top spot of the Billboard Reggae Charts. Even though summer may be over, listening to Chronixx will transport you to the beach all year long.

Sebastian Yatra

Sebastian Yatra's knows romance. As a Latin, pop singer and songwriter, Sebastian pays homage to his native Columbia through his music with his passionate and seductive lyrics. He perfectly blends romantic pop, with Latin and reggae influences that have provided him with a widespread following in the Latin American market.

Sebastian Yatra is young, handsome and only at the beginning of a successful career. And if his hit "Traicionera" doesn't make you hit the dance floor, there is seriously something very wrong with you!


This artist suggestion is inspired by my German, rap loving husband and for good reason. While rap isn't my favorite music choice, and Germany isn't known for its rap scene, Cro has a great voice that borders rap and pop. He is often identified by his unique and a weird costume choice, a panda mask, that helps keep his identity unknown. His unique look and blend between rap and pop has helped him gained notoriety throughout Europe and he is now the most popular rapper in Germany.

His music is catchy and while it took Ryan to help me warm up to Cro, I love listening to his music. Cro's rap style isn't harsh, but well-rounded, and upbeat which highlights his vocal skills.

Missy Higgins

Oh, Missy Higgins how you can heal my broken heart! Her voice is perfect if you are needing a pick me up and her smooth vocals always puts me in a great mood. The Aussie got her first taste of stardom when her sister sent a copy of one of Missy's earliest songs to Australia's Triple J radio station without her knowing. This launched Missy to the forefront of the singer/songwriter community and her career began.

My high school years were filled with Missy's pop/rock ballads. I felt like she was singing exactly what I needed to hear to keep moving forward with a smile. Her voice is beautiful and her song "Warm Whispers" will always be one of my all time favorite songs.

Tokio Hotel

Tokio Hotel came to Dallas a few years ago at one of our smaller, rock venues. And people were crazy excited for this German rock band and I had no idea who they were. So I searched for Tokio Hotel on Spotify and saw why there was such a hype for this group. They have catchy lyrics that they sing in German and English with a heavy elctro-rock influence.

While they often seem like the European brothers of Fall Out Boy, they offer enough amount of edge to free you from the everyday radio pop.

Coeur de Pirate

Earthy, vibrant with a mix of French-attitude perfectly describes Coeur de Pirate. She is refreshing and easy to listen to no matter what your current mood is. As a French-Canadian, Couer de Pirate sings almost primarily in French and impressively is a accomplished pianist. She began her career in 2007 by posting demos on her MySpace with her full album debuting in 2008 which started her rise to stardom.

Her singer/songwriter musical style is warm, sunny and a perfect combination of French pop and singer/songwriter

I hope with my list you were able to find one or several new artists for your daily playlist. Even if these choices aren't your favorite, maybe it can lead you to discover other foreign musicians to help insure your travel lifestyle.

Who are your favorite non-American musicians? I'm always looking for new artists to add to my playlist!


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