Teaching about the diversity of the world is essential, and popular music might just be the way to peak your students' interest. A lot of artists come from countries infrequently mentioned in classrooms, and so many fans have no clue what their favourite artists' backgrounds are! Here's a list of the artists from around the world available in the Solfeg.io song library! Maybe it's time to quiz your students on their favourite musicians?
- Rita Ora, the British singer behind Anywhere, was actually born in modern day Kosovo, then (in 1990) still a part of Yugoslavia. Since her parents are Kosovar-Albanian, but she's lived in the UK since she was one-year-old, she speaks both English and Albanian fluently.
- Tones and I, real name Toni Watson, the mastermind behind Dance Monkey, was born in Australia, the federated state of Victoria.
- Gotye and Kimbra is the duo that made Somebody That I Used To Know. Gotye is Australian, but he was actually born in Belgium! Since the age of two he's lived in Australia, but along with English, he also speaks Dutch (one of the 3 official languages of Belgium). Kimbra, on the other hand, was born in New Zealand!
- The Weeknd, the pop sensation whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, comes from Toronto, Canada. Check out his song Blinding Lights!
- Shakira, the Colombian singer that has released songs both in English and Spanish, also speaks Italian and Portugese. Although as a Colombian her native language is Spanish, many of her hit songs, including Try Everything, are in English.
- Camila Cabello actually sang about the capital city of her home country in her hit song Havana, so it might not come as a surprise that she was born in Cuba. While her native tongue is Spanish, she learnt English all by herself!
- Lukas Graham, the band behind the songs 7 Years and Love Someone, comes from Denmark (yes, it's a band!) All three members of the band speak Danish, but the lead singer's father was actually Irish. Isn't the world small?
- George Ezra, the guy who sang about Budapest, has actually never even been in Hungary. He's English!
- Of Monsters and Men is an indie folk/rock band from Iceland! The bands' most well-known song is Little Talks. Their native language is Icelandic, which is pretty close to what vikings actually spoke.
- Zara Larsson who keeps singing It Ain't My Fault is from Sweden. Her mother tongue is Swedish, but her English is pretty good too!
- Dua Lipa is the English singer-songwriter behind Don't Start Now. Although born in the UK, her parents are Kosovar-Albanian, and her grandmother is of Bosnian descent. She did speak Albanian at home as a kid.
- Portugal. The Man is a band whose name might be misleading in more ways than one. Besides actually being a band, not a man, they are also not from Portugal, but the state of Alaska (USA). Feel It Still?
Now that you just might know more about these artists than your students do, it's time for a classroom wide quiz session - let us know how it goes! All of these songs are available in the Solfeg.io song library, and don't forget to check our Resources page for more ideas on what to do in your lessons.