February 21 is International Mother Language Day, and we at The Honey POP decided we would celebrate by listing some of our favorite songs in the singers’ mother languages. There’s something really special about speaking (and in this case, singing) in one’s native language, and these songs are here to prove it!
‘café de las ocho’ – Covi Quintana
You cannot look us in the eye and tell us Spanish isn’t one of the most beautiful languages you can find in this world, especially when we’re talking about love or heartbreak songs. That’s the case for ‘café de las ocho’ – despite what the name may make you think, the song is not so much about coffee as it is about a failed relationship. And Covi Quintana’s voice makes you feel every emotion along with her throughout the song.
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‘Vai Malandra’ – Anitta
Anitta is probably the best-known Brazilian artist in modern times, so it’s no surprise she’d be featured on our list. Although she sings a lot in English and Spanish nowadays, her songs in Portuguese are especially powerful because there’s nothing quite like expressing yourself in your native language. ‘Vai Malandra’ specifically has a place in our hearts (and our party playlists) because it was one of the first songs Anitta released in Portuguese after becoming known internationally. What she did with this song and many others is show that Brazil is more than what movies showed everyone.
Leilão – Glória Groove
Another Brazilian artist who deserves the international spotlight is Glória Groove. This drag queen quickly became the queen of our hearts, and that’s why we wanted her on our list. We honestly wish we could include her entire new album, Lady Leste, here, but we’ll settle for including one of the singles from that album that just slaps: ‘Leilão.’ With lyrics that reflect on being an “uncommon” figure in the music industry, the “auction” she sings about is a way for her to illustrate what it feels like to be in the industry. We stan an intelligent and talented queen!
‘Zitti E Buoni’ – Måneskin
Of course Måneskin would be here! These four Italian rock stars have been making history since the start of their careers, and we don’t think they’ll stop anytime soon. Undoubtedly, one of their most iconic moments was when they won Eurovision last year with the song ‘Zitti e Buoni.’ Literally translated, the song title means “quiet and good,” but in Italian, the phrase is also used as a command more along the lines of “shut up and behave.” The lyrics about not being the type to shut up and behave along with their glam rock sound are seriously a perfect combination.
‘Spring Day’ – BTS
There’s no way we’re making a list of songs in other languages you need to hear without including some K-Pop. And there’s no way to talk about K-Pop without talking about BTS. Our boys are icons of the genre and deserve to be recognized as such. We chose the very emotional ‘Spring Day’ for this list, but you should definitely check out their music in general.
‘Atlantis’ – SHINee
First of all, SHINee should be on everyone’s playlists just for being who they are. Over ten years of a successful career is an achievement worthy of applause, especially with how well they’ve handled all this time and how they managed to reinvent themselves for this long. We chose ‘Atlantis’ both because it’s the type of song that will get everyone dancing around their rooms, and because we wanted everyone to watch the gorgeous visuals of the MV. Our love for these boys and their music really does go deeper than the ocean.
‘Ainsi Bas La Vida’ – Indila
You may know this song from TikTok and not even realize it’s a great French song. And here’s the thing; it went viral for a reason, and that reason is that it is fire! This is a faster, more upbeat love song than the others on the list, and we think that’s part of the reason it went viral. We also love the little pun in the title with the expression “Ainsi va la vie,” which means “that’s how life goes,” but the song title translates to “that’s how life lows.”
‘Dragostea Din Tei’ – O-Zone
Chances are that, if you’re European, you’ve heard this song at a few parties over the years, at least. And if you didn’t know this song yet, now is the time to do so. The energy this song brings out in anyone who hears it is unmatched… even if we need to look up what the lyrics in Romanian mean.
‘Kick Back’ – WayV
NCT is known for having many subunits and we love them all, but we decided WayV and their song ‘Kick Back’ deserved to be on the list representing the members’ mother language: Mandarin. The idea of, well, kicking back and just enjoying the music is all over this rap song, and that’s exactly what you should do when you add it to your playlist.
‘Dacw Hi’ – Super Furry Animals
The coveted spot of Throwback Song of the List goes to Super Furry Animals’ ‘Dacw Hi.’ Super Furry Animals is a famous Welsh band that formed in the 90s in Cardiff, and ‘Dawc Hi’ came out on their 2000 album, Mwng. But despite coming out in 2000, the song was written back in 1987, inspired by one of the lead singer’s former teachers from when he was five, who claimed to have eyes in the back of her head.
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Bazinga – SB19
SB19 are a rising Pinoy Pop group from the Philippines we have become obsessed with lately. They’ve only just started, but our psychic powers tell us they’ll be big very soon. If you want proof, just take our advice and go listen to ‘Bazinga,’ one of their most upbeat songs we enjoy vibing to when we just wanna feel good.
Bonus – ‘Bella Ciao’ – Becky G
Becky G is an artist of many talents, one of which is sounding like an angel when she sings in any language, so of course we had to find a way to include her in our list. ‘Bella Ciao’ is a strong and meaningful Italian song that became extremely popular for being the theme song for the Netflix series La Casa De Papel, or Money Heist, as it’s known in English. Becky G’s version of the song is so good we wanted it to be on the list, even if Italian isn’t her mother language.
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And for more music recs you need on your playlist, click here.