With alphorns and yodeling, Switzerland isn’t exactly known for its chart-topping hits. But if you look beyond this folksy veneer, you’ll see a vibrant music culture that’s just waiting to be explored, enjoyed or questioned.
Gotthard is probably Switzerland’s best-known rock band, with eleven of their albums topping Swiss music charts over the years. Coming out of Lugano in the canton of Ticino, their style is heavily based on good old American rock n roll with plenty of layered guitar riffs, pounding drums and grungy vocals, amid the occasional rock ballad.
Charlie Roe & The Washing Machines
Swiss-Italian singer Charlie Roe and her Washing Machines draw their inspiration from British pop and rock. Playful and catchy, these songs are not at all what you might imagine from a Swiss artist.
Don’t worry if you can’t understand their guttural Swiss-German, Zurich’s rock-pop band Hecht will have you bouncing around with their upbeat and catchy guitar riffs regardless. Their tune “Fiji” is bound to have you humming along in no time.
Rocking a giant yellow smiley emoticon on his head, Zurich’s Mike Candys is a common feature in the world’s top 100 DJs list with his electro-house dance tracks. His pumping tune La Serenissima set him off in 2009 and he’s not looked back since, with his tracks now a mainstay of dance floors across Europe.
Jojo Mayer & NERVE
Named as one of the 50 greatest drummers of all time, Jojo Mayer started NERVE, an experimental group that thrives on musical improvisation. Their music is kind of jazzy, with a bit of rock and electro thrown into the mix, a pretty unique blend that’ll keep you intrigued.
If you want to know Switzerland you have to know DJ Bobo – otherwise known as René Baumann – as anyone who is anyone in Switzerland has heard of the singing and dancing Bobo. Like a family-friendly version of Scooter with his gentlemanly rapping, he’s given us hits like Chihuahua, Everybody, There is a Party and Love is All Around. He’s sold over 14 million records during his 25-year career and shows no sign of stopping any time soon.
You probably already know her, but you might not have known that Turner actually turned Swiss in 2013, renouncing her American citizenship. The star lives in Kusnacht, a swanky district in Zurich, and explained she has “always acted pretty Swiss” after switching her nationality. Let’s just hope her next album doesn’t include yodeling.