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Diversify your playlist: Spanish and Mandarin-language music recommendations

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

Like I said in my last article, I am in no way any kind of music critic or music expert, but I love to listen to music. If I’m not in class or having an active conversation with somebody, I’m probably listening to music in some way, shape or form. Whether I’m eating, reading, getting ready for the day or even sleeping, there is music playing. I’m also really interested in languages and linguistics, and I’m actually taking both Spanish and Mandarin classes this semester. It can also be really nice to listen to music in languages you don’t understand when you’re studying, sometimes, because it’s less distracting.

For me, music is a necessity in life, but it can also be a really fun way to learn more about a language or culture you’re studying. Besides that, it’s just fun to listen to music from around the world, even if you can’t understand the words. Full disclosure, I listen to music in more languages than English, Spanish and Mandarin, but those are definitely my top three, and I have the most recommendations for artists and songs in those languages. That being said, here are some of my favorite artists and albums in Spanish and Mandarin. To get a taste of the albums and artists I’m recommending, as well as a bunch of other songs, check out the Spotify playlists! Check out the Spanish-language playlist here and the Mandarin-language playlist here


Favorite Artists

Sebastian Yatra: I love Sebastian Yatra’s music and I’ve been listening to it for years. I even went to see him in concert when I was in Spain last summer (very fun, but I have to admit a concert is a little confusing when you don’t 100% understand what the performer is talking about in between songs). My personal favorite album by him is probably FANTASÍA, but I also really enjoyed Dharma. “Las Dudas” and “Melancólicos Anónimos” were on repeat right after it was released. 

Morat: Morat, along with Sebastian Yatra, was one of the first Spanish-language groups/artists that I started listening to, so there’s definitely a sense of nostalgia there. I have to admit I’m not super caught up on some of their newest music, but their first two albums, Sobre El Amor Y Sus Efectos Secundarios and Balas Perdidas, I know almost word for word. 

More artists I enjoy:

  • Jesse & Joy
    • Favorite songs: “La de la mala suerte” and “Tanto”
  • Camila
    • Favorite songs: “Coleccionista de canciones” and “Mientes”
  • CNCO
    • Favorite song: “Mi medicina”
  • Cali y el Dandee
    • They mostly feature on songs that I really like, especially “+” with Aitana, but their original song “La Estrategia” is also one of my favorites
  • HA-ASH
    • Favorite song: “Te Dejo en Libertad”


These are some albums that I love, even if I don’t listen to too much of that artist’s other music!

  • 11 RAZONES by Aitana
  • Prisma by Beret
  • Por Primera Vez by Camilo
  • Rifresh by Mau y Ricky
  • Un Verano Sin Ti by Bad Bunny


There are only two artists that I listen to super consistently in Mandarin, because it can be a little harder to find music in Mandarin or discover new artists when you’re streaming from the US, but I have lots of songs to recommend!

Note: All song titles in Chinese are written《simplified characters / traditional characters》and appear on the linked playlist mostly in the traditional characters.

Favorite Artists

Jay Chou: Jay Chou is an absolute classic. My first Mandarin teacher absolutely loved him, she talked all the time about how she was a total Jay Chou fan girl growing up, and she was the first person to introduce me to his music when she played it in class—his newest music video at the time, 《说好不哭 / 說好不哭》featuring Ashin Chen. Personally, I really enjoy some of his older songs, like《听见下雨的声音 / 聽見下雨的聲音》, which I honestly think is really funny to play every time it rains (the name means “listening to the rhythm of the rain”).

Eric Chou: Erich Chou is another artist that I really love, and I listen to his music all the time. He is an absolute king of ballads, which I always love to listen to. There are a lot of his songs that are absolutely amazing, but “Unbreakable Love”《永不失联的爱 / 永不失聯的愛》is maybe the most famous. Another one I really love is “When You Loved Me” 《我的时候 / 愛我的時候》 featuring Shan Yi Chu.

More artists:

  • Marz23 and TRASH (Marz23 is a member of TRASH)
    • Favorite songs: “Waste My Time” 《浪费时间 / 浪費時間》 and “LOVE” 《终究还是因为爱 / 終究還是因為愛》
  • Ryan.B
    • Favorite songs: “Never Again” and “No Reason”
  • Mayday (五月天)
    • Favorite song:《后来的我们 / 後來的我們》
  • Accusefive (告五人)
    • Favorite songs: “Where I Lost Us”《在这座城市遗失了你 / 在這座城市遺失了你》and 《爱人错过 / 愛人錯過》
  • G.E.M.
    • Favorite songs: 《句号 / 句號》and《再见 / 再見》


  • 凡人 by Xiao Bing Zhi
  • #osnrap by OSN
  • Kick Back – The 3rd Mini Album by WayV
  • DRAMA by Aaron Yan
  • The Untamed (Original Soundtrack)

Happy listening!

Kaitlyn is the Business/PR Manager for the Her Campus University of Pittsburgh Chapter, as well as a writer. She is currently a second-year student at Pitt, and initially joined Her Campus last year. Most of her articles cover recipes or entertainment topics like books, movies, and music, but she is looking to expand to a wider breadth of topics. Kaitlyn is an English Literature Major, and plans to minor in both Spanish and Chinese. She is a member of the Frederick Honors College, with plans to study abroad in China or Taiwan. In addition to Her Campus, Kaitlyn is a member of Studio 412, another student publication at Pitt. Outside of classes, Kaitlyn can frequently be found gushing about her dogs, reading, or cooking something for herself and her roommates.