Incorporating Dutch music into your day-to-day life is an awesome way to immerse yourself in the language and pick up vocabulary without feeling like you’re studying.
This works especially well when you can find music that you truly like and are drawn to.
I don’t know about you but when I discover a new song that I love, I can listen to it on repeat and memorize the lyrics within no time. The same happened with some Dutch songs I came across early on in my learning!
By finding some Dutch music you love, you can really effortlessly learn new vocabulary and get the hang of proper word order.
This list of songs is meant to introduce you to some different artists and types of Dutch music. Let it be a jumping off point to discover some Dutch songs and artists you want to listen to again and again.
1. Nu Wij Niet Meer Praten by Jaap Reesema & Pommelien Thijs (2020)
This beautiful song written by Dutch singer Jaap Reesema is performed together with Belgian singer-actress Pommelien Thijs. It spent 18 weeks in the Nederlandse Single Top 100 and even more in the Nederlandse Top 40 between 2020 and 2021.
2. Het Is Al Laat Toch by Racoon (2020)
Racoon used to be the house band for Dutch television program, De Wereld Draait Door. They have been active since 1997 and this song is from their seventh studio album (their first Dutch album) which became exceptionally popular during the pandemic.
3. Als Het Avond Is by Suzan & Freek (2018)
This is the debut single released in 2018 from Dutch duo Suzan & Freek. These two have since blown up, playing back to back shows this spring in the Ziggo Dome which seats 17,000 spectators.
If you’re like me and have difficulty with subordinate clause word order in Dutch, this song might help you get the hang of it!
4. De Diepte by S10 (2022)
De Diepte is a lovely song that proudly represented the Netherlands in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. It was performed by 21-year old artist S10 and spent many weeks on the top charts after her performance at the song contest.
5. Als Ik Je Weer Zie by Thomas Acda, Paul de Munnik, Maan & Typhoon (2021)
This song, in my opinion, has the sound of a classic, easy-going Dutch pop song. Like the Suzan & Freek song mentioned above in #3, the title alone should help you with that tricky word order.
Dance & hip-hop
While you’ll find many folksingers from the 90s and earlier on these types of lists, there is of course a broad range of talented Dutch artists to be found in other music genres.
Take these six dance/pop songs for example:
6. Hij Is Van Mij (feat. Bizzey) by Kris Kross Amsterdam, Maan & Tabitha (2018)
Kris Kross Amsterdam is an Amsterdam-based DJ trio spinning a mix of modern R&B, hip-hop, funk, soul, pop, and house. This collaboration with Maan and Tabitha was the #1 most streamed single on the Nederlandse Single Top 100 in 2019.
7. Ik Wil Dansen by Froukje (2021)
20-year old Froukje is an up and coming artist from Nieuwkoop in Zuid-Holland. This catchy number from her first EP, Licht en Donker, was named ‘Song van het Jaar 2021’ by 3voor12 (VPRO).
If you like this song, also check out 17 and Onbezonnen from the same EP.
8. Waar Ga Je Heen by Emma Heesters (2020)
Emma has grown in popularity over the last several years from her covers on YouTube where she has amassed a following of 5.7 million subscribers. This summer anthem grew to #21 in the Nederlandse Single Top 100 in 2020.
9. Traag (feat. Jozo & Kraantje Pappie) by Bizzey (2017)
Bizzey was one of the founders of Dutch DJ trio (now duo) Yellow Claw over a decade ago. He left Yellow Claw in 2016 to focus on his solo career. This single with Jozo & Kraantje Pappie was released in 2017 and still gets people on their feet five years later.
10. BIL (feat. BKO) by Jozo & LA$$A (2018)
Jozo is a Dutch rapper of Congolese origin who came onto the hip-hop scene in 2017. If you liked Traag which he has a feature on, you’ll want to add some Jozo tracks like BIL, DERM, and Chupa Chup to your party playlist.
11. Ik Ga Zwemmen by Mart Hoogkamer (2021)
This was one of the most played song of last summer, with an incredible 35 million streams on Spotify and nearly 15 million views on the official music video on YouTube. Good luck getting this one out of your head!
12. Leef by André Hazes Jr. (2015)
When I think about the essential Dutch “meezingers” (popular songs to sing along to) this is one of the first that comes to mind.
The song is performed by André Hazes Jr., the youngest son of the late André Hazes (iconic Dutch folksinger) and is all about living life to the fullest.
13. Een Beetje Verliefd by André Hazes (1981)
No list is complete without a mention of the late Amsterdam icon, André Hazes. His music is frequently recommended to new Dutchies a) because of the simple, clear lyrics, and b) because you’re bound to run into a situation at a party or pub where you’ll want to sing along with everyone to one of his classics.
Een Beetje Verliefd is the first of his songs that I heard while living in the Netherlands, but there are many others which are equally important to get to know. To name a half dozen off the top of my head:
- Geef Mij Je Angst
- Kleine Jongen
- Diep In Mijn Hart
- Bloed Zweet en Tranen
- Zij Gelooft In Mij
- Uit M’n Bol
But better yet… grab a compilation of his greatest hits!
14. Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten by Wim Sonneveld (1962)
By far the oldest song on this list (aside from #18 which is literally the oldest national anthem in use today)… Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten has become known as one of the most popular songs in the Netherlands, celebrating the city of Amsterdam. With an accordion accompaniment, you’re serenaded about “de mooiste stad in ons land”.
15. Geef Mij Je Angst by Guus Meeuwis (2005)
Originally performed for the first time in Dutch by André Hazes in 1983, Meeuwis’ version released in 2005 rose in popularity after he performed it at the farewell ceremony after Hazes’ death.
16. Ik Hou Van Jou by Gordon (1992)
This song was recommended in the first ever Dutch course that I followed. The lyrics are incredibly simple and easy to understand, making it great for even a complete beginner.
You might not add these songs to your gym or commute playlist, but these are nonetheless important Dutch songs to have “onder de knie” (to master).
17. Happy birthday song(s)
No matter the age of the “jarige” (the one celebrating their birthday) you will most likely ring in his or her birthday with this essential song.
I’ve heard multiple songs sung at birthday celebrations here in the Netherlands — the most popular being Er Is Er Één Jarig and Lang Zal Ze Leven (sung in succession).
Sometimes Hij Leve Hoog Hij Leve Hoog is also added on.
18. Wilhelmus (1572)
You’ll be happy you know the Dutch national anthem in those special moments where everyone comes together to recite it.
When Sinterklaas is in the Netherlands, “Sinterklaasliedjes” can be heard all over. This one dates back to the nineteenth century and is simply asking Sinterklaas to leave behind something nice in your shoe.
If you have children or find yourself celebrating Sinterklaas, this website might come in handy for videos and lyrics of the most famous Sinterklaasliedjes.
I created this list to give a taste of some different artists and types of Dutch music, but there are hundreds of other great artists and songs to discover.
Don’t see an essential Dutch song on the list? Leave a comment and let me know what should be included in the next list!