Get Zouk essential facts below. View Videos or join the Zouk discussion. Add Zouk to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.

Zouk is a musical style originating from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique and popularized by the French Antillean band Kassav' in the 1980s.[1] Very rapid in tempo, the style lost ground in the 1980s due to the strong presence of Compas / kompa and kadans, the main music of the French Antilles. Today, zouk is the French Antilles compas (Kompa),[2] also called zouk-love.

Example of Zouk Singers: Francky Vincent, Edith Lefel, Fanny J, Alan Cavé, Lynnsha, Patrick Saint-Éloi, Jocelyne Béroard, Kaysha, Soumia, Elizio, Mario Chicot.


The Creole word zouke, sekwe, or zouke, etc. from the French verb secouer meaning "shake intensely and repeatedly" was used by Haitian artists who toured the French Antilles during the late 1970s and 1980s. [1][3]

The word zouk has, over time, come to mean "party" or "festival" in the local Antillean Creole of French.

Zouk in the 1990s - Present day

Zouk was an attempt to develop a proper local music that would lessen or even eradicate the meringue-kadans or compas influence from the French islands. When the MIDI technology came out, Kassav' used it fully, creating new sound in both their fast carnival beat and compas. The Antilleans were all over with zouk but as other bands from the Caribbean and Africa added the MIDI technology to their music and people got used to it. Because it was a jump up beat the fast zouk béton faded away In the same 1980s and Antilleans would continue to play and dance meringue-cadence or compas. After all, French Antilleans and Dominicans are important players of the style. However, the problem is that musicians from Martinique and Guadeloupe have calculatedly labeled compas as zouk in order to remain on the map (keeping in mind Compas was created in 1950 by Haitians); creating a big confusion in Africa, Cabo Verde, Angola, Brazil, Portugal and other places. Kassav', the originator of the zouk béton, is a compas music band that has taken compas to many places, and is the only band that continues to include zouk béton in its repertoire, though to a lesser extent.

See also


  1. ^ a b Pareles, Jon (1988). "Zouk, a Distinctive, Infectious Dance Music". New York Times. New York. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Peter Manuel, Musics of the Non-Western World, Chicago press University 1988p74
  3. ^ Skah Sha and Magnum band were among the first Haitian music groups to use the word souke/zouke in the French Antilles. Magnum band, which toured the Caribbean countless times, once spent two years in Martinique and Guadeloupe. The band leader, guitar player Dadou Pasket, popularized the word zouke in many live tunes, especially on the album La seule difference, Ibo Records, 1981, in the song "pike devan" meaning "full speed ahead". During the same year "Les Skah sha #1 that frequently toured the French Antilles featured an LP album called This is it, produced by Mini Records, July 1981. "Zouke" is the second tune's title.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes