Kassav’s Zouk Music
Zouk is a fast tempo music that comes from the Caribbean islands. The people of the Caribbean take music very seriously. Music plays a very integral role in Caribbean society, be it for social celebrations or even routine day chores. As a result there is a high social regard for popular music.
Zouk music is played twenty four hours a day on local radio, while television present programs that are wholly devoted to Zouk music. Even discos play Zouk at full volume all through the night.
The word ‘Zouk’ is a Creole term that originated in the developing nation of Martinique, where it meant ‘party’. The term came into force when dance halls and live musicians were replaced by dance parties called ‘Zouk’ and recorded music. Around the eighties, people started to ‘go to a Zouk’ to listen to the music of the Caribbean’s most popular music group Kassav. In time Kassav’s music came to be known as Zouk. Slowly, the term ‘Zouk’ became famous for partying and dancing to this style of music.
Kassav’s band members from Guadeloupe and Martinique have 28 albums of Zouk music to their credit which was recorded between 1979 and 1989. Zouk ventured into the global arena in the year 1984 and Kassav’s Zouk music received acclaim in Europe and Africa. Their outstanding achievement has even been compared to that of the legendary Beatles.
The local success of Kassav led to the rise of many small groups that played only Zouk music. In early 1988, sixty five records alone were released for Christmas and carnivals. .
The tremendous impact of Zouk on both the old and young citizens of the Creole speaking islands is phenomenal. This music has established a sense of unity among the people. Zouk music’s energetic pace and liveliness has made this a very unique style of music that people certainly dance to..