Bouyon music

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Bouyon (Boo-Yon) is mainly a form of Dominican music belonging to the region of Guadeloupe, and was popular in the late 1980s.[1] The bouyon was developed specifically in Guadeloupe by singers from Dominica (Asa Banton, Suppa, Gaza Girl, etc.). Dominica and Guadeloupe both use the Antillean Creole language, which explains the musical collaborations between the two islands which allowed the importation to other islands and countries of the Caribbean. The term Bouyon means something akin to "gumbo soup" or "coubouyon poisson" (a typical Caribbean dish) in the Antillean Creole of Dominica [1] and Guadeloupe.[2] Bouyon music is a mix of traditional and modern music,[3] and is popular across much of the Caribbean.


The best-known band in this genre is Windward Caribbean Kulture (WCK), which started the style in 1988 by experimenting with a fusion of Jing ping and Cadence-lypso. While the Cadence-lypso sound is based on the use of acoustic drums with an aggressive up-tempo guitar beat and strong social commentary in the native Creole language, the music created by WCK focused more on the use of technology with a strong emphasis on keyboard rhythmic patterns.

Bouyon, popularized largely by WCK, blends jing ping, cadence-lypso and traditional dances, namely bèlè, quadrille, Chanté mas and lapo kabwit, mazurka, zouk and other styles of Caribbean music.[4]

Windward Caribbean Kulture[edit]

The band made its debut in 1988 with an album titled "One More Sway," which coincided with the REUNION YEAR (10th anniversary) Independence celebrations. The next album, released in 1990, titled "CULTURE SHOCK" was probably the defining moment for the band. The album included tracks such as "Culture Shock" and "Dance Floor".

The albums that followed showed the creative growth of the band throughout the years. In 1991, the "FOLLOW THE LEADER" album delivered signature tracks such as "Follow the Leader" and "Land Of Sunshine". In 1992, the release of "KANNIBAL" was another step towards the fine-tuning of this new sound. The 1993 release "FOREVER" produced one of the band's biggest hits, "Conch Shell/Vola Vole" or "The Fish Song" (as it was popularly called). In 1995, the band released its most successful album, "TOU CHO TOU FLAM", which generated 7 smash hits out of the 11-track album, one of which was the huge hit "Balance Batty" which is still being played throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the globe to this day. By the launch of the band’s 7th album, "ORIGINAL HOLD DEM", CK mania had taken over Dominica as well as the rest of the Caribbean. That album contained popular tracks like "Mete Veye," "Original Hold Dem," "Nomn La," and "Preg Dance See". The hits kept on coming and CK music was in constant demand by partygoers and music lovers all over the globe.

To establish their musical strength, prowess, and creativity, the band toured the US, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean from 1995 - 1998. They packed dance halls, concert halls, arenas, and any open space they played. That set the stage for the next two albums, "TOO MANY COOKS" & "MARATHON," which propelled the band and it’s Bouyon Music into the international spotlight. The 1999 release "SET MY PEOPLE FREE" kept that momentum going and demonstrated again the band’s ability to position itself as true Caribbean cultural champions.

The Y2K release, "PRIDE AND JOY" featured tracks such as “The Buzz," "Grand Finale," and title track "Pride & Joy". The follow-up, "CARIBBEAN HEARTBEAT" stated their position as true trendsetters in the music art form of the Caribbean. In 2002, the band then released "ON TOP". Hits, like “Emotions & Joy Ride,” on this album featured T.C from Barbados. The 2003 album, "MORE MUSIC," included hits such as "Send your body" and title track "More music". 2004 marked the band’s release of their most anticipated album to date titled which feature the smash hit “rollin”. Follow up albums included “Calling and “One Boss” which were released in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Newer offshoots[edit]

Jump up[edit]

In 1987, Exile One recorded a Chanté mas and lapo kabwit song entitled l'hivenage, commonly referred to as tchwe yo. The French Antilleans called that beat "jump up music" because of the carnival flavor. This jump up beat was later modified to become bouyon or modern soca music. (As printed on Exile One's album "creole attitude").[5] In Guadeloupe and Martinique, "Jump up" refers generally to bouyon music.

Bouyon Soca[edit]

Bouyon soca is a fusion-genre that blends bouyon and soca music.


A modern offshoot of bouyon is bouyon-muffin, It uses more prominient elements of the Jamaican raggamuffin music. The most influential figure in the development of bouyon-muffin is "Skinny Banton" who collaborated with the WCK band, using ragga influenced vocals to chant on top of bouyon rhythms.[6] Elements of hip hop and dancehall are incorporated into the genre -Bouyon muffin began from 1995 with the Klockerz general "Skinny banton" now known as "Shadowflow". Songs like "party" ft Joanne with Bucktown sounds' DJ Cut gave the offsprings of bouyon muffin like "Bushtown clan", further space to incorporate more hip hop and dancehall into the Bouyon-muffin genre to create "reketeng".


Reketeng is a hybrid of bouyon, hip hop, and dancehall.[7] Like dub music, reketeng consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, emphasizing the drum and bass parts (this stripped down track is sometimes referred to as a 'riddim').[8]

Alternative bouyon[edit]

The Ncore Band continues their journey towards their aim of bringing forth a new era of music to Dominica and the world. A new inspiring sensation and an alternative twist to the bouyon genre they call "rythmcore" a fusion of rock, heavy metal and bouyon.[9] They released a new single "RIDDIM NATION" which explains the power of the bouyon music when it touches the mind and body and one's inner self.[citation needed]

Bouyon gwada[edit]

Due to the popularity of Triple K International, Ncore, Asa Bantan, and the New generation of bouyon bands who toured the French Antilles, a popular offshoot of bouyon from Guadeloupe is called bouyon gwada.[10] The jump up had its heyday from the 90s with songs such as Met Veye WCK, but remained stamped background music or carnival. Over the years, thanks to inter-trade with the Dominicans and the mass participation of Guadeloupe at the World Creole Music Festival, the flagship group as Triple kay and MFR band began to democratize and local artists were inducted, including the remix Allo Triple kay with Daly and "Big Ting Poppin 'Daly alone.

A popular offshoot within the bouyon gwada is call bouyon hardcore, a style characterized by its lewd and violent lyrics. Popular Bouyon gwada musicians include, Wee Low, Suppa, Doc J, Yellow gaza, and Ph-sourizide.

Bouyon bands[edit]

Old School[edit]

  • WCK
  • First Serenade
  • Partners In Kryme
  • Raw Reedim
  • Ruff & Ready
  • RSB
  • Efex
  • Triple K

New School[edit]

  • Asa Banton
  • Ncore (formerly known as MFR)
  • Kross Vybez
  • Xs Groove
  • Royalty
  • Esclav
  • SOS
  • RMC
  • Signal
  • Triple K International
  • Lega-C
  • Danger Band 767
  • Xpression Band
  • Tru Riddim band

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shepherd, John; Dave Laing (2005). Continuum encyclopedia of popular music of the world. Continuum. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-8264-7436-0. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Guadeloupe". Wikipédia (in French). 2017-03-12. 
  3. ^ Carole Elizabeth Boyce Davies (2008). Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture. p. 390. ISBN 978-1-85109-700-5. 
  4. ^ "Bouyon Music". Music in Dominica. Retrieved December 3, 2005. 
  5. ^ "Bouyon/jump up". YouTube. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ "YouTube:". YouTube: Skinny banton. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ "YouTube: bushtown clan - ride & wreketeng infinite". YouTube: Reketeng music. Retrieved September 10, 2005. 
  8. ^ "YouTube: Lil Wayne - A Milli - Dj Flam (BOUYON VERSION)". YouTube: Reketeng music. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ "YouTube: KmK podcast #1 Ken graved". YouTube:Alternative bouyon. Retrieved September 10, 2005. 
  10. ^ "YouTube:bouyon gwada". :bouyon gwada. Archived from the original on June 19, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2012.