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Bouyon music
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Bouyon music

Bouyon (Boo-Yon) is a form of popular music of Dominica which became popular in the late 1980s.[1] The term Bouyon means something akin to "gumbo soup" in the Antillean Creole of Dominica.[1] Bouyon music is a mix of traditional and modern music,[2] and is popular across much of the Caribbean.



The best-known band in the genre is Windward Caribbean Kulture (WCK), who originated 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, an aggressive up-tempo guitar beat and strong social commentary in the native Creole language, this new music created by WCK focused more on the use of technology with a strong emphasis on keyboard rhythmic patterns.

Bouyon as popularized largely by the WCK band blends in jing ping, cadence-lypso and traditional dances namely b l , quadrille, Chant mas and lapo kabwit, mazurka, zouk and other styles of Caribbean music.[3]

Windward Caribbean Kulture

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 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 just 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 Emotions & Joy Ride on this album featured T.C from Barbados. 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

Jump up

In 1987, Exile One recorded a Chant 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").[4] In Guadeloupe and Martinique, "Jump up" refers generally to bouyon music.

Bouyon Soca

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


A modern offshoot of bouyon is bouyon-muffin, uses more prominient elements of the Jamaican raggamuffin music. The most influential figure in the development of bouyon-muffin was "Skinny Banton" who collaborated with the wck band, using ragga influenced vocals to chant on top of bouyon rhythms.[5] Elements of Hip hop and Dancehall are incoperated into the genre - a style dubbed reketeng music.


Reketeng is a hybrid of bouyon, hip hop, and dancehall.[6] Like dub music, reketeng sometimes consist 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').[7]

Bouyon bands

Old School

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

New School

  • Triple K International
  • Ncore (formerly known as MFR)
  • Kross Vybez
  • Xs Groove
  • Royalty
  • Esclav
  • SOS
  • RMC
  • Signal

See also

  • Cadence-lypso
  • Jing ping
  • Music of Dominica
  • Windward Caribbean Kulture
  • World Creole Music Festival


Source: Wikipedia | The above article is available under the GNU FDL. | Edit this article

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