Bouyon (Boo-Yon) is a form of popular music of Dominica which became popular in the late 1980s. The term Bouyon means something akin to "gumbo soup" in the Antillean Creole of Dominica. Bouyon music is a mix of traditional and modern music, and is popular across much of the Caribbean.
In Guadeloupe and Martinique, "Jump up" refers generally to bouyon music.
The best-known band in the genre is Windward Caribbean Kulture (WCK), who originated the style in 1988 by experimenting with a fusion of Cadence-lypso and Jing ping. 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 bèlè, quadrille, chanté mas and lapo kabwit, mazurka, zouk and other styles of caribbean music. Thought bouyon originated in the late 80's as a fusion of cadence-lypso, jing ping and other traditional dances; the Chanté mas and lapo kabwit drumming has integrated to become the rhythmic heart of bouyon, the traditional carnival music of Dominica.
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 www.wck.dm which feature the smash hit "rollin". Follow up albums included "Calling and "One Boss" which were released in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
New Generation Bouyon
Triple K International (led by Mr.Benji N20) is the most influential figure in the development of the New generation era of bouyon music. The band became popular for their energy and getting the audience hyped. Sewo, which was the name of the album, came from the song written and performed by Benji, brought the band one step closer to being one of the most promising bands in Dominica. Sewo allowed that band and Benji to gain more recognition.
Triple Kay Band and Benji became a force to be reckoned with and with his skill of being able to produce tracks that would take the country by storm and his high source of energy when performing on stage. This was further influenced by the MFR band (later call Ncore), which had became an influential figure in the bouyon genre.
Triple k International, along with the MFR band are the pioneers of New generation bouyon. This gave rise to bands such as Kross Vybez, S.O.S, Esclav, Xs Groove, and many more, which goal is to promote Bouyon music and Dominica globally.
Bouyon soca, sometimes referred to as Jump up soca, is a fusion-genre that blends bouyon and soca music. In recent years Bouyon soca has become popular in the island of Dominica and Saint Lucia. Saint Lucian artist Ricky T released a song "Pressure boom" in 2007 which blended the two genres and became very popular throughout the English speaking Caribbean. This style of bouyon is mostly, but not exclusively, produced in Saint Lucia.
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. Bouyon-muffin is the precursor for reketeng music.
Reketeng is a hybrid of bouyon, hip hop, and dancehall, popularized by a Dominican group called Bush town clan during the late 90's. 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').
Due to the popularity of Triple K International, Ncore, and the New generation of bouyon bands who toured the French Antilles, a popular offshoot of bouyon from Guadeloupe is call bouyon gwada. 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. This musical style is characterized by texts "slackness" sexually explicit. It is a form of radicalized bouyon of Dominica. Some call "bouyon gwada" to mark its difference and its themes are often the same: denunciation of bad girl called spleen putrie, naughty vyé or bitch, infidelity, condoning sexual pleasure and sexual intercourse hardcore. Excerpts: "kok red kokot mouyé ka, ka Koule dlo, the Kokott i cho Tousa or VLE year ke fey. Popular Bouyon gwada musicians include, Wee Low, Suppa, Doc J, Yellow gaza, Miky Ding'La, a girlband GazaGirl etc.
(from the article Bouyon of Wikipedia)
List of bouyon musicians