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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Jocelyne Labylle: A remarkable Zouk artist

By Ardine IsmaSpecial to CSMS MagazineWe may be Konpa lovers, but no one can deny the influence of Zouk music, a mixture of Haitian Konpa and Caribbean Soka, over young Caribbean music lovers. Its sweet melody brings awe to the heart of Haitian partygoers. Zouk Love, the romantic version of this fairly new genre, has left unstoppable marks in the hearts of many fans all over the world. And when it comes to Jocelyne Labylle, the public can’t seem to get enough of her. She is one of the hottest Zouk artists out there since Tanya St. Val.             Jocelyne Labylle, the Nouvelle Zouk songstress, was born on January 7, 1973 in Saint Claude, Guadeloupe. Jocelyne’s love of music first evolved when she began to see her mother and father as dancers. Jocelyne takes her attempts as a professional singer in 1992 by being part of the group Melodie Formation, and then two years later she joined the group Zouk Orchestra. After three successful albums in 1997, Labylle releases her first solo album called On Verra with first hit single Quand Tu Veux. The album was such a big hit that she won the Album-of-the-year trophy in the African Music Awards in 1998.            In 1999, Jocelyne hit one of her career highs when she worked with one of her mentors Fredric Caracas on his album On Verra, which featured artists such as Harry Diboula, Jean Claude Namiro, and Jacob Desvarieux from the famous Zouk group Kassav. The album was a major success in the Caribbean, and many critiques agreed that this was in part because of Jocelyne’s collaboration. In the same year, Jocelyne Labylle went to Africa for her successful coast to coast African tour when she toured all over Cote-D’Ivoire and other African nations.            In spring 2000, Jocelyne replaced her old record company with a new management staff created by Eric Siar, who is known for producing Zouk artists. In the same year, she released a single called J’ai deposé les clés for a zouk compilation album, featuring Harry Diboula, Magic System, a group from Cote-D’Ivoire, and Claudy Siar.            Her second album Ma Petite Lumière released in 2001 remained at the top of West Indian music charts for twelve weeks straight in both France and Africa. In 2003, she collaborated on the album Dis L’Heure 2 Zouk with Eddy Goyor of the group Decibel. Passi, Cheela, and Jacob Desvarieux were all featured on the album. Then in the summer of 2004, she did the remix of song Day O with Marina for a Coca Cola ad campaign for the West Indies. Later that summer, she collaborated with the Haitian band T-vice and Zouk queen Christiane Valejo on a crossover project album. The first single off the album Toujou La, featuring Jocelyne Labylle and T-vice helped the album reach the number one spot for five months straights in West Indian music charts.            Jocelyne’s latest album released in late 2005 proved to be her most mature and complex masterpiece, according to critics. In this latest album, Labylle is once again giving joy to her fans by providing beautiful harmonies and new upbeat melodies that Zouk and Konpa listeners all over the world will get to enjoy for many generations to come.NoteArdine Isma is a senior at South Plantation High School. She wrote this piece exclusively for CSMS Magazine.       Also see T-vice’s new album is slowly making its wayand Nicole Neret: A true princess lover

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