It’s good for morale, At the masked ball, Long live the Douanier Rousseau… Who hasn’t had the opportunity to dance to these catchy and good-natured songs which mark the heyday of the Compagnie Créole? José Sébéloué, singer and guitarist of the West Indian music group, who performed them with his warm voice, died on Sunday September 3 in Paris.
“José passed away peacefully in France with his loved ones,” write the Compagnie Creole and Productions Martin Leclerc. He was one of the “founding members of La Compagnie créole, in 1975, and one of its most enthusiastic ambassadors, whether on guitar, percussion or voice, where he infused the group with its color and sound. rhythm,” adds their press release.
Family celebrations and popular balls
Born in Ouanary in Guyana in 1948, José Sébéloué formed his first music group, Pop-corn, in the 1970s and established himself on the local scene. Joining France, he participated in the creation of the Creole Company in 1975 alongside Clémence Bringtown, Julien Tarquin, Guy Bevert and Arthur Apatout, originally from Martinique and Guadeloupe. Success took time to arrive, but it became phenomenal in 1983 with It’s good for morale, a joyful, danceable and indestructible hit.
Family celebrations, popular balls, wake-up calls from buzzing evenings, the Creole Company “sets the mood”. Everywhere she goes, she invites people to dance and merriment. A whole series of hits, often signed by José Sébéloué who is also an author and composer, mark the era of their zouk tempo. At the Masquerade Ball, It Makes the Birds Laugh, The Dancing Machine, Bon Kisses from Fort-de-France and, of course, Long Live the Douanier Rousseau…
A success never denied
The rhythms and orchestrations are similar, the lyrics are sometimes criticized for being too nice, too simple, too perky… No matter, the Creole Company brings a beautiful generosity in music: it makes zouk known in France as do the Kassav groups and Zouk Machine.
The success has never wavered. Continuing to perform on stage, the group toured extensively. The last, in 2023, was underway in Quebec, before José Sébéloué, ill, left to seek treatment in Paris. “The planned shows had to be canceled,” says the group. The other members of the Creole Company had recently “flown to Paris to be at his bedside”.