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Home FR José Sébéloué, tender voice of 80’s French band La Compagnie Créole, has...

José Sébéloué, tender voice of 80’s French band La Compagnie Créole, has died


The singer from French Guiana, co-founder of the festive hit band, died in Paris on Sunday, aged 74.

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It’s nonetheless onerous to discover a marriage ceremony or party in France the place José Sébéloué’s voice doesn’t resonate. Together with Clémence Bringtown, he was the lead singer, and guitarist, of La Compagnie Créole, the band behind a collection of hits (“Vive le douanier Rousseau,” “C’est bon pour le ethical,” “Le Bal masqué,” “Ça fait rire les oiseaux”) which were an plain a part of the nation’s collective reminiscence because the Eighties. Sébéloué, 74, died in Paris on Sunday, September 3.

Born on September 17, 1948, in Ouanary, French Guiana, Sébéloué started his musical profession with a neighborhood band, Pop-Corn, earlier than founding La Compagnie Créole in 1975 with Bringtown, Julien Tarquin, Man Bevert and Arthur Apatout, musicians from the Martinique and Guadeloupe areas he had met in Paris. The crew tailored conventional tunes from the West Indian repertoire in a novel manner till they crossed paths with Parisian Daniel Vangarde and Belgium’s Jean Kluger within the early Eighties.

On the time, the pair made a reputation for itself within the Latin disco vein, signing hits with musicians from the Martinique (Gibson Brothers) and Guadeloupe (the Ottawan duo). A passionate fan of tropical music, Vangarde – the daddy of Daft Punk co-founder Thomas Bangalter – first produced an album of conventional biguine songs for La Compagnie, Blogodo (1982), all sung in Creole.

Ballroom music

Success got here a 12 months later when, between periods with disco star Amii Stewart, the Franco-Belgian producer’s duo acquired the band to document a model of “C’est bon pour le ethical,” a music by Vangarde that had not discovered any takers. Earlier than actually triumphing – thanks specifically to its airing on French tv – the disco zouk coloration given by the musicians initially struggled to seduce radio stations. “Roger Kreicher, RTL’s program director, had instructed me contemptuously: ‘That is ballroom music,'” Vangarde recalled in an interview with Le Monde final 12 months, including he had answered again: “You could not please me extra.”

“The music had a little bit of hassle getting off the bottom,” Kluger later stated. “The band then began engaged on a brand new single, ‘Vive le Douanier Rousseau’ once they had been chosen to signify France at Eurovision in 1983.” La Compagnie Créole got here second within the contest, enabling the band to proceed engaged on “C’est bon pour le ethical,” which ultimately made its manner onto the airwaves. It was quickly adopted by “Vive le douanier Rousseau,” “Le Bal masqué,” “Ça fait rire les oiseaux,” and “Bons baisers de Fort-de-France,” all of which benefited from late enterprise magnate Francis Bouygues’ ardour for the band. In his place as proprietor of French tv TF1, he managed to have the musicians seem 36 instances on “Sacrée Soirée,” an emblematic Saturday night present in France within the Eighties.

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