Zouk is a fast jump-up carnival beat originating from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, popularized by the French Antillean band Kassav’ in the 1980s. Very rapid in tempo, the style lost ground in the 1980s due to the strong presence of Compas / kompa and kadans, the main music of the French Antilles. Today, zouk is the French Antilles compas (Kompa), also called zouk-love.
The Creole word zouke, sekwe, or zouke, etc. from the French verb secouer meaning “shake intensely and repeatedly” was used by Haitian artists who toured the French Antilles during the late 1970s and 1980s.
The word zouk has, over time, come to mean “party” or “festival” in the local Antillean Creole of French.
Brazilian Zouk is a partner dance originating from Brazil. At first known as zouk-lambada, the dance is a descendant of lambada, and it was danced to Lambada Music. Later on it was danced to Caribbean Zouk music, from where it got the name “Zouk”. (the dance style originated in Brazil and the music style to be distinguished from each other). Brazilian Zouk came eventually to be danced to a broad set of music styles: R’n’b, hip hop, and pop music, to name a few, and up to this day (2018).