Battery Crémil: a great in “Zouk love” has passed away

On 29 October, we learned of the death of Battery Crémil in a hospital in the Paris suburb. The musician (drummer) and singer, from the Vert-Pré district in the town of Le Robert in Martinique but settled in France, passed away at the age of 68 after a long illness.

Although this son of a musician had been part of several groups before (Dolmen’s, Les Pédagogues), the general public really discovered him in 1988 when “Lanmou Raid” (Love is difficult) was released. This song, which is about the euphoria and requirements of love, was created thanks the talents of another great zouk musician, Guadeloupean bass player Frédéric Caracas. “Lanmou Raid” has gone through decades without a wrinkle and, 33 years later, it is still widely played, sung and danced.

Cover of the album, “Len mou raid” (Lanmou rèd)

Battery Crémil is part of this generation of artists who have helped zouk, a young music, to be enriched with different “colours” or sounds and to flourish. To speak of “retro zouk” as some people do is a total aberration because these songs which date back 30 years or more are part of the foundation of zouk… Thanks to his talent, the singer was able to make the musical genre “zouk love” grow by bringing his personal touch.

The artist left a dozen albums and many hits such as “Tchè mwen cé ta ou”, “Mwen bisoin la Pè”, “Déception”, “Mwen envie ouè ou” (with Marcel Chéry, Martinican singer died in August 2021), “Jodi ya”, “La Vérité”, “Gran Nonm pa ka Wont”, “Tchè mwen cé ta ou”, “Lè dé moun enmé”, “Cé ou sèl” etc.

Battery Crémil 2a
Battery Crémil – Photo: Facebook page of Battery Crémil

Battery Crémil also left ten children. Some of them, notably Thierry, Piéro, Jérémie and Sara – like their father and uncle Jean-Philippe Marthély (Kassav’) – have been singing for fifteen years with their group Battery Family… The artist devoted the last years of his life to spirituality. In 2016, he released a single entitled “J’ai fait un rêve”, his children accompanied him during this recording…