Lisette Obydol, the great manager of Zouk Machine, left this world

Lisette Obydol - Photo: Lisette Obydol's Facebook Page

The Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, French Guiana, Dominica, etc.), Europe (France, Belgium, etc.), Africa (Ivory Coast, Benin, Congo, Cameroon, etc.), and all those who crossed paths with Lisette Obydol are very sad today. They keep the memory of a smiling woman who knew what she wanted (for her artists) and where she was going. She knew how intoxicating the world of show business could be when success was there and how cruel it could be when the spotlights went out. She was always with her artists to congratulate and console them.

“Mama Zouk”, as she was called, was involved in her children’s careers, notably with Expérience 7, a Kadans music band created in 1976 where the two leaders were her son Guy Houllier (vocals) and her son-in-law Yves Honoré (guitar). They were also the ones who created Zouk Machine in 1986, which was successful in the West Indies that year with the song “Sové Lanmou”.

From left to right, foreground: Lisette Obydol and Zouk Machine (Jane Fostin, Dominique Zorobabel and Christiane Obydol)

In the 1980s, World Music flooded the planet and more particularly France. Zouk Machine, which was already very well known in the Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guiana) did not miss the opportunity to be exported to Paris. Aged 53, Lisette Obydol who was officially the manager of the new female band led with professionalism, rigor and kindness Zouk Machine, which will shine brightly in Europe but also in Africa after signing with BMG. The remix of the song “Maldòn” remained number 1 in the Top 50 for nine weeks in 1990, and became the best-selling Zouk song of all time to this day, with over a million singles sold and a platinum disc.

The international success of Zouk Machine will also be, by ricochet, that of the leaders of Experience 7 who composed the hits of the “Machine à Zouk”. Of course, Zouk Machine experienced some ups and downs – like when Joëlle Ursull (1986-1988) left the band, she was replaced by Jane Fostin (1989-1995) and then in 1998 when Dominique Zorobabel wanted to make a solo album – but “Mama Zouk” was always there to calm the spirits and put “La Machine à Zouk” back into operation.


According to her Facebook page, Lisette Obydol was the manager of Zouk Machine until 1996, that is for ten years, but she always kept an eye on her children, her artists. Her profile picture shows her riding a horse in 1961 – another of her talents – she was 28 years old.

Lisette Obydol joined the stars of Zouk, she was 89 years old.