Kassav' was formed in 1979 by Pierre-Edouard Décimus, a long-time professional musician who worked with Freddy Marshall. Together, the two of them decided to take carnival music and make it a more modern and polished style. It was the leading band to emerge from the formative years of Zouk. They gave the style a pan-Caribbean sound by taking elements from kompa, salsa, and calypso, and became world famous. Their first album, Love and Ka Dance (1980), established the sound of zouk.
Kassav' continued to grow more popular, both as a group and with several members' solo careers, finally peaking in 1985 with Yélélé, which featured the international hit "Zouk la sé sèl médikaman nou ni" (meaning "Zouk is our only medicin" in French Antillean Creole) With this hit, zouk rapidly became a widespread dance craze in Latin America and the Caribbean, and was popular in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Zouk performers became known for wildly theatrical concerts featuring special effects spectacles and colorful costumes.
They have made a featuring with Admiral T, a famous singer of reggae-dancehall.