Music

The legacy of DJ Arafat and how he took the Coupé Décalé sound to the world

A night out in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital, is not complete until you find yourself in a line of Ivorians, all standing side by side facing the giant mirrors that line every dance floor in the city, dancing to a DJ Arafat song.

The untimely death earlier this week of the man dubbed the King of Coupé Décalé left fans stunned as they come to terms with the loss of a charismatic, ground-breaking artist who brought Ivorian dance music to the global stage.

The 33-year old, born Ange Didier Huon, burst onto the musical scene as a DJ in Yopougon, one of Abidjan’s best known nightlife districts. He came from a musical family—his mother was a well-known singer and his father a prominent sound engineer. One of his first hits, Hômmage a Jonathan, was a tribute a friend he lost to a motorcycle accident. This is why, among many reasons, it was particularly tragic Arafat also lost his life a few hours after his own motorcycle collided with a car on Aug. 12. Continue reading…

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