DJ Arafat, Ivorian Coupé Decalé star: His legacy

Ivorian Coupé Decalé icon DJ Arafat is his quite the stage. He passed away after serious injuries sustained from a motorbike accident in Abidjan.

Reports of DJ Arafat’s death broke on 12th August 2019.

He was only 33 years old and was reported to have died at 8am on Monday 12th August in hospital.

The singer whose real name was Ange Didier Houon had millions of followers on his social media accounts, which fans are now flooding with expressions of grief.

Ivorian Culture Minister, Maurice Kouakou Bandaman gave his condolences to DJ Arafat’s family and fans after the news broke, adding that he planned to pay homage to his life and career.

DJ Arafat; rising to international fame

The 33yr old started his music career as a DJ in Yopougon, a night-life district in Abidjan.

He left for France to improve his career and even overstayed his visa. In 2005 he spent a month in detention as an undocumented migrant.

He was considered one of the most popular African artists in Francophone countries around the world.

DJ Arafat became a star of his genre around 2009.

He released 11 music albums primarily in the popular “Coupé-Décalé” dance music style, in his career that spanned fifteen years.

Many celebrities and music lovers described Arafat as the “king” of Coupé-Décalé, which roughly translated as “cut and run”, in Ivorian slang it means “to cheat someone and run away” and it began in the early 2000s during civil war in Cote d’Ivoire.

DJ Arafat later became popular in the Europe and the United States when some sports personalities popularized the dance steps of coupé-décalé genre.

“Dosabado”, “Kpangor”, “Zoropoto”, “Enfant Beni” and “Moto, Moto” were some of his major hits.

He was awarded the “best artist of the year” at the Coupé-Decalé Awards in the year 2016 and 2017. He also won two WatsUp TV Africa Music Video Awards in the year 2016.

The music incorporates fast percussion, deep bass and hip-hop-style vocals.

Arafat became the symbol of the flashy well-dressed lifestyle which is associated with the music.

His song Dosabado is one of his most popular hits. He liked motorcycles and also featured them in his recent hit ‘Moto Moto’ released in May 2019.

He had multiple motorcycle accidents and one of the very serious ones happened in 2009.

Many Cameroonian singers such as Salatiel and Nyangono Du Sud have taken to social media to express disbelief over the artist’s passing.

The father of four children visited Cameroon often both for business and pleasure.

Cameroon was one of his four destinations when he embarked on his Reconciliation tour back in 2009.

Bruno Ndonwie Funwie

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