The story of Coupé-décalé music | African music from Ivory Coast

The story of Coupé-décalé music | African music from Ivory Coast

Coupé-décalé is amusic and dance of Ivory Coast. Established choreographies, bling-bling dress codes on a percussive rhythm and ambianceur, the Coupé-offset will make you vibrate.

The origins and birth of a movement

Native of Ivory Coast. Many say that he is inspired by the traditional dance of the village of Akoupé. Unlike the musical rhythms that are born in Côte d’Ivoire, the Coupé-décalé was born in France, in Paris by a group of friends. This movement was launched by young Ivorians living in Paris, who have fun and enjoy life simply by dancing in Afro-Parisian nightclubs. When they arrive in nightclubs, these young people nicknamed the “Jet-set”, stand out from the others, with a particular dance, a bling-bling style, designer clothes, flashy jewelry, luxury cars. Everything is good to attract attention.
This group of Jet-setteur consists of Douk Saga, Molare, Lino Versace, Serge Defalet, Boro Sangui, Solo Concrete, Chacoule, Ace of Ace, Abdoul de Bamba … They do not go unnoticed, during their passages in African clubs like Atlantis and Alizée Night Club. Always in order to stand out, they spend large sums of money in bottles of champagne and donations to performers. This way of distributing money to performers is called “travaillement”. Doug Saga’s career was short-lived. He died on October 12, 2006.


Back in force in Ivory Coast
Upon arrival in Ivory Coast, the movement is all the rage in all the nightclubs in the country. “Coupé-décalé-travaillé”, these phrases set fire to the evenings. “Coupé” means “drunk” and “quirky” “go” in Ivorian. According to the journalist, Usher Aliman, author of “Douk Saga, the forbidden story of the coupé-décalé, one of the legends is that the expression Coupé-décalé comes from Ivorian sca “On coupe (we are scammed), on décale (we run away or disappear).”

More than a dance, the Coupé Décalé becomes a music, a fashion in its own right, a state of mind that conquers all African nightclubs. In a context of economic, political and military crisis that will last until 2011, this music has become a real musical phenomenon. Fun, carefree, it allows Ivorians to forget their problems by taking life more lightly. Disc jockeys like Dj Jacob, Erickson the Zulu, Dj Lewis propel this music by making dance all Abidjan. The first cut-off songs are also inspired by Congolese music and other musical styles of Ivory Coast.

Coupé-décalé nowadays

Since the advent of Coupé-décalé music, the Dj take a considerable place in Côte d’Ivoire. Thanks to their creativity and their originality, many DJs such as Dj Arafat, Debordeau, Leo, Kedkévara, Mix Premier and several arrangers like Bebi Philip or Serge Beynaud hit the Ivorian music scene. They have become with time the most famous and influential of this new generation.

With its success, the Coupé-décalé exports and contaminates all Africa, the West Indies, and African-European nightclubs, thanks to athletes who have popularized some dance steps.

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