FabAfriq Magazine

African Music Giant Dj Arafat Dies After Ugly Road Accident

A great musical icon is no more. The African music industry is mourning the loss of one of the very best of its own, Ange Didier Houon, known by his stage name Dj Arafat, who is known for his hit “Moto Moto”, and who died today Monday 12th 2019, after the bike he was riding the previous day around 11:00 pm crashed into a car. He was reportedly taken to an Abidjan hospital with a fractured skull, where he died. Ivorian Public Radio-Television (RTI) says Maurice Bandaman, Ivorian Minister of Culture, confirmed his death, saying DJ Arafat, born Ange Didier Houon, collided into a car driven by a journalist from Radio Côte d'Ivoire Sunday night. He was not wearing a helmet.

The 33-year-old is referred to as the “King” of the coupé-décalé music and dance, with one of his biggest songs Dosabado having more than five million views on YouTube. Arafat is also known for his love of motorcycles which he features in most if his music videos like his recent hit Moto Moto that was released in May.

Some reactions from prominent African stars

“The boy is gone, he lived like a shooting star”, said A’salfo, the leader of the internationally recognized Ivorian group Magic System, as he shared with Jeune Afrique. “In the style of Zouglou, internationally, there is Magic System. For coupé-décalé, it was Dj Arafat. This is a great loss for Ivorian music.”


Nigerian superstar David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido took to Twitter to react to the sudden loss of the star with two different posts. In the first post he expressed disbelief at the news, and in the second post he seemed to have accepted the reality when he shared a picture in which both were spotted together, praying for the deceased to rest in peace.



Coupé-décalé as a genre

Coupé-décalé is a genre developed by a set of DJs known as The Jet Set around 2002 and was then pushed to international renown by member Douk Saga until his death in 2006. The sound, known for its percussion-heavy style, was a response to the political/military crisis Côte d'Ivoire was going through at the time.

DJ Arafat was a pioneer of coupé-décalé in his own right and was considered to be one of the top artists to come out of French-speaking Africa. He amassed over 2.3 million followers on Facebook alone—where he called his fan club China. He released a total of 11 albums throughout his career and was artist of the year in the genre in 2016 and 2017.

The continent and the world have lost a true force and a beacon of the coupé-décalé sound, one who successfully put the musical sounds of Côte d'Ivoire on a permanent space the world map.

Dj Arafat is a legend who is going to meet other great men who left us at 33 like Alexander the Great. It is with tears in our eyes that we say “Rest in peace” Commandant Zabra, Le Yorobo, Arafat Muana. You will be missed even by generations yet unborn. What a loss!







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