The Ivorian singer DJ Arafat, star of the "coupé-décalé" and one of the most popular artists of Côte d'Ivoire, died Monday at the age of 33 following a motorcycle accident that occurred at night, prompting a great emotion in his country.
The Ivorian Public Radio-Television (RTI) announced his death Monday noon, while information on his accident had been circulating for several hours on social networks.
DJ Arafat, whose real name is Ange Didier Houon, died "Monday at 8 am" in a hospital in Abidjan, "as a result of a traffic accident that occurred at night" in the Ivorian economic capital said RTI on his Twitter account.
"We are all in shock", told AFP Ickx Fontaine, Ivorian producer and specialist in hip hop. DJ Arafat was "at the top level for 15 years and his first tube + Jonathan + was awesome".
"He was a real singer and a drummer (...), he gave a new breath to the cut-off," he said.
A crowd of a thousand crying fans gathered Monday afternoon in front of the Deux Plateaux polyclinic in Cocody, where the singer died, AFP reporters found.
Incredulous at the announcement of his death, fans chanted "Arafat can not die". The police tried to contain them, not without difficulty.
DJ Arafat was named "Best Artist of the Year" at the Ivorian "Coupe-décalé" Awards in 2016 and 2017.
Musical genre, but also attitude, the cut-off, frenzied music often using electronic sounds, was born in 2003 in Ivorian nightclubs to then spread throughout Africa. He began to conquer Europe and the United States, especially thanks to athletes who popularized some dance steps.
- "It was the buzz" -
DJ Arafat was "a monument of Ivorian music", "he gave concerts all over Africa," said Ozone, a hip hop producer and television host.
"He had a natural charisma", "he will remain a force for Ivorian and African music," he said.
According to Scovik, a coupé-shifted manager, DJ Arafat, who was a big motorcycle lover, suffered a head trauma after hitting a car in the Angré district (north of Abidjan). He was taken to hospital in a coma, before dying in the morning.
DJ Arafat was born in the music world. Her mother was a well-known singer and her father a well-known sound engineer, the manager said: "He was a very demanding artist, he worked a lot."
He started in the early 2000s as a DJ in the clubs of Princess Street in Yopougon, one of the high places of the night of Abidjan, and was quickly known.
"He had a peculiar sound, he accelerated the cut-off and he brought another way to dance, spectacular," Skovik said. "He was also good at marketing, he was buzzing, he always had to talk about him, he always wanted to be on the page".
Among his hits are "Kpangor" (2005), "Zoropoto" (2011), "Blessed Child" (2018). His last single was entitled "Moto moto".
The Ivorian Minister of Culture Maurice Kouakou Bandaman presented "his condolences to the family and music lovers," and said that provisions would be made for "a tribute to the artist," according to a statement released by the RTI.
© 2019 AFP