Popular

The 10 Best Songs From The Latest Wave Of Coupé Décalé

We round up the best songs and videos from a new crop of Coupe Decale artists.


Coupé Décalé is riding out another wave of popularity. Originating from the Parisian-Ivorian diaspora and of course Côte d'Ivoire, the heavily-percussive and melodic dance music will push you to the dancefloor without you even noticing. The minimalist arrangements combined with deep bass and zouk/zouglou influences usually become a sweet addiction.

2013 was a great year for coupé décalé as the infectious music videos coming from the genre kept one-upping each other. New styles, new steps, flowing rhythms, and gyrating hips all kept our bodies moving forward last year. We talked with some coupé décalé lovers in our sphere and, after a long debate, we came out with a fierce top 10 for your eyes and ears. We'd like to give a special mention to young rising star Chocoto de Babi, who we're sure will be part of the next crop of coupé décalé highlights. In the meantime, enjoy and dance as you remember how coupé décalé rocked last year.  Feel free to let us know  your favorite tune by tweeting @Okayafrica with #coupedecale.

Next Page
Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.