Côte d'Ivoire

Country Overview
Côte d'Ivoire has a rich cultural landscape, with traditional and modern music in different styles from various regions of the country. The development of a modern music industry has not been easy in the beginning. This can be explained by the openness of the country to external influences as well as to people moving into the relatively prosperous country. This has led to a tough competition from foreign music styles, to the detriment of indigenous music. For instance, during the 1960s, Zairean music of Franco and Docteur Nico was extremely popular. Later, music from Anglophone countries, first Ghana, then Nigeria became en vogue. At the end of the 1970s, reggae gained the attention of the public.

• 1960s and 1970s
During these decades, there were numerous musicians and bands trying to popularise local styles based for example on Bété traditions, but others returned to make Congolese rumba instead. First musicians that came to fame were François Lougah and especially Ernesto Dje-Dje who introduced the ziglibithy. This was a first successful attempt to popularise a local (Bété) style into modern dance music. The early 1980s brought about the reggae singer Alpha Blondy who became a truely international star. Other successes came from Daouda, and Aicha Koné, who both hail from the North, as does Alpha Blondy.

• A Variety of Styles
From the 1990s on, new styles as polihet, zouglou, afro-zouk, zoblazo, and mapouka and, more recently, Coupé-Décalé and its variants Prudencia and Fuka Fuka (all derived from on the zouglou rhythm) appeared and, finally, one can speak of a genuine Ivorian music, which is very successful outside the country as well.

Côte d'Ivoire flag Official name:
République de Côte d'Ivoire

map Côte d'Ivoire
West Africa
Capital: Yamoussoukro

Official language: French

Main ethnic groups:
More than 60, main groups are Akan (a.o. Baoulé), Krou (a.o. Bété, Dida, Guéré), Dan-Yacouba, Senoufo, Lobi, Malinké

Flags courtesy of ITA's Flags of All Countries used with permission.


Côte d'Ivoire Artist Pages
Useful links on Ivorian Artists
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