One of my favorite live music shows last year was Ivorian singer Soum Bill performing at San Francisco's Baobab Village. He is a very talented showman, at times rocking solo with an acoustic guitar, and at others dancing along with adoring female fans to bass heavy beats. One of the stars of Ivory Coast's music scene, he started as part of the Zouglou movement and is now one of the leaders of the Coupe Decale phenomenon. The above picture taken from this website, is him performing in Harlem in 2006, to a very excited diaspora crowd.
Coupe Decale to me is the most exciting music out of West Africa right now. It's influence can be heard across Africa, reaching Europe through mainstream French Electro Pop, while at the same time birthing new, underground sound aesthetics. It's been a staple in my life as a DJ and as a young African in the diaspora identifying with its global view, and nu-whirled production aesthetic. Soum Bill represents a higher production value and more mainstream sound aesthetic, but as Coupe Decale splinters off into several sub genres, look for more posts of this exciting music.