City Paper is not for tourists
The Auto-Tuned vocals of Côte d’Ivoire’s Serge Beynaud are the first sign that his dance music takes a more contemporary approach to the traditional West African grooves of yesteryear. Beynaud falls within the genre known as Coupé-Décalé, a speedy polyrhythmic dance-club music popularized by residents of his West African nation and expats living in Paris. Though he began his career as a producer, songwriter, and arranger, Beynaud is now a gregarious frontman surrounded by energetic backup dancers. His sound is distinct, but his interest in older music styles from throughout Francophone Africa and the Caribbean comes through in his work. Beynaud’s 2014 release Talehi features tunes with frenetic rhythms and guest rappers, as well as ones with slower, sappier melodies. His croons over saccharine guitar strumming, drawn from the French-Caribbean zouk style, may have helped enhance his heartthrob status, but funky, syncopated tracks like last year’s single “Okeninkpin” are his chefs d’oeuvre. Serge Beynaud performs with Zota at 10 p.m. at Station One, 8131 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. $30–$40. (202) 903-1411. thefirestation1.com.