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Magic System

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Magic System
Magic System during the opening ceremony of the 15th Festival des musiques urbaines d'Anoumabo, in April 2023.
Background information
OriginAbidjan, Ivory Coast
GenresZouglou, Coupé-décalé
Years active1996–present
LabelsEMI (2003–2013)
Virgin Records (2002–2006)
Rec. 118 (2016–2017)
Warner Music (2013–2020)
Universal Music (since 2021)
Past membersDidier "Pépito" Deigna

Magic System is an Ivorian zouglou and coupé-décalé music group, formed in 1996 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. When it was created, the group had more than fifty members, the best known of whom today are A'Salfo, Goude, Tino and Manadja. The sounds drawn from zouglou ignited the African scene for more than a decade. Their songs are also used to denounce unhappiness and all forms of abuse in Ivorian society. However, dissensions arise within the group, which breaks up and gives birth to the group as it is known today with the four "magicians".

The music group is famous for its performance of festive theme songs, their biggest hits are the singles "Premier Gaou" (2002), "Un gaou à Oran" (2004), "Bouger Bouger" (2005), "C cho ça brûle" (2006) , "Zouglou Dance" (2007), "Même pas fatigué !!!" (2009), "Ambiance à l'africaine" (2011), "Chérie coco" (2011) and "Magic in the Air" (2014). In 2024 their song, "Akwaba" was chosen as the anthem for the soccer tournament La Coupe Afrique des Nations and also won Manie Musicale.


The group originates from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and has more than 50 members, called "magicians". The current members are part of the original group: A'Salfo (Salif Traoré), Goude, Tino and Manadja (Adama Fany). The current group is also made up of four other people who draw inspiration from the zouglou movement, an Ivorian cultural expression combining music and dance used by young people to address problems and ills in society. Divisions arose within the group from its beginnings, due to its large size and the presence of two main singers: Camso and A'Salfo. Camso and two other members decided to create the group "Les marabouts", which enjoyed considerable success in West Africa and within the African community in Europe.

Starting in 1996, the four magicians performed at local parties and events throughout the Ivory Coast. It was not until 1997 that their first album Papitou was released with the single "Momo", which was a commercial failure. They nevertheless persisted and recorded their second album, Premier Gaou, which was released two years later in Ivory Coast. Despite its local success, the group encountered difficulties obtaining distribution in France, as no label initially showed interest in producing the title.

The album is entirely financed by Ephrem Youkpo, journalist/radio and TV host (initiator of La Nuit du zouglou in 1998 in France and since then boss of the x-pol music label). Convinced of the potential of the project presented by Tony Adams, Youkpo took charge of financing the album. Faced with the refusal of the major record companies to distribute the album, Ephrem Youkpo decided to entrust the distribution of Premier Gaou to Sonima upon its release in January 2000. Also in 2000 the group was then invited to open for Bisso Na Bisso, a group of Congolese rappers led by Passi. In 2001, the third album, Poisson d'avril, had mixed success. The following year, the remix of "Premier Gaou" by Bob Sinclar relaunched the title dating from 1999 and introduced the group to the French public. Under this impetus, Magic System successively released three other albums: Un Gaou à Paris (2003), Petit Pompier (2005) and Cessa kié la vérité (2005).

On 2 April 2012, the group released its first best-of album, D'Abidjan à Paris, with the new unreleased single "Tango Tango". On 19 May 2014, the opus Africainement Vôtre was released, containing the hit "Magic in the Air", produced by RedOne in collaboration with Chawki, whose clip has several hundred million views. On 13 June 2014, the group Bana C4 performed a cover of the song "Premier Gaou", with Magic System which appears in the clip. Singer K-Reen contributes backing vocals to the song. The album Radio Afrika was released on 29 June 2015. On 1 May 2016, Didier Bonaventure Deigna, drummer and backing vocalist of the group, drowned in Jacqueville (Ivory Coast) while trying to rescue a person. On 16 June 2017, Magic System released a new album entitled Ya Foye. In 2018, the song "Magic in the Air" became the anthem of the French national football team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, performed in the stadium with each goal of the Blues. At the end of 2020, the group left Parlophone and Warner to sign with the new label Universal Music Africa, with the aim of releasing a new album Envolée zougloutique on 21 June 2021.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)


1996 Papitou
1999 Premier Gaou 19
2001 Poisson d'Avril
2003 Un gaou à Paris 73
2005 Cessa kiè la vérité 55 13
2007 Ki Dit Mié 25 SNEP: Gold[4]
2011 Toutè Kalé 35 7 SNEP: Platinum[4]
2012 D'Abidjan à Paris 29 16 SNEP: Gold[4]
2014 Africainement vôtre 185 21 11 SNEP: Gold[4]
2015 Radio Afrika 74 25
2017 Ya foye 113 122


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)



1997 "Momo" Papitou
2001 "1er Gaou" 10 4 30 SNEP: Gold[4] 1er Gaou
2003 "Amoulanga" 94
"Un gaou à Paris" 58 Un gaou à Paris
2004 "Un gaou à Oran"
(with 113 & Mohamed Lamine)
3 9 65 29 Cessa kiè la vérité
2005 "Bouger Bouger"
(featuring Mokobé)
9 7 38 SNEP: Gold[4]
2006 "C'chô, ça brûle"
(with Akil, Cheb Bilal & Big Ali)
2* 4 SNEP: Gold[4] Single only
2007 "Ki dit mié" 2* 8 96 Ki dit mié
"On va samizé"
(featuring Amine)
2008 "Zouglou Dance - Joie de vivre" 18 2 66
2009 "Même pas fatigué !!!"
(with Khaled)
10 1 49 Liberté (Khaled album)
2010 "Ambiance à l'Africaine" 28 11 Toutè Kalé
2011 "Chérie Coco"
(featuring Soprano)
11 2 69
"La danse des magiciens" 27 36
"Vas-y Molo" (feat Shaggy & Mohamed Allaoua)
2012 "Tango Tango" 12* 99
2013 "Mamadou" 17*
2014 "Magic in the Air"
(featuring Chawki)
10 1 3 64 20 23 Africainement vôtre
"Tu es fou" 46 30
2015 "Sweet Fanta Diallo (Adieu soleil)" 35 84
2017 "Ya foye" 122
"All Around the World" 178
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

*Did not appear in the official Belgian Ultratop 50 charts, but rather in the bubbling under Ultratip charts.

Featured in

Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)


2003 "On n'sait jaimais"
(Leslie feat. Magic System & Sweety)
3* 8 22 Je suis et je resterai
(Leslie album)
2020 "Quoi qu'il arrive"
(Keen'V feat. Magic System)

*Did not appear in the official Belgian Ultratop 50 charts, but rather in the bubbling under Ultratip charts.


  1. ^ "ultratop.be - Magic System". Ultratop. Archived from the original on 2015-01-10.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ultratop.be - Magic System". Ultratop. Archived from the original on 2015-09-06. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
  3. ^ Magic System page
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique" (Les certifications). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums – SNEP (Week 25, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 27 June 2017.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b French peaks
  7. ^ Bestseller charts and awards :: Polish Society of Phonographic Industry (Top airplay 26.07. - 01.08.2014) Archived 2014-08-10 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés - SNEP (Week 12, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés - SNEP (Week 27, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 10 July 2017.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]