Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Koffee: Cream of the crop

Koffee Koffee Koffee Koffee

With her latest single “Throne” currently tearing up the cream of the UK’s urban airwaves, 18-year-old female Jamaican reggae/dancehall singjay Koffee is more than living up to her given reputation as “Jamaica’s hottest new export”.

Indeed, produced by Major Lazer member (and prominent Jamaican-American DJ/producer) Walshy Fire, and boasting a persistent riddim that moves with undeniable energy while simultaneously showcasing the Spanish Town native’s effortless flow, “Throne” additionally acts as a vibrant appetiser for Koffee’s soon-come debut EP “Rapture”. Which in turn looks set to showcase the diverse talents of the globally-focused teenage talent born Mykayla Simpson who - given the name “Koffee” by friends at school due to her love of said hot drink! - initially began writing lyrics after being inspired by contemporary reggae star Protoje.

Following which, after accidentally auditioning for her school talent show and winning, Koffee would in January 2018 find herself performing to her first sizeable international audience after being brought onstage by veteran reggae/dancehall hero Coco Tea at Jamaica’s annual Rebel Salute music festival. A performance which would ultimately lead to her being given the public seal-of-approval by her homeland’s high-profile contemporary stars, the aforementioned Protoje plus the Grammy-nominated Chronixx (the latter inviting her to support him on his sold-out UK dates late last year). While her well-received singles “Burning” (2017) and “Raggamuffin” (2018) would impressively result in her prestigious current record-deal with Sony Music UK’s Columbia Records, for whom she would release her infectious major-label debut “Toast” last November.

… All of which in turn brings us back to today. As, following a plethora of editorial tips as one of 2019’s premier Ones To Watch, the lady impressively dubbed “the future sound of Jamaica” relaxes over mid-afternoon drinks with “Blues & Soul” Assistant Editor Pete Lewis at Sony Music UK’s buzzing Kensington HQ for an informative introductory interview.

Working in the studio with Major Lazer member Walshy Fire

“After I came with my debut song “Burning” in October 2017 Walshy basically reached out to me and sent me some beats. You know, he basically opened the door for us to work together, encouraged me as an artist - and so the relationship started from there. And it’s always great working with Walshy because he’s a guy with very positive, excellent energy. You know, he likes to work, is very good at what he does, and so being around him is always very fun and very productive. Because to me he has a perfect ear for music and is someone knows exactly what he wants as a producer.”

Koffee’s soon-come debut EP

“Its title is “Rapture” and it’s basically packed with lyrics. You know, I’ll be challenging myself with different rhyme-schemes and holding flows and different approaches to delivery. Some songs will be fast, some a little bit more melodic, some a little more spitfire… So yeah, it’s basically the introduction of myself to the world as an artist, showing what I can do lyrics-wise, melody-wise - and basically just presenting my talent and my versatility and my abilities to the public at large.”

What we can expect from her forthcoming debut album, due late 2019…

“On the album, you can definitely look forward to more soul, more singing, more lyrics... But the difference will be that, compared to my earlier projects, as an artist I’ll be digging deeper, particularly in terms of different genres. You know, we’ll definitely be exploring outside of the reggae, dancehall and pop that I guess people already know me for.”

The single “Throne” and EP “Rapture” are both out now through Columbia Records/Sony Music.

You can read more from our exclusive interview with B&S one to watch Koffee, including her recollection of growing up in Jamaica’s Spanish Town, how she came to personally be invited to perform with Protoje and support Chronixx on his UK live shows and how her current record-deal with Sony Music UK’s Columbia Records came about... all in the current issue of Blues & Soul magazine - click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

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