Black Coffee (DJ)

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Black Coffee
Black Coffee performing in Soweto at the Soulistic Music Night.jpg
Black Coffee performing in Soweto
Background information
Birth name Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo
Born (1976-03-11) 11 March 1976 (age 42)
Origin Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • DJ
  • record producer
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • sampler
  • percussion
  • synthesizer
Years active 1994–present
Labels Soulistic
Associated acts

Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo (born 11 March 1976), better known by his stage name Black Coffee, is a South African DJ, record producer, singer and songwriter. He began his career around 1995[2] and has released five albums[3] as well as a live DVD.[4] Black Coffee had his big break shortly after being chosen as a participant in the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy held in Cape Town.[5] In September 2015, he won the "Breakthrough DJ of the Year" award at the DJ Awards in Ibiza,[6] a few weeks after the release of his fifth studio album, Pieces of Me.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Nkosinathi was born on 11 March 1976 in Umlazi, South Africa. He later moved to Umtata, the home town of late world icon Nelson Mandela, and grew up in Durban. He is the husband to the South African actress and TV presenter Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa Maphumulo.

Early career[edit]

Maphumulo majored in Jazz Studies at Technikon Natal now Durban University of Technology[8] before working as a backup singer for Madala Kunene[9] together with then schoolmates: Mnqobi Mdabe (Shota) and Thandukwazi Sikhosana (Demor).[10] Black Coffee, Shota and Demor later formed an Afro-pop trio called SHANA (Simply Hot and Naturally African) which was signed to Melt 2000, then headed by Robert Trunz.[11] Black Coffee was chosen as one of two South African participants in the Red Bull Music Academy in 2003, jump-starting him into the South African dance music scene.[12] His first big break was when his song "Happiness" was featured on the DJs at Work album.[13]

Music career[edit]

See § Accolades for list of awards.

2005–2006: Black Coffee[edit]

In 2005, he launched his career with a remix of Hugh Masekela's 1972 hit Stimela.[14] Later that year he released his self-titled debut album,[13] Black Coffee's wholly owned corporate structure, his team's home base and the jump-off point for himself, and as time has evidenced for many others too.[15] The album featured collaborations with the likes of Thandiswa Mazwai, Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo amongst a few.[16][citation needed] "Black Coffee" was well received in the SADC region.[17] His album, "Black Coffee" was created using very basic music-making software. "I don't know how to explain the production stages of my album because all I did was put down the basic ideas that I had, I didn't use any MIDI controllers everything was played with a computer mouse".[18]

2007–2008: Have Another One[edit]

By 2007, Black Coffee had become a household name in the South African DJ scene, firing up floors with his tribally infectious, vocal-laced beats. In the same year he released his second studio album titled "Have Another One[19] " which featured "Wathula Nje"—a remix of Victor Ntoni's 2004 jazz ballad "Thetha". "Wathula Nje" was later released in Europe together with "Even Though" featuring Bantu Soul through a European label Realtone Records on vinyl[20] and digitally. The twelve-track album featured the likes of Siphokazi, Busi Mhlongo, and kwaito sensation L'vovo to mention a few, it also introduced a then 17-year-old high school producer from Eshowe Kwa Zulu Natal; Culoe De Song who became the second artist to be signed under Soulistic Music.[21] Black Coffee discovered and collaborated with Culoe De Song on an afro-electronic dub titled 100 Zulu warriors.[22][23]

During this period Black Coffee was invited to perform at the Red Bull Music Academy Lounge at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona,[24] where he played alongside recognized DJs, including Little Louie Vega, Alix Alvarez, Franck Roger, Charles Webster, DJ Spinna and Osunlade.[25]

2009–2011: Home Brewed[edit]

In 2009, Black Coffee released his third album, ‘’Home Brewed’’, featuring Ringo Madlingozi, Zonke, Hugh Masekela, Zakes Bantwini and others.[26]

Between 2009 and 2010, new releases from Culoe de Song,[27] Tumelo[28] and the great Zakes Bantwini achieved gold and platinum sales.[29]

In 2010, Black Coffee was inducted in the Guinness Book of World Records when he DJed 60 hours non-stop at Maponya Mall.[30] He also won two awards in the categories Best Urban Dance Album and Best Male Artist at the South African Music Awards 2010.[31][32]

In 2011, Africa Rising was launched at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. It included a live band and 24-piece orchestra in front of an audience of 8,000 and was filmed for the Africa Rising DVD.,[4] 2011 saw four other releases including Culoe de Song's "Elevation",[33] Sai & Ribatones "Here and Now[34] ", Boddhi Satva's "Invocation[35] " and the label's "Soulistic Music Cuts".[36][37]

2012–2013: Africa Rising[edit]

In 2012, "Africa Rising" DVD and triple-CD sold double platinum in a space of a month.[38] Black Coffee featured creative artists on the album "Africa Rising," such as Bucie and the soulful musician Toshi Tikolo on the international House hit "Buya".[39]

In 2013, he performed globally at locations such as Southport Weekender,[40] Panoroma Bar,[41] Circo Loco,[42] Boiler Room.[43] He participated in music conferences like ADE[44] and RBMA in Johannesburg.[45] Amongst a few 2013 notable collaborations are with Mi Casa[46] and Black Motion.[47] He also became one of the key speakers on his friend Vusi Thembekwayo's tour.[48] He was featured in numerous publications[citation needed]. In South Africa, he was featured in November 2013 in the Destiny Man edition of Destiny (magazine).[49]

2015–present: Pieces of Me[edit]

After his world tour which started on 12 Jan 2015 at Circoloco near Shosholoza at Blue Parrot in Mexico[50] and ended on 31 Aug 2015 at Circoloco at DC-10,[51] Black Coffee came back to his home country to release his 5th album, Pieces Of Me.[52]

Pieces of Me was released on the second week of September and got criticism overnight for the cover and title identically to US singer "Ledisi". Musically the album got response from social media as well as charting on iTunes ZA with the song "We Dance Again" he featured Nakhane Toure topping charts by 30 September.[citation needed] On this album Black Coffee worked with Azola, Portia Monique, Ribatone, Nakhane Toure, Mondli Ngcobo, Kensy, NaakMusiq & Lungi Naidoo.

In October 2015, Pieces of Me went platinum in South Africa.[7]

In 2016, he performed at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival[53] and Ultra Music Festival.[54][55]

At the end of 2016 he was named 91st on Resident Advisor's top 100 DJ's list encompassing all professional DJ's. In 2017 he contributed to the beat of the song "Get It Together" on Drake's album More Life released in March 2017.[citation needed]

In 2018, he released a single in collaboration with David Guetta titled "Drive" featuring Delilah Montagu.[56] It is featured on Guetta's upcoming album 7.[57]


Year Awards
2005 SAMA Best Urban Dance Album
2010 South African Music Awards#12th South African Music Awards (2006)
2010 SAMA Best Male Artist
2010 Health Magazine Best Man[58]
2010 Metro FM Award for Best Produced Album
2010 Metro FM Award for Best Dance Album
2011 Channel O Award for Most Talented Male Artist
2012 Sunday Times Generation NEXT Award for Coolest DJ
2013 SAMA Best Dance Album
2013 Sunday Times Generation NEXT Award For Coolest DJ 2013
2014 Sunday Times Generation Next Award for Coolest DJ
2015 DJ Awards for Breakthrough DJ Of The Year
2016 SAMA Best Dance Album,

Album Of The Year Best Engineered Album International Recognition

BET Award for Best International Act: Africa
DJ Awards Best Deep House DJ
2017 DJ Awards Best Deep House DJ


Apart from singles and remixes Black Coffee has released the following albums and DVD since 2005, all under the Soulistic Music label.

  • Black Coffee (2005)
  • Have Another One (2007)
  • Home Brewed (2009)
  • Africa Rising DVD (2012)
  • Africa Rising CD (2012)
  • Pieces of Me (2015)
  • The Journey Continues EP (2016)


  1. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (6 April 2018). "Drake's progress: the making of a modern superstar". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  2. ^ Lukashenko, Masha (8 December 2015). "THE RISE OF BLACK COFFEE: 'MUSIC IS THE ULTIMATE ANSWER TO A LOT OF THINGS'". Magnetic Magazine. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Black Coffee interview: Straight Up". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  4. ^ a b "'Africa Rising' DVD Filming". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  5. ^ "Def Jam to manage Black Coffee? | IOL". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  6. ^ "DJ Awards – 2015". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  7. ^ a b "EXCLUSIVE: DJ Black Coffee tells us first, 'Pieces Of Me' has gone platinum!". News24. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  8. ^ "Black Coffee excites fans". NewsDay Zimbabwe. 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  9. ^ "Black Coffee (@RealBlackCoffee) celebrates 40th birthday". The Edge Search. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  10. ^ "SHOTA'S LEGACY!". DailySun. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  11. ^ "How Black Coffee Rose from South Africa's Townships to Become the King of Afro-House | Thump". Thump. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  12. ^ "Black Coffee". Red Bull Music Academy Radio. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  13. ^ a b "BLACK COFFEE: WAKE UP CALL". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  14. ^ "Biography of Black Coffee". Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Interview: Black Coffee". Deep House Amsterdam. 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  16. ^ "RA: Black Coffee". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  17. ^ "Black Coffee dates Byo". Southern Eye. 2014-04-25. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  18. ^ "Releases debut solo album 'Black Coffee'". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  19. ^ "Blackcoffee - Have Another One". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  20. ^ "Blackcoffee - Even Though". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  21. ^ "Culoe De Song defends under siege Black Coffee". Channel. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  22. ^ "Red Bull Music Academy". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  23. ^ N1n0m1X (2010-05-15), 100 Zulu Warriors - Culoe De Song (blackcoffee remix), retrieved 2016-06-20
  24. ^ "Get To Know a Few of SA's RBMA Alumni". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  25. ^ "Sonar 2007 lineup announced". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  26. ^ "Black Coffee* - Home Brewed". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  27. ^ "Review: Culoe De Song - A Giant Leap". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  28. ^ "Observer". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  29. ^ "HOME". HOME. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  30. ^ "One-armed DJ spins records for 60 hours to break world record". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  31. ^ "2010 SAMA Winners". Channel. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  32. ^ "Channel O TV Online | And The Winners Are!". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  33. ^ "Culoe De Song - Elevation". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  34. ^ "Interview: Sai and Ribatone". IDM Mag. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  35. ^ "Boddhi Satva - Invocation". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  36. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  37. ^ Boshomane, Pearl. "Black Coffee nominated for MTV EMA". Times LIVE. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  38. ^ "Releases 'Africa Rising'". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  39. ^ "Black Coffee - Africa Rising CD". Musica South Africa. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  40. ^ "Southport Weekender 52 | Southport Weekender". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  41. ^ "Berghain Berlin | Programm: 22 November 2013". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  42. ^ "Black Coffee booked for Circoloco". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  43. ^ "Black Coffee - BOILER ROOM". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  44. ^ "ADE: Black Coffee at Sugarfactory". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  45. ^ "Red Bull Music Academy". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  46. ^ "Africa Shine feat. Black Coffee (Original Mix) by Black Coffee, Mi Casa on Beatport". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  47. ^ "Traveller (Extended Mix) by Black Coffee, Black Motion, Nomsa Mazwai on Beatport". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  48. ^ "Black Coffee joins Vusi Thembekwayo on his Global Inspiration Tour - African Muzik Magazine". African Muzik Magazine. 2013-10-18. Archived from the original on 2015-04-28. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  49. ^ Baffoe, Kojo (2013-10-16). "Cover Feature: The Business of House". DESTINY MAN. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  50. ^ "The BPM Festival: Circo Loco at Blue Parrot Beach Club". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  51. ^ "CircoLoco at DC-10". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  52. ^ "Pieces of Me by Black Coffee on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  53. ^ media, Melissa Mushaka Melissa Mushaka Media Personality for all things (2016-05-02). "How Black Coffee Is Still Spinning In A League Of His Own On Top At Coachella 2016". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  54. ^ Pfeffer, Ryan (2016-03-18). "Ultra Miami Announces 2016 Set Times". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  55. ^ "Black Coffee Makes History as First South African to Win BET Award". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-07-01.
  56. ^ "Drive (feat. Delilah Montagu) – Single by Black Coffee & David Guetta on iTunes". iTunes Store (AU). Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  57. ^ Bein, Kat (2018-08-23). "David Guetta Announces '7' LP Featuring Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and More". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  58. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-18. Mens

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