Koffee

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Koffee
Koffee during a video shoot in 2020
Koffee during a video shoot in 2020
Background information
Birth nameMikayla Victoria Simpson
Born (2000-02-16) February 16, 2000 (age 22)
OriginSpanish Town, Jamaica
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • guitarist
Years active2017–present
LabelsPromised Land/Columbia Records
Websitewww.originalkoffee.com

Mikayla Victoria Simpson (born 16 February 2000), better known as Koffee, is a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, rapper, and guitarist from Spanish Town, Jamaica. She released her debut single "Burning" in 2017, and in 2019 signed with Columbia Records. Her 2019 EP Rapture won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards,[1] making Koffee the youngest person and only woman to be awarded in the Best Reggae Album category. Her most recent album Gifted was released March 25, 2022.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Koffee's mother was an occasional actress, Seventh-day Adventist, and a Ministry of Health employee. Koffee's first musical inspirations stemmed from her mother's religious background.[3] She sang in her church choir, taught herself guitar at the age of 12 on an instrument borrowed from a friend, and began writing lyrics inspired by listening to reggae singer Protoje. She attended Ardenne High School in Kingston, Jamaica.

2010s[edit]

In 2016, she won her school talent show at Ardenne High School located in Kingston, Jamaica without realizing that the informal show at which she performed in her school cafeteria had been an audition. She went on to learn music theory and vocal technique in her high school choir.[4] A defining moment for Koffee occurred her final year of high school, when she performed at her school's talent show with other gifted artists in front of about 1,000 people. She indicated that the show gave her the first bit of confidence to perform and deliver music live.[5]

Koffee gained popularity after uploading a video to Instagram of her singing.[6] In 2017 she released her first single, "Legend", with just her voice and acoustic guitar. A tribute to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt,[4] the song became a viral Instagram hit, once the athlete reposted it on his own Instagram.[5] Awareness of the violence and social problems she witnessed growing up has influenced her lyrics, and besides Protoje and Chronixx she has cited Super Cat and Giggs among her musical inspirations.[7][8]

Koffee was introduced by Cocoa Tea at the Rebel Salute, a reggae festival, and has also performed with her musical inspirations Protoje and Chronixx.[5]

"Burning", her take on Upsetta Records' Ouji Riddim (which had been made popular by Jamaican artists Busy Signal and Luciano), followed. "Burning" grew out of her desire to inspire herself to push forward despite disappointment at not getting into post-secondary Sixth Form after she graduated from Ardenne High School. In June she spent three weeks at number one on The Foundation Radio Network's Top 30 Reggae Chart covering New York City and South Florida.[9]

In 2018, Jamaican reggae/dancehall singer, songwriter, and deejay Cocoa Tea brought her on stage at the 2018 Rebel Salute and Rototom Sunsplash in Jamaica and Spain respectively. Protoje asked her to perform with him. Chronixx invited her to join him a BBC Radio 1Xtra broadcast from Tuff Gong Studios, and she went on to tour with him in the UK[10] at venues such as Bush Hall and at Alexandra Palace. Koffee and Chronixx appeared on BBC Music Introducing...LIVE on November 10.[citation needed]

Koffee's December 2018 single "Raggamuffin" called out gun violence and governmental neglect of the youth.[11] BBC Radio 1Xtra named Koffee one of its "Hot for 2019" artists.[12] Her next single, "Toast", was produced by (izybeats) and (Walshy Fire) of Major Lazer.[13] Both Chronixx and Protoje appear in the video.[4] In 2019, Tory Lanez made a remix to "Toast" as a part of his International Fargo project which can be found on SoundCloud.

In 2018, she also signed with Columbia Records UK,[9] and Rapture. Her debut EP on the label, was released on March 14,[14][15] 2019.[16] Her "Throne" video, which takes viewers on a tour through her home town of Spanish Town, Jamaica, debuted on The Fader on 22 January 2019.[17] On 13 November 2019, Koffee was announced as an opening act for Harry Styles on select dates of the North American leg of his 2020Love On Tour, and on 3 December as an opening act for the Latin American leg.[18]

On 26 November 2019, Koffee released her first cross-over collaborative single "W", featuring hip-hop artist Gunna.[19]

2020s[edit]

Rapture won a Grammy Award at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, making Koffee the youngest person (at 19 years old) and only woman to be awarded in the Best Reggae Album category.[20][21]

Koffee was the musical guest on Nick Cannon's sketch comedy and improv television series Wild 'N Out which aired on February 18, 2020 on VH1.[22]

In October 2020, Koffee was named by Elle magazine as one of "10 Trailblazing Women Changing The Future You Need To Know", the others being: Mowalola Ogunlesi, Tobi Kyeremateng, Ngozi Onwurah, Simi Lindgren, Balanda Atis, Magdalene Abraha, Holly Fischer, Celeste and Margaret Busby.[23]

Her debut full-length album, Gifted, was released on 25 March 2022 to positive reviews.[24][2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
Grammy Awards 2020 Rapture Best Reggae Album Won [1]
2023 Gifted Pending [1]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
SWI
[25]
UK
[25]
US Reggae
[26]
Gifted
  • Released: 22 March 2022
  • Label: Promised Land, Columbia
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming
39 9 2

EPs[edit]

Title EP details Peak chart positions
US Reggae
[26]
Rapture
  • Released: 14 March 2019
  • Label: Promised Land, Columbia
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming
1

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[27]
US R&B
[28]
2017 "Burning" Non-album single
2018 "Raggamuffin" Rapture
"Toast" 70 47
2019 "Blazin"
"Throne"
"Rapture"
"Rapture (Remix)"
(featuring Govana)
Non-album singles
"W"
(featuring Gunna)
82
2020 "Lockdown" Gifted
"Pressure" Non-album singles
"Pressure (Remix)"
(featuring Buju Banton)
2021 "West Indies" Gifted
2022 "Pull Up"
"Shine"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released to that territory or format.

As a featured artist[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
UK
[30]
2019 "Cyanide (Remix)"
(Daniel Caesar featuring Koffee)
Non-album single
2020 "Repeat"
(J Hus featuring Koffee)
21 Big Conspiracy
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released to that territory or format.

Other guest appearances[edit]

Year Song Other performer(s) Album
2020 "Don't Walk Away" John Legend Bigger Love
2021 "The Harder They Fall" None The Harder They Fall (The Motion Picture Soundtrack)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cooper, Andre (26 January 2020). "Koffee Wins 2020 Grammy For Best Reggae Album". Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis. "Koffee: Gifted review - eclectic and appealing reggae by Jamaica's next big star". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  3. ^ Giorgis, Hannah (2 April 2019). "The Teenage Girl Leading Jamaica's New Reggae Scene". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Davies, Nicola (14 December 2018). "Our Class of 2019: Koffee". TMRW Magazine. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Giorgis, Hannah (2 April 2019). "The Teenage Girl Leading Jamaica's New Reggae Scene". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  6. ^ Giorgis, Hannah (2 April 2019). "The Teenage Girl Leading Jamaica's New Reggae Scene". The Atlantic. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  7. ^ Koffee; Iba Mahr; Busy Signal; Stacey McKenzie (2 February 2019). "Koffee, Iba Mahr, Busy Signal, Stacey McKenzie - Onstage February 2 2019 (FULL SHOW)". OnStage TV (Interview). Interviewed by Winford Williams. Caribbean Entertainment Productions. 35 minutes in. Retrieved 8 February 2019. I would say that to a small extent, in the sense that I didn't- I wasn't able to study his music or grow up on it, but I knew a few Super Cat songs and when I think about my flow and my delivery, I can relate it to him if nobody else.
  8. ^ "Biography: Koffee". Reggaeville.com. Retrieved 8 February 2019. But while reggae is on the agenda at the moment, Koffee intends to take in the many artists who have influenced her over the years, from Protoje and Super Cat to St Louis rapper Smino and UK Rap star Giggs.
  9. ^ a b Jackson, Kevin (25 October 2018). "Koffee signs to Columbia". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  10. ^ P., Milca (17 October 2018). "Koffee Makes Major Debut With Infectious "Toast" Single". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  11. ^ Zaynab (15 December 2018). "Koffee Spits Fire On "Raggamuffin"". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  12. ^ Faulkner, Dean. "1Xtra Hot For 2019 – Meet the artists ready to take 2019 by storm". BBC. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  13. ^ Horner, Al (10 January 2019). "Koffee". BBC. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  14. ^ Gracie, Bianca (8 March 2019). "Meet Koffee, Jamaica's Teen Reggae Star Who's Taking Over The Genre With a Force". Billboard.
  15. ^ Meikle, David (23 March 2019). "Koffee Releases Debut EP "Rapture"". Hype Life Magazine. Archived from the original on 24 March 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  16. ^ Renshaw, David (14 January 2019). "Koffee to launch EP on Wednesday". The Jamaica Star. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  17. ^ Renshaw, David (22 January 2019). "Koffee can't be stopped in her "Throne" video". The Fader. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  18. ^ Marotta, Michael (13 November 2019). "Harry Styles taps Jenny Lewis, King Princess, Koffee for 2020 world tour". Vanyaland.
  19. ^ "Koffee Teams Up With Gunna For New Single "W"". DancehallMag. 27 November 2019.
  20. ^ Campbell, Howard (2019) "'In with fighting chance'", Jamaica Observer, 22 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019
  21. ^ Cooper, Andre (26 January 2020). "Koffee Wins 2020 Grammy For Best Reggae Album". Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  22. ^ McLeod, Sheri-kae (19 February 2020). "Koffee Makes Her Debut On MTV's 'Wild 'N Out'". Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  23. ^ Team Elle (28 October 2020). "Black History Month: 10 Trailblazing Women Changing The Future You Need To Know". Elle.
  24. ^ "Reggae star drops ‘Gifted’ album", Manila Standard, 26 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022
  25. ^ a b Koffee - acharts.co chart history
  26. ^ a b Koffee - billboard chart history
  27. ^ KOFFEE OFFICIAL UK SINGLES CHART
  28. ^ Koffee Billboard Chart History
  29. ^ a b c BRIT Certified Awards Search
  30. ^ KOFFEE OFFICIAL UK SINGLES CHART