Koffee Is The Artist Spearheading 2019’s Reggae Revival

Need an extra hit of caffeine and sunshine now that the February’s heatwave has retreated and we’re faced with dull weather once more? Well, she might not actually have the caffeine contents of your afternoon Pret pit stop, but 19-year-old Koffee’s music is full of enough energy to get you hyped up for the weekend and, with her fresh take on reggae, she can probably help out with the sunshine element too – metaphorically, of course.

Having already performed with reggae masters Protoje and Chronixx – upon their own invitation, no less – you’d think that Koffee (AKA Mikayla Simpson) would already have an extensive backlog of tracks in her discography. Nope. She’s only released five singles and her first EP, Rapture, is set to be released on 14 March, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming reggae music’s most exciting rising star. Just last month, she sent the crowd wild at Bob Marley’s 74th birthday celebrations in Kingston, Jamaica, impressively holding her own at an event honouring the life of a true musical hero. Her performance had no frills or gimmicks to win her audience over, just pure, unadulterated talent.

Koffee first caught the attention of reggae lovers when she posted an acoustic tribute to Usain Bolt titled “Legend” on YouTube in 2016. Bursting with heartfelt pride for her home country, Jamaica, and the world record-breaking sprinter, the song went viral on Instagram and, since then, she’s garnered a loyal 190k-strong legion of followers. Her next single, “Burning”, soon followed and it became clear that she was more than just another one-hit-wonder viral star. A track that was written after she found out that she didn’t make it into sixth form, the lyrics are bursting with a fiery and self-assured determination that practically dare the listener to tell her that she can’t succeed, just so that she can prove them wrong.

Dancehall rhythms have populated the charts for the past few years now, with tracks such as Rihanna’s “Work” and Drake’s “One Dance” kicking off the trend in 2016, but Koffee could be the artist to help bring a full-on reggae revival to the mainstream. Focused on spreading positivity through her music, both her sound and purpose hark back to the true roots of the genre without coming across as dated or clichéd. With her rich blend of sunshine beats and a lyrical flow that never falters, she’s basically gen Z’s answer to Sister Nancy.

If you only listen to one song, make it 2018’s “Raggamuffin”. A track with bouncy beats that addresses issues such as gun violence in Jamaica, it’s arguably Koffee at her best. But that doesn’t mean that you should sleep on the rest of her songs. Released in January, her latest single, “Throne”, slows down the pace while still making it almost impossible to resist bobbing your head. With two more songs due to be released with the launch of her EP, we’re as eager to hear what else she has to offer as we are to see the sunshine return. At least Koffee’s brilliance is a damn sight more reliable.

Source: Koffee is the artist spearheading 2019’s reggae revival | British GQ

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