Koffee comes in with Rapture

Koffee comes in with Rapture

By Kediesha Perry
Observer writer

Monday, January 27, 2020

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COCOA Tea, the man credited with giving Koffee her big break, said he was confident the female singjay would take home the Grammy for Best Reggae Album.

“I had no doubt that she would win. From the moment she was nominated, I said to myself: 'This girl is going to win it.' I feel very elated and vindicated because two years ago when I just started to post her on my Instagram, I said that she would be one of the best artistes out of Jamaica; many people called me an idiot. However, you have to take criticism with a smile like how you take positive comments with a smile,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Yesterday, Koffee (given name Mickayla Simpson) won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album for her EP Rapture at Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California. At 19, she is the youngest Jamaican solo act and first female to cop the prestigious award.

In 2018, Cocoa Tea introduced Koffee during his set at Rebel Salute. She immediately won over the crowd at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in St Ann with her performance of Raggamuffin and Burning.

The veteran singer said he saw something exceptional in her which prompted him to take her under his wing.

“When I first met her I saw a very talented young girl who had the world before her. I can identify talent when I see it, and trust me, she was very talented. She's just a very special girl,” she said.

That same year, Cocoa Tea took her to Rototom Sunsplash in Spain. The reggae singer recalled how well she delivered.

“The place had about 60,000 people and mi a tell you, Koffee mash up the place. She really proved how talented she was. Another admirable quality is her humility. She's a very humble girl so I knew she would reach far,” he said.

Rapture, distributed by Columbia Records, was released last year and included her smash hit Toast. In addition to making it on the charts in the United States and United Kingdom, the song earned the thumbs up from former US President Barack Obama.

Koffee was a big favourite to win the coveted trophy ahead of Third World ( More Work to be Done), Julian Marley ( As I Am), Steel Pulse ( Mass Manipulation), and Sly and Robbie ( The Final Battle: Sly and Robbie vs The Roots Radics).

In her acceptance speech, Koffee expressed her heartfelt gratitude to fellow reggae artistes for their input in the industry.

“I would first like to thank all the producers and everyone who helped to make Rapture what it is today. I would like to pay my respects to Julian Marley, Steel Pulse, Sly and Robbie, Morgan Heritage for all the input that they have made in the reggae industry. I've learnt a lot from them and from other older people in the industry and that's why I'm here; that's what brought us all here. So, I just want to say that this one is for all of us. This one is for reggae…This one is for Jamaica,” said Koffee.

Cocoa Tea said he hopes there will be a collaboration with Koffee this year.

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