Congratulations to our scalding hot Koffee!

Editorial

Congratulations to our scalding hot Koffee!

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

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One could almost forgive Jamaicans for the lukewarm reaction to the winning of the Reggae Grammy by emerging superstar Koffee because of the intense and dramatic news profile of the month of January.

Nothing can compete with natural or man-made disasters for the attention of people, and Jamaica had much of that in January, among them a scary 7.7-magnitude earthquake, the scary novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified initially in China, escalating murders necessitating the broadening of the state of emergency to the East Kingston police division, and the like.

Ordinarily, Koffee's massive win for her Rapture EP — making her the first female solo act and the youngest to take the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album — would have completely dominated the headlines and the hearts of Jamaicans.

This 19-year-old overnight sensation, born Mikayla Simpson, destroyed the argument that once a Marley (relative of Bob Marley) is in the running, no one else can win the reggae Grammy — even though it is true that the Marleys combined have won more Grammys than any other artistes.

It was also a stunning feat that Koffee was able to take home the Grammy before putting out her first full album. We saw signs that she was greatness in the making when top American cable shows like Jimmy Kimmel showcased her talent, affording her the opportunity to win over American hearts with the hit single Toast, which debuted at the top spot on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and stubbornly held onto that position for 32 weeks. It is rare in Grammy-land that someone so green in the music industry would win so huge a prize.

But however much the other news might have taken away the attention from her win, one thing is sure: Jamaicans won't forget her wonderfully mature acceptance speech at the Staples Center on Grammy night.

“This one is for all of us. This one is for reggae. This one is for Jamaica,” she said, thanking her fellow nominees and the forerunners for their contribution to the development of reggae music.

Koffee, who sings and raps, was born in 2000 and raised by her single mother in Spanish Town, St Catherine. She sang in a church choir as a child and taught herself how to play guitar at the age of 12. She is said to have started writing lyrics in her early teens, drawing inspiration from Jamaican reggae stars Chronixx and Protoje.

Koffee is a real Jamaican delight. Going against the trend of young female artistes who rely heavily on showing copious amounts of flesh through ultra-skimpy outfits, she has chosen to sing positive lyrics against the popular fare of raunchiness.

She is still young yet and has a long and exciting future ahead of her. But that is only if she is able to keep her focus on building a career, stays away from hard drugs, continues her education, and approaches her music as a business.

Koffee is a natural talent who must be nurtured by those around her who are mature and sensible. We wish her the very best and look forward to enjoying her music for many years to come.

Heartiest congratulations, scalding hot Koffee.


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