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Koffee's Grammy surprise

Artiste says announcement of her victory didn't connect immediately

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Senior staff reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

For a split second Jamaican music sensation Koffee was not aware she was the winner of the Grammy award for Best Reggae album at the January 26 ceremony at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old, who stepped into the annals of history by becoming the youngest artiste and first female solo reggae act to win the celebrated award in the category Best Reggae Album for her EP Rapture, told journalists at a press briefing inside the VIP lounge at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, shortly after her arrival home yesterday, that a shift in the way they announced the winners stumped her for a moment, before she realised she had won the coveted golden gramophone.

“The categories were being announced pretty rapidly. They were just moving from category to category... no time wasted. I was getting so nervous I was like 'reggae coming up, reggae coming up'. They were calling the names of the winners in each category [but] when they reached Reggae they said... 'and the winner is... Rapture' and I swear to you, it did not connect.

“When I heard R... I was like that is not my name! Then I realised that it was actually Rapture. I felt really happy. What [my] manager and my PR didn't know was that I had a major plan in my head of kinda inviting all the other nominees up on the stage, but we didn't have enough time. They started playing music on people in their speeches and I was like 'that's not gonna be me'. So I skipped that part. I did include them in my speech and I was happy that I was able to do that,” she shared

Koffee's Rapture emerged on top in a category which included luminaries Third World, Steel Pulse, Sly & Robbie, and Julian Marley. The five-track EP contains her tracks Blazin, Throne, Rapture, Raggamuffin as well as her break-out hit Toast.

In a relatively short period of time the Spanish Town resident has risen to great heights in the music industry, performing on some of the major stages, both locally and internationally. But she explained that she doesn't feel any pressure to top her meteoric rise, in fact she uses it as motivation.

“A lot of people are expecting me to feel pressured, and even I was expecting myself to feel pressured. But this success has presented somewhat of a relief for me. It shows me that so many great things are possible. So instead of putting me in a position where I'm scared now, if I can top it the next time it shows me that many great things are possible, so I just can continue to work and I don't even know what I can achieve with confidence. So I am just looking forward with positivity and optimism for everything that I really, really can do,” she noted.

The artiste also responded to those who criticised her choice of a black tuxedo-inspired pantsuit to wear to the Grammy Awards.

“I am a person who always dresses to be comfortable. I didn't let the title of the Grammy stop me from doing that, so I just wanted something that I knew I could wear all day, something that I could feel good in feel confident in. That suit kinda represented that for me after I tried a few, so I went with that one.

“I don't really have a word for them. That's their opinion and I would never bash them for it or try to challenge anyone for what they think. They didn't like the look, that simply means they wouldn't wear it if they were invited to the Grammys. That's good for them. They know what they want and what they don't want. For me, I also do, so I just stick with my thing and played it safe. Koffee goes with whatever she feels like going for at any given time. That's what also helps me to be unique. It doesn't allow me to conform to any standards or fit myself into certain boxes,” she said.

Fresh from her performance over the Super Bowl weekend, Koffee was full of gratitude for the support she received from her Jamaican people.

“I just want to say a huge, huge, huge thank you to everyone standing in this room and those who will be watching. I am elated to be so strongly supported by my country. I just came back and I've been warmly welcomed. I thank you for the continuous push and motivation from my fellow Jamaican people. This has been an honour and this accomplishment for me allows me to look forward to inspiring other youth, to highlight us as a country, and to help to put us on an even greater platform. I just want to thank everyone for being part of my journey. This is only the beginning, so I look forward to much more greatness.”