The night 'Koffee' went 'Wow!'

Young singer/songwriter sings for, then meets her hero Usain Bolt

Observer photographer

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

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Mikayla “Koffee” Simpson couldn't contain her joy Sunday night when she met her hero — sprint legend Usain Bolt.

The great moment for the 17-year-old Ardenne High graduate and recording artiste came after she performed Legend, the song she wrote in tribute the world's fastest man, during the ceremony in which a statue of him was unveiled at the National Stadium.

Before meeting the legendary athlete, Simpson told the Jamaica Observer why she wrote the song.

“My manager Caniggia Palmer and I were actually having a discussion about who our heroes were and he was expressing to me his admiration for Usain Bolt, and I was expressing to him my admiration for the fact that Usain is the representative for my generation and he's a legend and a hero,” the young songwriter said.

She said she wanted to write the tribute song to Bolt while he was still alive “just tell him that he's a hero and a legend”.

Asked how she felt about performing the song at the ceremony, Simpson said: “I feel absolutely great, magnificent, trust me. I feel really, really grateful for the opportunity, to know that I was able to sing the song to him face.”

Said she was looking at Bolt while she was singing and realised that he appreciated the song.

“Him feel it, man. I could tell that it touched him and I'm inspired by that,” Simpson said, adding that Legend was the first song she ever wrote in her music career. She has since released a roots rock reggae track called Burning.

Up to that point she had never before met Bolt, so when the Observer asked what she would say to him if she got the opportunity, Simpson replied: “Wow, I'd just say thank you so much. That would be the first thing and then (sighs) I don't even know where I would start after that, but I would just have to say thank you first because he's a real influence and example for my generation because we don't have a lot of people to look up to who are of Bolt's calibre. I just want him to continue being a good example to speople.”

The interview over, this writer approached Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange and told her of Simpson's wish to meet Bolt. Grange immediately arranged the meeting, much to Simpson's joy.

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