Teenage singer and songwriter Mikayla Simpson, aka Koffee, has a lot to give thanks for.
Since posting her tribute to Usain Bolt, entitled “Legend”, Usain himself has reposted her video to his personal Instagram account, and her stardom has been steadily rising.
To add to her rising stardom she was also recently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album of 2019.
Allow me to give you a quick recap of her rise to fame from her beginnings up to this point.
Where Her Journey Began
Hailing from the Eltham View neighborhood of Spanish Town, Ms Simpson, performing under the name Koffee, or Original Koffee, was first exposed to music in her Seventh Day Adventist church.
She began teaching herself guitar on a borrowed instrument when she was twelve and she began listening to, and getting inspired by, reggae music at age fourteen.
“I would say it all began with my guitar.” She told The Guardian newspaper in an interview last year.
She went to Ardenne High School and in her final year she competed in a talent show and showcased her talent to nearly one thousand students.
Here’s Where She Starts Getting Noticed
Her Usain Bolt tribute led to her getting the attention of Upsetta Records, for whom she recorded the 2017 hit, “Burning,” a song she wrote after failing to get into sixth form.
That track led to her recording her debut single, “Toast”, produced by Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire and the engineer Izybeats.
She cites Bob Marley and Peter Tosh as major influences to her music, preferring traditional reggae to the musical stylings of dancehall artists like Mavado and Vybz Kartel.
Let’s Talk About Koffee’s “Rapture” EP
According to BBC, the future of guitar music is female. And if the recent happenings in the space are any indicator, music fans are experiencing a renaissance in all genres of music.
Released on March 19, 2019 by Columbia Records, the Rapture E.P. garnered critical acclaim worldwide, and a Grammy 2020 nomination for best reggae album of 2019.
In a Reggaeville article in 2018, Koffee spoke of the writing and recording of her E.P.
“For me, whenever I approach a riddim, I try to find the best way to complement it… So when I heard the riddim (for ‘Throne,’ created by Walshy Fire) I had a little bit of trouble aligning myself with it, I was like, ‘Wow, I never heard anything like this before…and I’m thinking I’m just gonna mash it up… ‘Throne’ is a song you just have to listen to and feel the energy.”
Koffee’s Vision For The Future
In her Spotify bio Koffee wrote “I want to bring positive change to the world… I want to be a positive movement and make a positive movement… I want to bring vibes and positive change. I want to impact the world.”
She threatens on the title track of her E.P. “Kill them with verbs and with the pronouns.” And considering her original career goal was to be a pharmacist, it’s no surprise that her musical medicine is “lifting up the whole town.”
To get more information on her you can visit her website, www.originalkoffee.com, and you can check out her music on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.
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