Koffee: the new toast of Jamaican reggae
Usain Bolt fired the starting pistol, and now at 19 Koffee is spearheading a new wave of artists delving back to the conscious sounds of roots reggae
(The Guardian) When you first hear Koffee’s music, you would be forgiven for not pairing the big, bold voice that commands her roots reggae sound with the slight, unassuming 19-year-old who jumps out of the car and pulls me into a bear hug outside my hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.
She might be small, but the impact that Koffee has made on Jamaica and its reggae scene is mighty. The night before we meet, she won single of the year at the Jamaica Music Industry Association awards for Toast, which has amassed more than four million streams on Spotify. Toast is typical of Koffee’s style. It’s steeped in the positive-vibes-only doctrine of roots rather than dancehall’s brashness, and she is driving modern reggae forward at a time when Rihanna is reportedly about to do the same with her new album.
“I would say it all began with my guitar,” Koffee says as we sit on a bamboo bench on Wickie Wackie beach outside the city.
The first piece she wrote was a tribute to Usain Bolt, entitled Legend, which she posted on Instagram – it quickly went viral. “He reposted it!” she says. “So that was kind of the first recognition that I got as an artist.”
Read more at: The Guardian