Essence Magazine has featured Jamaican reggae sensation Koffee in an article entitled “Meet Koffee, Reggae’s Next Big Ting.” Koffee, 19, is from Spanish Town, Jamaica, and she has been described as the head of a new group of talented reggae artists who are energizing the music genre’s culture. The Essence article covers her 2017 path to fame and the success on the international level of her hit single “Toast.” The way Koffee has been accepted by the recording industry has gratified observers in part because female artists have rarely received support for their work in the business. Koffee’s debut EP entitled “Rapture” has brought her considerable attention, including favorable mention of her chances for a 2020 Grammy Award, which is impressive as there are over 120 Grammy submissions in the reggae category for 2020.
According to the Essence article, Koffee, whose full name is Mikayla “Koffee” Simpson, was born and grew up in Spanish Town, and cites reggae legend Bob Marley as a major influence. Koffee was involved in writing songs for years, and in 2017, she released a song called “Legend” as a tribute to Jamaica’s superstar Olympic athlete Usain Bolt. When the song went viral, Koffee received compliments and expressions of support from both veteran musical artists like Cocoa Tea and younger stars like Protoje and Chronixx. Then came “Toast,” which was described in the article as “ultra-infectious.” The single collected considerable praise from fans around the world. Fans of “Toast” include former United States President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, who “had the song on repeat all summer.” Koffee’s EP “Rapture” debuted at the top of the Billboard reggae charts, making her the youngest female musical artist to achieve this accomplishment. Speaking to the interviewer from Essence, Koffee noted, “For Cocoa Tea and others to bring me out [at Jamaica’s annual Rebel Salute music festival] was a huge opportunity for me to be saluted by a great artist and featured on an amazing platformer. She went on to say that for reggae there is no generational or gender gap – “only the music.” Koffee’s acceptance by the recording industry was particularly appreciated in terms of her being mentioned as a major contender for a Grammy Award in 2020. There have only been four female nominees for Best Reggae Album at the Grammy Awards in 36 years: Judy Mowatt for “Working Wonders” in 1986, Rita Marley for “We Must Carry On” in 1992, Sister Carol for “Lyrically Potent” in 1997, and Etana for “Reggae Forever” in 2019.