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Koffee: "I genuinely want to make the world a better place”

ON THE RISE: Koffee was inspired by Chronixx, Protoje and Sizzla from the age of 14 – and she’s been impressing industry heavyweights ever since

IF YOU haven’t heard Toast or Throne yet, it’s about time you woke up and smelled the Koffee.

Delivered by the diminutive five foot something Jamaican who recently graced the stage at Chronixx’s headline show in the UK as a support act at Alexander Palace, both tracks have seen the Spanish Town artist catch fire as her stock around the world increases at a fervent rate.

Koffee, who was given the name by friends because of her love of the hot beverage, began writing lyrics in her bedroom after being inspired by reggae singer Protoje – though she admits it wasn’t a serious endeavour at first and things started off with just a few lines here and there initially.

In 2016, she accidentally auditioned for her school talent show – and won.

The next year she released Burning, a track she believes was the start of a significant period of change.

“I would say that life began to change after Burning,” the 18-year-old told Life & Style.

“It’s all been so rapid for me. I’ve been in the industry for 18 months since my first song.

“Since that, I released Raggamuffin as my second single and then [went] to being on Radio 1Xtra with Chronixx, being on stage with Cocoa Tea, with Protoje and then Chronixx again – it’s been like a ball rolling, so Toast was like the icing on the cake at this time.”

The video for Toast has almost 9.5 million views on YouTube and more than 2.5 million audio streams to date.

Despite her meteoric rise, if you follow Koffee online across any of the social media platforms you get the sense that she is extremely humble.

“I think it’s the way I was raised – my mum is that way,” she explains.

“She was a single parent so all of her influence is in me. She has always been a grateful person and she has always taught me to be very grateful, polite and have good manners, just things you get taught from day one.”

THRONE: It won’t be long before the world realises there’s a new queen in the reggae kingdom

With things moving so quickly, has she changed much in that time?

“Not much about me has changed – the only thing that isn’t the same is my schedule and maybe the places that I’m at.

“I’ve always been a humble person, simple and easy to talk to, I like to think. I’m on the quieter side, not very, very social and not too many friends, not a huge circle.”

With Koffee’s focus clearly on seeing how far music can take her it’s interesting to hear how she fell into the industry.

For those who have listened to the lyrics of the Toast [Blessings all pon mi life and / me Thank God fi di journey, di earnings a just fi di plus], it was literally as she sang it.

“It was definitely like that,” she enthused. “I was raised in the church by my mum [and the] Seventh-day Adventist Church so there was a lot of singing around me and harmonies, so the love for music started there.

WATCH: Koffee talks to The Voice's Joel Campbell

“Before that, aged about five years old, I decided I wanted to be a singer, but between that age and about the age of 14 I didn’t really think about it.”

She continued: “When I was 14 I actually started tuning into reggae music, listening to the likes of Chronixx, Protoje and Sizzla and fell in love.

“I started to listen to the lyrics and the flows and even the way some of the mandem deliver and even some of the ladies like Jah9, it amazed me and I thought to myself, ‘I want to try this’.”

Only a few weeks into 2019, the self-described ‘sing-jay-guitarist’ already stands out from crowd having caught the attention of both media and fans alike. She’s received a plethora of editorial tips highlighting her as One To Watch and last month BBC Radio 1Xtra included her in their annual Hot For 2019.

While she was recently in the UK Koffee was keen to let Life & Style readers know that her EP will soon be on its way, so look out for that. Many would have been impressed with her Buss Bars freestyle on Radio 1’s Soundsystem with Toddla T, but it’s her latest single which is creating the noise.

Throne sees her reunited with Walshy Fire from Major Lazer (also on production duties for her debut Toast), for a riddim that moves with undeniable energy, showcasing Koffee’s effortless flow.

She said: “With a lot of my music, it’s about entertaining people while highlighting problems in order to try and find a solution. I genuinely want to make the world a better place.”

If that’s her mantra, it won’t be long before the world realises there’s a new queen in the reggae kingdom. Let’s all toast to that.

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