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19-Year-Old Koffee Is First Woman To Ever Win Grammy For Best Reggae Album

Koffee whose real name is Mikayla Simpson made history has the first woman to Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.

Koffee is also the youngest to attain this feat in the Reggae music industry.

According to eDaily, Koffee, 19, won the award for her Reggae EP ‘Rapture’ released last year.

The EP featuring among other songs, her biggest hit ‘Toast’ debuted at the top spot on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. It held that position for 32 weeks.

A singer-cum-rapper, Koffee was born in 2000 and raised by her single mother in Spanish Town, just outskirt of Kingston. She sang in a church choir as a child and taught herself how to play guitar at the age of 12.

Koffee started writing lyrics in her early teens drawing inspiration from Jamaican reggae stars – Chronixx and Protoje.

Koffee released an acoustic version of her song “Legend” about Jamaican runner Usain Bolt in 2017, and the video quickly went viral on Instagram. Her next single, “Burning,” featured her original take on Upsetta Records’ “Ouji Riddim” and topped several reggae charts in the U.S. 

In 2018, at only 18 years old, Koffee performed with both Protoje and Chronixx, joining the latter on a BBC broadcast from Kingston’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios and later on a tour of the U.K. 

According to Allmusic.com, Koffee’s status as a rising star grew even brighter when she signed with Columbia U.K. and released the singles “Toast” and “Ragamuffin,” both of which appeared on her debut EP, Rapture, in 2019.

Accepting the award, Koffee thanked hеr producers and fеllоw muѕісіаnѕ Јulіаn Маrlеу, Ѕtееl Рulѕе, Ѕlу аnd Rоbbіе аnd Моrgаn Неrіtаgе “fоr аll thе іnрut thеу mаdе іn rеggае іnduѕtrу аnd thе muѕіс. І’vе lеаrnеd а lоt frоm thеm аnd frоm оthеr оldеr реорlе іn thе іnduѕtrу аnd thаt’ѕ whу І’m hеrе; thаt’ѕ whаt brоught uѕ аll hеrе.”

She added: “Ѕо І јuѕt wаnt tо ѕау thаt thіѕ оnе (hоldіng uр аwаrd) іѕ fоr аll оf uѕ; thіѕ оnе іѕ fоr rеggае, thіѕ оnе іѕ fоr Јаmаіса. Тhаnk уоu vеrу muсh аnd blеѕѕіngѕ.”

Speaking to Guardian, last year, Koffee said she counts Bob Marley as an influence and that the pace that “Bob Marley set in reggae music, on such a positive and widespread level, is something that I want to emulate and carry on.”

“I want to honor his legacy in that sense.”

Koffee describes her sounds as “youthful”.

“Positive … Me nah know. It’s kind of difficult to describe sound as positive, but I feel like music has feeling,” she said.


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