Koffee - the genesis of reggae's next superstar
Koffee's year started with a life-changing appearance at Rebel Salute earlier this year. Veteran artiste Cocoa Tea, invited the teenage singjay to the stage, in a toast that shifted the gear in her journey.
On the weekend, the entertainer ended the year at Live From Kingston (Skyline Levels, Jacks Hill) with a mature, full-bodied performance, confirming that this is the genesis of reggae's next superstar.
"I've never felt so many people. Me hear it, but me feel it more tonight. It's overwhelming," Koffee told The Gleaner.
At just 18 years old and with three songs in rotation, the young reggae artiste's progress is remarkable. According to Koffee's mother Jo-Anne Williams, Columbia Records UK came hunting for the singjay mere days after her appearance on the Rebel Salute stage in January. "Within a week, they came for her. But we had to sort out the contracts, so I didn't send her until June," she revealed.
Live From Kingston
Leaving little wonder why a major international label swooped in for her, Koffee already demonstrates the confidence of a seasoned entertainer. She closed the sold-out Live From Kingston concert stage - a high-energy affair, stuffed with a bustling crowd - eager to capture one moment (or the whole thing) on their phones.
At the end of her set, the young artiste outlined exactly how she manages to keep calm, collected and commanding while performing. "Because mommy did deh ah di front. Mi see mi bredda; mi know seh the band is behind me," she said.
The audience also had a role to play. "Sometimes when you go on stage and people kinda stay far, you don't know if they really receive you - it makes you feel a little tense." But that wasn't the case for this audience, who were fully engaged.
"When they warm to you, it's a whole different level of comfort. And you know, if you feel likkle nervous, you can look back at the band and, ah just dat! The energies of the people who were very much there," Koffee continued.
Remarkable as her progress may be, Koffee's journey has just begun - and she knows it. To keep momentum going, the recording artiste used the Live From Kingston stage to introduce the home-crowd to some new songs. The first is called Haffi Mek It - an unreleased song she has performed just a few times before. The second is Pressure. "Look forward to the release of those. We just have to plan it and do it very strategically so that the people can get the best of it," she said.