RJRGLEANER Honour Awards 2019 | A musical fairy tale
Recipient: Mikayla ‘Koffee’ Simpson
Koffee’s rise to the pinnacle of the entertainment industry could be described as a musical fairy tale. In December 2018, she, a fresh-faced 18-year-old, was barely known on the local music circuit.
In fact, at five feet tall, the then aspiring artiste’s demeanour was so disarmingly unassuming, one would pass right by her and not even recognise the immense talent she’d possess.
Today, having spent just over a year manoeuvring the industry, the pint-sized singer has metamorphosed into a mega reggae star. So massive is her talent that it is almost impossible to have a conversation about reggae music without her name being mentioned.
Still, while her résumé has expanded to include a Grammy nomination and playlist endorsements from former US President Barack Obama, the 19-year-old Mikayla Simpson remains as humble as ever.
She told The Gleaner that despite fame knocking at her doors incessantly, she’s managed to maintain her meekness with the assistance of family and friends.
“It has been crazy! Truthfully, I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted this. It all happened so fast. My family and close friends definitely help me to stay grounded and most importantly, encourage me to stay focused,” she shared.
Speaking of family, the entertainer expressed that while she wouldn’t credit any one person for her rise to the top of the reggae industry, her mother’s role in that ascension holds a special place in her heart.
“Of course, I am forever thankful to my mom, who has been along with me every step of the way. Her support means the world to me,” she said, pointing out the need for parents to support their children’s career choices, especially if that choice surrounds music.
Koffee explained that while these professions may differ vastly from what parents had in mind, support is paramount.
“Things have changed and music (and the creative field) is a lot more lucrative than it once was. Through hard work, your child will be successful while following their passion,” she stated.
I FEEL BLESSED
With that said, Koffee revealed that although her ‘buss’ came a lot faster than anyone expected, she wouldn’t change a thing about her journey thus far. Describing herself as smart, talented and focused, the Toast singer said everything happened exactly how it should have.
“All that I’ve been through happened for a reason and has helped me along with my career in some way. I am grateful for the journey thus far and I’m excited for what the future holds. I feel blessed,” she stated.
There are many lessons to be learnt when one listens to a Koffee track but, for the creator herself, the one lesson she wants to convey to her fans is to stay surrounded by positivity.
Using a line from her latest single W to sum up that message, Koffee said “Lowe the L and take the W”. The latter is an encouragement to focus on the wins and not the losses; a thrust to live one’s best life.
* Protégé and Chronixx are among the list of artistes who have inspired Koffee. She describes the pair as game-changers and admires their style, flow and lyricism.
* Koffee was raised in a single-parent household.
* According to her official biography, the entertainer says she genuinely wants to make the world a better place.
* Koffee’s first appearance at a major stage show was at Rebel Salute in January 2018.
* Koffee got a Grammy nomination for her ‘Rapture’ EP.
* Koffee made former US President Barack Obama’s summer and year-end playlists.
* She was added to the lineup for Super Bowl weekend and the Cochella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California.
* The entertainer is booked to open for ‘One Direction’ Harry Styles on his international tour later this year.