Koffee ‘is okay’ Minister Grange assures
Grammy-winning reggae artiste Koffee “is okay” Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange confirmed to The Gleaner Thursday evening.
Reports surfaced Thursday afternoon that the Toast singer had been involved in an incident aboard an American Airlines flight from Kingston to Miami and as a result was interviewed by authorities at the airport in Miami.
A source close to the artiste, who wished not to be named said that “Koffee is all right and on her way to Texas”.
Reports are that Koffee, who was a passenger seated in economy, attempted to use the restroom in first class. She was reportedly refused entry by a flight attendant.
RJR News reported that as a result of the altercation, the pilot was forced to circle while the purser and flight attendants attempted to diffuse the situation with Koffee. The flight eventually landed later than scheduled at the Miami International Airport at 2:10 p.m., two hours after take off from the Norman Manley International Airport.
Koffee, whose real name is Mikayla Simpson, celebrated her 23rd birthday on February 16.
Since her arrival on the music scene, the Ardenne High School alum has been blazing the trail and has won several awards along the way.
In 2020, the then 19-year-old Koffee won a Grammy for her EP Rapture, making her the youngest person and the only female to be awarded in the Best Reggae Album category.
Gifted, Koffee’s debut album, was released on March 2022 by Promised Land Recordings. It debuted in the number two spot on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Born in Spanish Town, just outside of Kingston, Jamaica, Koffee was bought up alone by her hard-working mother, her bio on originalkofee.com states. It noted that “Koffee’s mum sheltered her daughter from a lot of the violence that afflicted their community. Though she was able to avoid explicit scenes of bloodshed, the socio-political problems that permeate parts of Jamaica have seeped into her music, helping to make Koffee the artiste she is today.”
“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,” Koffee is quoted as saying.
Koffee – who got her name after ordering a coffee on a boiling hot day while everyone else opted for soda – began her musical life as a child in the church choir. Here, she learnt melody and harmony; at the age of 12, she taught herself guitar after a friend lent her his spare one. She began writing lyrics in her bedroom after being inspired by the reggae singer Protoje – just a few lines here and there, initially, a chorus or a verse. In 2016, she accidentally auditioned for her school talent show – and won. “They had a show in the cafeteria one day and people were going up to perform poems and songs. My friends encouraged me to go up and perform so I did and the place loved it. I had no idea it was an audition until my name got called over the intercom.”
Koffee’s following started to build and was further enhanced in 2017 when she jumped on Upsetta Records’ Ouji Riddim, made popular by Jamaican legends Busy Signal and Luciano.
She quickly caught the eye of those in the know; in January 2018, reggae hero Coco Tea bought Koffee onto the stage at Rebel Salute; her idol Protoje also asked her to perform with him, while Chronixx, one of the island’s biggest contemporary reggae stars, invited Koffee to join him on Seani B and Mistajam’s 1Xtra shows broadcast from Big Yard studios in Jamaica.
The bio continues, “This isn’t someone making music for likes and money; success holds much more weight to Koffee than followers and brand deals, accolades and awards.”
“I want to bring positive change to the world because I think the world needs that more than just individual success,” she points out. “My personal success could be ten cars and a big house but that doesn’t influence many people other than myself and the people around me who that benefit from that. I want to be a positive movement and make a positive movement, at the same time. I want to bring vibes and positive change. I want to impact the world.”