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Interview: Koffee Talks Headlining Miramar’s Afro-Carib Fest, New Album, Sam Smith Collab, And More

February 22nd, 2023

Jamaican singer Koffee is slated to headline the third annual Afro-Carib Festival at the Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater in Florida on Saturday (February 25).

This is a huge feat for the island’s beloved “Grammy Kid” (some are still grappling to come to terms with the fact that she’s a 23-year-old adult now) and a step into a new career dimension as she continues to hone her craft. DancehallMag caught up with the Spanish Town native to discuss this upcoming performance, her music, and more.

Hi, Koffee!


Congrats on headlining this year’s Afro-Carib festival. How do you feel about performing at this festival, headlining at that?

Well, I’m excited. Definitely excited to be able to bring Reggae music to Florida once again. I’m looking forward to the opportunity on the platform and it’s definitely like an accomplishment for me; something I’m proud of.

Will it be your first time headlining an event of this scale? How did it come about?

I believe so, yes.

You know in the business people reach out, and you know, other people respond. So basically, the organisers reached out to myself and my team and we were very happy to be a part of it as well.

At the Gifted listening party, you said you weren’t where you wanted to be live performance-wise, but that you were working on it. How comfortable are you now with your live performances?

Well, I feel like since then I’ve had some really big opportunities that have helped me to step out of my shell a little bit more when it comes to performing, especially in front of like big stages, and big audiences. I feel like I’m a little bit more comfortable. Uhhh [she says as she thinks] I think that there’s always room for improvement, but I’m in a really good place.

What can patrons expect from you/your set at the festival?

Definitely a good time, lots of energy and yeah, just the songs that they know and love. 

Koffee (Photo contributed. Credit: Nwaka Okparaeke)

Another thing to “toast” to is your recent Grammy nod for Gifted. Congrats! I also remember you saying you weren’t focused on winning a Grammy as you felt that such thinking compromises the passion and heart of the work, but also that you had achieved that already. How do you feel about your peer Kabaka winning?

Well, I’m very proud of him. One of the biggest things about this year’s Grammy staging was that in the Reggae Album category, it was all Jamaicans. So, that’s something I’m very proud of and I feel like when you have a setup like that of candidates like that, whoever wins kinda wins for everybody ‘cause they win for the country.

I was going to ask next what your thoughts are on last year’s winners (American group SOJA)

Ummm [she says pensively] you know, I wasn’t quite familiar at the time with last year’s winners but, yeah, I mean everybody makes good music. If the music wasn’t worthy then I don’t think they would be in that position.

Some of your Jamaican supporters are of the belief that you’re not physically present as often as they’d like. Is there any reason for that?

Well, we definitely have plans on including my Jamaican audience a lot more. Something that we’ve focused on in the past is we’ve staged two legs of a school tour, mostly in rural areas so far but we plan to make it to like Kingston, sooner than later. It also has to do with my engagements ‘cause some of them have been booked even before the pandemic so I’m still fulfilling some of those engagements and a lot of them are overseas.

I was really looking forward to being a part of the Lost In Time festival (being spearheaded by Protoje in St. Andrew) this Saturday, actually but obviously it clashes with the Afro-Carib Fest. So you’ll see more of me in the future for sure.

Are you working on any new music right now?

For sure! I’m actually working on my second album and some singles in between.

Can you provide any details about that just yet?

Ummm, not quite yet. I always like to drop it when it’s hot, you know? [laugh]

What are your thoughts on the evolution of Reggae and Dancehall music, especially with the experimentation with foreign sounds?

I feel like it’s definitely interesting to watch and it’s always good to see growth in any musical genre. I feel like the youth are definitely carrying the Jamaican flag when it comes to new genres and stuff now. So, that’s something I’m really happy and excited to be a part of. Yeah! Big up di yutes of Jamaica. Your music is in good hands.

Your collab with Sam Smith…for some people, it was a bit controversial, while some people really liked it. What’s your response to all of that?

Ummm, I’m not sure I have a response. That track came about very organically. I was in Jamaica like quite a few months before and I received the demo for the track basically with an empty space for me to put my verse and I felt like I really enjoyed the beat so I put verse down and then few months later they called for a music video and I had fun right throughout. Me, Jesse and Sam…it was a great opportunity for me, so, very enjoyable.

You’re pretty open-minded to collaborating with anybody regardless of the genre?

Oh yeah, of course. I think as you might know I recently came off a tour opening for Harry Styles. But, I definitely don’t really discriminate when it comes to genre, sounds, and yeah.

What was the tour experience like with Harry?

That was really eye-opening and it’s something that has helped me to exercise my performance skills a little bit more because we were performing in front of large crowds. Like 70,000 people, so I had to bring my A game and it turned out really well.

Is there anything that you’d like to add or say to your fans?

I just want to say thank you to my fans for being so loyal and supportive. No matter where I go, I always am aware of your support and it makes me feel very accepted and welcomed in the space that I operate in. I have fun making music for you guys and look forward to some more soon.

OK, thank you so much! 

Thank you, too. 

In addition to Koffee, as the main feature, the Afro-Carib Festival will offer performances from Afropop singer Tekno, Haitian hitmaker J. Perry, and popular local Miami artists.

Miramar Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis noted in a release, “I am thrilled to be able to bring back this exciting festival under the stars at the Amphitheater at Miramar Regional Park. The headliners have all made a mark in their respective genres and I can’t wait to party with music lovers from all over in this great open-air venue. Guests will be able to immerse themselves in the festival experience while celebrating Black History Month and Reggae Month, in a family-friendly atmosphere. This is going to be an experience you won’t soon forget.”

Tickets, which range from $25 to $125, are available at and

This content was originally sourced and posted at DancehallMag »
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