Me know from long time - Cocoa Tea was certain Koffee would take reggae Grammy
"Me know from long time, me never have to get the news from anywhere." These were the words of veteran reggae singer and Koffee's musical mentor Cocoa Tea when THE STAR connected with him yesterday following the news that his 19-year-old protege walked away with the Best Reggae Album award at the Grammys.
Tongues were wagging about Koffee's potential to win the award after the nominations were announced last November, but Cocoa Tea said he knew this would happen all along.
"I feel elated and vindicated because from the first time I saw her in December 2017, when Walshy Fire from Major Lazer introduced me to her, I made a prediction. And when I listened to her, I told them she was going to be the next reggae sensation. And then I went on to post my thoughts on Instagram and Facebook and I was met with a lot of doubt," Cocoa Tea said.
He continued: "When I heard she was nominated, it wasn't like if, but or maybe for me, because I saw in this young lady a special type of talent that does not come around often - she stays humble and dedicated - I congratulate her."
Koffee made an impressionable debut at Rebel Salute 2018 when Cocoa Tea invited her on stage.
"I told them I was going to bring her on the stage and introduce her to the world and she mash up the place. The same happened later that year in July when we performed at Rototom Sunsplash in Spain - that is when I said to her, 'the world is yours now, gwaan do deal with it'," he said.
Koffee is the first solo female act to win the best reggae album award and also the youngest winner in the category.
Her debut EP Rapture has five tracks, Toast, Blazin', Throne, Raggamuffin and the title track, all of which breathe positivity and light into the world, according to her former principal, Nadine Molloy.
She added that she was proud of the Ardenne High School past student's accomplishment thus far.
"I am not surprised she won because of the quality of music she has been producing and I think most persons want to hear that positive message. We at Ardenne are proud of her, the achievement and what she is bringing to the world," Molloy told THE STAR.
She explained that 'Mikayla Simpson' (Koffee's given name), was on the quieter side while attending the school, and mostly participated in sports like football, but excelled at what she did.
"I would not say that I saw her taking that career path or saw a lot then, except that she was very committed and dedicated and that commitment and dedication to the type of music is not a surprise. I had a conversation with her once after she started singing and what she had to say was that she was making sure there is a good message to take away," she said.