The child star who became the face of the genre

Mikayla "Koffee" Simpson is a self-proclaimed sing-jay-guitarist. Hailing from Spanish Town, near Kingston, Jamaica, Koffee has emerged as one of the most exciting and forward-thinking talents.

The young musician credits her mother for keeping her focused and motivated. Koffee's mother imparted valuable life lessons. Koffee recalls, "Mummy struggled so I didn’t have to." While aware of the curfews, Koffee's immediate surroundings in Eltham View remained a mellow and friendly community.

Despite avoiding the socio-political issues in Jamaica it had a great influence on Koffee's music. She expresses a desire to entertain while always representing her community.

Koffee's musical journey began in the church choir during her childhood, where she learned melody and harmony. At the age of 12, inspired by reggae singer Protoje, she taught herself to play the guitar. Her venture into songwriting started modestly in her bedroom, composing a few lines here and there, eventually evolving into full verses and choruses. In 2016, a spontaneous performance at her school's talent show, which she initially thought was just a casual gathering in the cafeteria, turned out to be an audition that she won.

The breakthrough came in 2017 when Koffee jumped on Upsetta Records' Ouji Riddim, a rhythm popularized by Jamaican legends Busy Signal and Luciano. Her version, "Burning," became a hit in Jamaica, resonating with its heavy bassline and hypnotic chorus. Koffee explains that "Burning" emerged from a personal disappointment of not getting into 6th Form, fueling her determination to overcome setbacks and push herself to excel in other areas.

Her talent caught the attention of reggae luminaries like Cocoa Tea, Protoje, and Chronixx, leading to notable stage appearances and collaborations. In January 2018, Cocoa Tea invited her to Rebel Salute, while Protoje and Chronixx welcomed her on their respective shows.

In 2020, Koffee made history. At just 19-year-old, Koffee won Best Reggae Album, making her the first woman to take home an award that has existed since 1985, and the youngest reggae trophy recipient in history.

In a world often dominated by big personalities, Koffee's true nature, coupled with her powerful voice and socially conscious lyrics, makes her a small wonder creating big waves in the genre and across the World.

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