Black Cof­fee’s new brew


The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT -

‘PUTCO Mafani,” Black Cof­fee ex­cit­edly ex­claims just a sec­ond af­ter I’ve asked him who his favourite child­hood DJs were. “Um,” he takes a mo­ment to think about the rest, then says: “Sanuse Nqoloba. Yup, yup, I am OG,” he laughs.

While the for­mer Umhlobo Wenene and Ra­dio Transkei DJs brought vi­brant colour to the child­hood of the DJ and pro­ducer who was born Nkosi­nathi Ma­phu­mulo in Dur­ban, he says the only thing he drew from them and im­ple­mented in his new Beats 1 ra­dio show is mak­ing mu­sic the cen­tre of the show.

“The fo­cus is mu­sic,” he tells me. “Those DJs ex­posed us to mu­sic more than any­thing. The knowl­edge they had, of what they were do­ing, was key. It wasn’t just about them talk­ing. If you didn’t know an artist, they would tell you the his­tory of that artist and that’s what I’ll be do­ing: ex­pos­ing peo­ple to the artists they don’t know.

“This is Beats 1, so the first thing you think is that you’re go­ing to only hear house mu­sic or South African mu­sic on my show, but what we’re try­ing to do is to re­ally ex­pose peo­ple to me. As in, what do I love as this is my show? What in­spires me mu­si­cally? So it’s dif­fer­ent sides and gen­res.”

Cup run­neth over

Fresh from buy­ing into Zone 6 Venue in Soweto and yet an­other nom­i­na­tion at the in­ter­na­tional DJ Awards, Black Cof­fee’s cup run­neth over with good news. De­but­ing this Fri­day, the two-hour fort­nightly ra­dio show is sim­ply called Black Cof­fee on Beats 1.

It sees Black Cof­fee fol­low in the foot­steps of the likes of Drake and Phar­rell Williams, who are also artists with their own ra­dio shows on the Ap­ple-owned Beats 1.

The globe-trot­ting one man band might be busy with pro­duc­ing hits for your favourite Amer­i­cans and his res­i­dency in Ibiza, but he is not rest­ing on his lau­rels. Black Cof­fee on

Beats 1 starts on Fri­day and you can catch it at 8pm if you’re in Africa.

The show will see him host a slot with a wide scope of mu­sic and he’ll in­ter­view some of the big­gest names in the house mu­sic scene. South Africa’s Da Capo will play a mix and be in­ter­viewed on the first show. Black Cof­fee will also act as the plug for dance DJs who are bub­bling un­der the main­stream.

He’s not alone on this ra­dio jour­ney though. Black Cof­fee in­tro­duces us to Mario Cee who will be his co-host. Raised in the UK, Cee is the Kronologik Records la­bel owner and a for­mer pi­rate sta­tion DJ. He and Black Cof­fee have been friends for 15 years, which will make for easy con­ver­sa­tional ban­ter on the show.

“Mario is one of my old­est friends,” Black Cof­fee ex­plains. “We started do­ing this a long time ago. He started on in­ter­net ra­dio and one of my ear­li­est mem­o­ries of be­ing in Lon­don as a DJ is him host­ing me on his show so much so that the lo­cals thought I was from there. He’s good at this and it was a no-brainer to have him co-host.”

Tonight got an ex­clu­sive look at what’s go­ing down in the first episode of Black

Cof­fee on Beats 1. And yes, the Mzansi icon does touch on his re­la­tion­ship with Diddy and how he got to jet set on his PJ.

But what is prob­a­bly most ex­cit­ing is the fact that Black Cof­fee will be play­ing his never-heard-be­fore un­ti­tled track fea­tur­ing Burna Boy. I asked him how that song came about.

“I was in stu­dio with Swizz Beats and we’d been in­tend­ing to do stuff to­gether for a long time,” Black Cof­fee re­calls. “But on that day, I was there to lis­ten to his up­com­ing al­bum and hear what he’d been do­ing.

“So I was also play­ing him stuff I’d been work­ing on. One of the songs I played was the in­stru­men­tal for this song. He played me his songs too and there was a par­tic­u­lar one that he played that I told him straight up: ‘Lis­ten! Burna Boy can kill this song. I can hear Burna Boy on this song.’

“Ob­vi­ously he didn’t know who Burna Boy was, so I had to ed­u­cate him. I played some videos and they all fell in love with Burna Boy.

“The fol­low­ing day, Swizz sent me a mes­sage show­ing me Burna Boy was in New York. I had to find Burna Boy’s num­ber, I called him and he was very ex­cited. I told him I thought he’d be a great fea­ture for Swizz’s song and I ar­ranged for them to meet.

“Swizz met Burna Boy be­fore I did,” Black Cof­fee laughs like he still can’t be­lieve Swizzy beat him to it.

“They started work­ing on Swizz’s stuff, but then Swizz also played Burna Boy my in­stru­men­tal I had played him back at that other ses­sion. Burna Boy liked it and, in my ab­sence, he started singing on the song, so when I came back the song was done.”

Fu­ture of mu­sic

That un­ti­tled song is not yet fin­ished as Black Cof­fee plans to get an­other artist to jump on to it, but he thinks “it’s cool to play the track for the lis­ten­ers any­way”. An­other song you can ex­pect to hear is yet an­other remix of Su­per­man.

Mu­sic is still the core of Cof­fee and he lets me in on the fact that he’s just worked on a song with two Pre­to­ria pro­duc­ers and that song has been recorded by one of the big­gest artists in the world. But he’s tight-lipped about the de­tails. What he does tell me is that he be­lieves African artists are the fu­ture of mu­sic.

“The thing about South African mu­sic is that there are a lot of songs that have big po­ten­tial to be in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised. Like a lot of the mu­sic Kent is do­ing – I feel like if the same song was by Calvin Har­ris, it would blow up on the Bill­board charts. Be­cause it’s ex­posed to the right peo­ple. That’s what I want to try and do with this show. This is an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pose our mu­sic to the world.”

DJ Black Cof­fee will be mak­ing mu­sic the fo­cus on his new Beats 1 ra­dio show.

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