On: Black Coffee

What goes on in the mind of a globetrotting DJ like Black Coffee? Helen Herimbi flew to Ibiza to find out What appears to be a white baby grand piano sits untouched in the corner of the room. The music is really outside. DJ Da Capo is on the decks and about 30 South Africans are vosho-ing and breaking it down to songs such as Masters At Work’s hit, Work. We’re at a lavish villa that Rihanna apparently stayed in and it has a spectacular view of Es Vedrà. In a few days, we’ll be witnessing DJ Black Coffee take up residency, for the second consecutive year, at a major club called Hï Ibiza. Like DJ Black Coffee, I too am in Ibiza to work. Flown by Hunter’s cider for a few days of partying in paradise – you know, where the sun only sets around 9pm – I am enjoying the views but I’m also making notes, writing articles and conducting interviews. In short: it’s not quite a vacation. So I ask the South African DJ and producer, who is now one of the biggest music names in the world, if he ever feels like it’s still work even though it’s in these beautiful conditions. Black Coffee nods emphatically and exclaims: “It is work, it is! I’m lucky to have other shows aside from my residency, but it’s been crazy. I think in May, I only have like three free days so that means I get to go somewhere to rehearse for my Saturday residency.” “I am always preparing for Saturdays. Weekly, I get to play all these songs and I can’t wait to see how they are going to sound on Saturday and how they will work with the lights and visuals. The thing about my job is that I am very fortunate to do what I really love. I’ve done a 60-hour gig before and I could do this over and over.” Travel is a big part of Black Coffee’s career. This means he gets requests from all corners of the globe – even the ones under Read More …

On: Black Coffee

Black Coffee spoke to Helen Herimbi about his new brew: being the first African act to land a Beats 1 radio show. “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 Read More …