Local / 4 December 2018, 11:20am / Liam Karabo Joyce
Black Coffee is a musical force. There is little doubt that the past few years have belonged to him.
The DJ has made a name for himself around the world, from playing to thousands of people in some of the world’s party capitals, being a resident DJ at top clubs, to calling mega-star producers like Diddy and Swizz Beatz his friends.
He is at the top of his game. And even with all the star power he has he still makes sure he doesn’t forget about his South Africans fans.
Black Coffee recently announced his highly anticipated music concert, Music is King. Set to take place at The Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, the concert will see some of South Africa’s biggest stars perform – and some international ones, too. It’s his second concert after the ground-breaking Africa Rising concert he had at Moses Mabhida Stadium in 2011.
Black Coffee came up with the concert idea a year ago. “I was still on tour at the time and I had told myself that once my tour was done, I would come back home and put together a concert.
A concert that would unite people through music and ever since we have been working on it,” he said.
For Black Coffee, Music is King is more than just about music.
“It’s not about the colour of your skin, it’s not about where you are from, it’s about your love for music. We have become so genre-specific that we are not open to listen to other genres and although I am known as a house DJ, I enjoy all kinds of music. With Music Is King you can come because you love hip-hop but you get to also enjoy rap and kwaito,” he said.
The concert will feature stars like Lady Zamar, Nasty C, Riky Rick, Nigeria’s Burna Boy and American rapper and DJ, Swizz Beatz.
“I wanted to have people who are doing amazing things in the industry.
These people are portraying excellence and they are great at what they are doing, they have true talent and we want Music is King to be excellent,” he said.
On his relationship with Swizz Beatz, he said: “I have known him for about seven years now. He reached out to me when he uploaded a song of mine onto his website and one his fans said that sounds like a Black Coffee song.
Since then we have become friends. He is down-to-earth and has really taught me a lot musically and I appreciate that. He is one of the best people in the industry.”
The concert is also a part of his latest EP which he released last week, also titled Music is King. “I was also working on the EP overseas and I am excited about it. The EP will have influences of my travels in Europe and so will the concert. I am trying to bring my experiences from overseas to South Africans. This is my home and it’s important to remember your roots,” he said.
He also announced that early next year he will be jetting off to London to headline his own show at London’s O2 Academy Brixton. “The business model is very simple, if it works, we do it. I have played at London’s O2 twice before and both shows were sold out.
I am very excited to go back and I am also excited to be going to Los Angeles as well for my first headline show in that city. It’s going to be great.” Born in Durban, Black Coffee has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Alicia Keys, Bucie, to David Guetta, and even lesser-known stars like Delilah Montagu and Msaki. However, according to him, there is no formula on who he works with.
“For me it’s really about the texture of the voice. I know my strengths and what I can produce and I know when it’s time to have vocals and exactly what they should sound like,” he said.
He also admitted that sometimes the hardest part of his job is getting South African vocalists featured on his songs.
Black Coffee. Picture: Supplied
“I’m from South Africa and I am for South Africa so when I make new music I always have South African vocalists featured on it, but then label bosses ask for a bigger star. It’s usually ‘This is a great song but can we get a bigger star on it?’ that I hear.”
Even so, he has managed to feature with some young stars, including Shekinah, Nakhane and Msaki. It was a bit of a surprise when Black Coffee wasn’t announced as one of the artists we could expect to perform at today’s Global Citizen Festival.
As one of South Africa’s biggest exports, it was a head-scratching omission. So when it was announced earlier this week that he had joined the line-up, it was like sense had finally prevailed.
Music is King takes place on December 15 at the Ticketpro Dome. Tickets cost R350.