THIS SOUTH AFRICAN-BORN, GRAMMY-WINNING DJ AND PRODUCER SPINS AN ELECTRIFYING STEW OF AFRO-POP, JAZZ, AND SOUL, SPRINKLED WITH TRANCE, HOUSE, AND TRIBAL BEATS

BY DAN SALAMONE

BORN: Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo was born on March 11, 1976 in Umlazi, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

SOUND: Black Coffee’s original 2005 self-titled debut was largely a mixture of jazz and R&B, but his sound today, as both a performer and DJ, is an expansive blend of Afro-pop, tribal, traditional house, progressive house, trance, R&B, jazz, and soul.

BIG BREAK: Prior to releasing the aforementioned Black Coffee record, he began as a backup singer for Madala Kunene, then was signed as a part of the Afro-pop group, SHANA. In 2003, he was one of only two South Africans offered a spot in the Red Bull Music Academy.

NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Black Coffee has had a long and distinguished career that includes awards for Best Urban Dance Album and Best Male Artist at the 2010 South African Music Awards, their version of the Grammys. Then in 2022, Black Coffee won an actual Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic album for his record, Subconsciously. He’s played all of the major U.S. festivals, including sets at Coachella and Ultra, and perhaps most impressively, he co-wrote and co-produced three tracks on Drake’s 2022 LP, Honestly, Nevermind.

LATEST WORK: Since 2022’s banner year (it’s tough to accomplish a Grammy and a Drake collab in a lifetime, much less in the same 12 months), he’s appeared on the single, “Rapture Pt. III” with &ME. 2024 has unfortunately been notable in an unwelcome way, also. The performer survived a plane crash on January 11 while en route to a performance in Mar Del Plata. Fortunately, he is now fully recovered.

BLACK COFFEE

@realblackcoffee