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Black Coffee

Poll 2021: Black Coffee

Black Coffee
From: South Africa
Nkosinathi Maphumulo’s star continued to rise in 2021. The artist, better known by his stage name Black Coffee, released his sixth studio album, ‘Subconsciously’, in February to glowing reviews. The 12-track record was packed with music heavyweights, including Pharrell, David Guetta and Usher, reviving the SA house legend’s signature smooth and subtle sounds, with a few more radio-friendly cuts thrown in for good measure. He took to the road following the release, playing at venues in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Zurich and Ibiza and even revived his world-renowned Deep In the City nights. 
South Africa’s top DJ also gave an NPR Tiny Desk performance in March, becoming the second DJ to do so and in September it was revealed that his No.1 single ‘Drive’ was the most-streamed South African song in Apple Music history, proving Black Coffee’s staying power after many years in the game. “I’ve been in the studio this year working on new music, gearing up for the launch of Sensorium Galaxy’s PRISM, composed the soundtrack for Amiri’s SS 2022 runway show and focussed on Gallo Music, as well as my angel investment company Flightmode Digital,” he tells DJ Mag.
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
“My first show after having been in total lockdown in South Africa for most of 2020 was just such a revelation. There is very little that can top performing to a live audience. Human connection is not over-rated.”


How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?

“The pandemic has allowed me to spend real-time at home and to really rest and replenish, something I haven’t been able to do in about five or six years. It was a joy to have extended quality time to devote to my kids and to be able to sit and do nothing, just listen to my inner voice and reconnect with myself. This past summer I’ve made a point of breaking touring into chunks and returned home to South Africa every four-to-six weeks.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-12 10:05

House music
Best known for: 
Ibiza residency, being Africa’s most well-known DJ

Poll 2020: Black Coffee

Black Coffee

South African house music star Black Coffee (Nkosinathi Maphumulo) treated the lockdown as some much-needed downtime, recuperating after endless touring by making tunes and spending time with his family. The dynamic artist still found an opportunity to release the huge single ‘Ready For You’ on Ultra Music, featuring the vocals of Celeste, and live-streamed a DJ performance from the World Heritage Site, Sterkfontein Caves in South Africa, where human fossils millions of years old have been found. He also played for EXIT festival’s Life Stream, which asked viewers to donate to the UN World Food Programme.
Meanwhile, Black Coffee continued to develop his new streaming platform, which he says will launch soon. “It’s something I’ve been working on for years, and during lockdown, I had time to concentrate on getting it out there,” he says. “It’s basically a platform that I want to launch and help the music scene on the African continent. Our market is Africa first before we can concentrate on the world. Look out for GongBox!”


What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 

“Music. I’ve had time to listen to a lot of it, and work on some new music as well. Also, I’ve had time to spend with family. And there’s been no travelling at all. I’d like to think I’m in my best form right now having spent time at home.”

What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis? 

“I feel like not just our industry, but everyone should have a plan B and plan C. We should have plans for if such a time comes again and one has bills to pay.”

What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene? 

“Us as DJs should be loud — we should be the loudest because we are the ones that unify people.”

What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive? 

“There’s a big scene of dance music producers in South Africa that really don’t have a structure. Over the years, I’ve been one of the people trying to help these producers have a structure.” 


What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 

“A song that comes to mind immediately would have to be ‘Show Me Love’, Robin S.”


Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-19 11:53

“I guess it’s house music!”

Best known for: 
“‘Superman feat. Bucie’, which later became tied with ‘Get It Together feat. Drake and Jorja Smith’.”
Tune of the year: 
“A song that comes to mind immediately would be TekniQ, ‘Amasiko’.”

Poll 2019: Black Coffee

Black Coffee

Nkosinathi Maphumulo, aka DJ/producer and entrepreneur Black Coffee, has become arguably South Africa’s biggest musical sensation. Known for his fusion of deep house and South African instrumentation and vocals, he’s at the forefront of his country’s vibrant dance scene. After years of perfecting his DJing and production craft, his prolific output of singles, such as ‘We Are One’ for Vega Records, and albums like 2015’s ‘Pieces Of Me’ for Universal, have helped secure his reputation as an artist able to balance club credibility with pop accessibility. 

After first bringing his Black Coffee residency to Hï Ibiza last summer, he returned to the Playa d’en Bossa club this season, in between playing everywhere around the world from the USA to Ukraine. Though his touring commitments precluded Maphumulo from much in the way of studio work, he found time to make the slick commercial collaboration of ‘LaLaLa’ with R&B singer Usher — the latest indication of a more mainstream direction for the star after his David Guetta hook-up, ‘Drive’, last year. 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-17 11:10

Best known for: 
Bringing South African house music to the world.


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