by Howard Campbell
LOS ANGELES – Teen sensation Koffee won the Best Reggae Album category of the Grammy Awards on January 26 with Rapture, making her the first woman to win that award.
The Grammys took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Rapture, a five-song EP, was released in 2019 by Columbia Records. It spawned the hit single Toast, co-produced by South Florida-based Izybeats and Walshy Fire.
More Work to be Done by Third World, As I Am from Julian Marley, Steel Pulse’s Mass Manipulation and The Final Battle: Sly and Robbie vs The Roots Radics, were the other nominees for Best Reggae Album.
Koffee (given name Mikayla Simpson) has had a meteoric rise. Her first song, Legend, was released in 2017 as a tribute to sprint wunderkind Usain Bolt.
Toast was released the following year and took off in the United States and United Kingdom. It earned Koffee coverage in major publications such as Billboard and The Guardian, and the admiration of high-profile personalities like Barack Obama and Rihanna.
Koffee is from Spanish Town, a working-class area that was Jamaica’s first capital. It has produced a number of top artists including Chronixx, leader of the country’s neo roots-reggae movement.
She is scheduled to perform at the Super Bowl Weekend (January 31-February 1) and Coachella in April.
Reggae gained Grammy status in 1984 as Best Reggae Recording. The first winners Black Uhuru, who were selected in early 1985.