Black Coffee on His New Album, South Africa at the BET Awards & the Meaning of 1976

Black Coffee is representing South Africa at this weekend’s BET Awards in Los Angeles.

When the BET Awards go down this Sunday in Los Angeles, the South African presence will be strong. Black Coffee, AKA and Cassper Nyovest are all in the running in the Best International Act: Africa category. Emtee is up for a Viewer’s Choice Award in the Best New International category. And Nandi Mngoma is getting in on the action too. The TV personality is covering the BET Experience and the red carpet for BET Africa.

After picking up four awards, including one for his lifetime achievements, at the South African Music Awards earlier this month, Black Coffee will continue to wave the SA flag this weekend in L.A. We caught up with the producer over the phone to ask him some questions ahead of the awards.

On his new album

"I just signed an international recording deal with Ultra Music, New York. This is the first album that I’ll be releasing internationally. In the past, with my albums, I’ll usually just do like full house songs. With this one I’m changing the approach. Yes, it’s under the dance music category, but I have some slower dance songs. It’s not just the same tempo the whole album. It’s different styles of house."

On the meaning of 16 June in South Africa

"It’s always a very emotional day. I put up a post yesterday, how amazing it was [that] so many years later, 40 years later in South Africa they’re playing 90% local music. We still have a long way to go, but we’re on our way. I choose not to be negative and cry about the past. I’d rather be quite optimistic and hope for the best. It happened for a reason, so let’s see the reason and strive for better things."

On South Africa at the BET Awards

"It’s exciting, I mean to see us getting that kind of recognition. I’ve seen the involvement. I’ve seen how much they [BET] want us to be involved in the pre-parties, to attend the concert they’re doing. It’s really really nice to see, how they’re involving us, not just in the ceremony. It’s exciting, it’s exciting times us being given such a platform."

On the BET Awards’ Best International Act: Africa controversy

"For them to introduce the International categories, it’s either they do it right or don’t do it at all. For me it doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s also just a sign of respect. If you’re saying I recognise you, don’t say I recognise you a little bit. Say I recognise you. It doesn’t matter who’s going to present the award, whether they’re African or not. But have it in the same ceremony with everyone else.

I mean I love the approach. I love how involved they got... I love how they’re showing we’re a part of this thing. They’re doing a great job honestly. I don’t know what’s going to happen on the day, but everything else has been amazing."

News Brief
Photo: Single cover art courtesy of Emerald East

Rema Welcomes 2021 With New Single 'Bounce'

The Don Jazzy produced track reminds us of why the Nigerian singer-songwriter is topping charts.

Nigerian golden boy Rema took his time on deciding how to start of 2021—and we're glad he did.

The afropop hitmaker is out with his first project of the year, "Bounce", after stunning fans with word of an upcoming album, and the cooks in this kitchen have not disappointed.

Keeping it in the Mavin Records family, legendary producer Don Jazzy sprinkles his magic on the track, while undoubtedly motivating the young singer-songwriter to be his best self. And with this track being like nothing we've heard from Rema before, one could say Jazzy succeeded. "Bounce", fast-paced and fierce, is a love song dedicated to bewitchingly beautiful and blessed bottoms. The candid declaration and hip shaking beat are a force duo and we can't help but love it.

Of the single and collaboration with head honcho Don Jazzy, Rema says, "This record was inspired by the luscious and magnificent body of the African woman. Furthermore, I'm really excited about this tune because it's my first single with the legendary Don Jazzy."

Honestly, when you start the year off with a banger, you get to make songs about butts.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Interview: Sincerely Ria Is Giving Guinean Fashion Its Flowers

And designer Mariama Diallo's NYFW debut celebrates the vibrancy and uniqueness of Guinea and its Fulani culture.