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Talent Corner - Black Coffee

We talked to the South African DJ on the occasion of his residency in Ibiza

Talent Corner - Black Coffee We talked to the South African DJ on the occasion of his residency in Ibiza

A big part of the mainstream public got in touch with Black Coffe thanks to his recent collaboration with Drake for the track Get It Together in his latest album More Life. But Black Coffe is more than this.

True African house music icon, Black Coffe conquered the most prestigious consoles around the world - thank also to his amazing talent as a producer. 
We interviewed him on the occasion of the announcement of his summer residency at Ibiza’s Hi to discover more about on his art and an unusual passion. 


#1 You’ve an incredible past, but I want to start from the present, and the future. This Summer you’re going to start your first very residency at the Hi, in Ibiza. What are you feeling about that?

I’m excited, I’m looking forward to contributing to the reopening. For me Ibiza plays a big role in contributing to dance music all over the world, I’m really excited to be part of this scene. I’m looking forward to the summer and contributing to South African music.


#2 You’ve been defined, more than once, as the present of the South African music, and, for this reason, you’re an inspiration for the youngest. What were your references when you started to play music? 

I just observe social media generally in South Africa. We just celebrated 16th June and what happened in 1976 on this day (The Soweto Uprising). There were students that were marching against learning a certain language, that march turned into a black burn because the government ordered police to shoot and kill. That day became so significant to South Africa. What I see on social media is everyone wanting to help others, if you observe South Africa Twitter, everyone wants artists to donate, to help, to build something to help. I think as a country, because of where we come from, we have got accustomed to understanding our community and their need -  I grew up in such an environment. Literally the other day, there was a guy whose raising money for his battery network that he’s just started and he’s challenged me -  For every retweet, he’s going to donate one rand, I’ve just tweeted as well, for every RT I’m going to donate too. 

So, that’s where we come from, I come from a country where,  if you make something out of yourself, the first thing you want to do is help others, I’ve been inspired by my country in general...


#3 In the recent years, African music conquered more and more the pages of the principal music websites. You’re from Durban, have you heard of GQOM? What’s your opinion on that?

It is mostly from Durban, it’s a style that started there and has been there for a long time.  I just think music has one goal, and that goal is to make people happy and give people the greatest times. That music makes a lot of people happy, I’m glad it’s getting recognition in the world.

#4 Your music is not only composed by the African tribal influences but is mixed with the European tradition. How did you work for balance them?

It takes a lot of time for me. As a producer, I’m exposed to so many different genres of music so it’s the hardest thing to do. So my range in music goes from wanting to work with Rhianna to wanting to work with Gregory Porter. They’re two very different worlds apart, but that’s what I like, it takes quite a bit of time to make it work, but I spend that time to make a balance so I can make the best results.


#5 In the last years you traveled a lot, playing around the world. What’s the best and worst part of being a DJ?

The best part is traveling the world, seeing all these amazing places. The worst is leaving family behind, missing cultured moments like a family wedding or your kids graduating from school. It’s such a blessing to work, doing what you love.


#6 I know you’re really into cars. What’s you favorite one? And also, when you find the time to drive them?

I love Mercedes Benz, I love others too, but I think my ultimate Mercedes would be an SLR McLaren. In South Africa, we drive on the left-hand side of the road but we drive a right-hand driven car. They don’t make those cars, it’s only left-hand drive, it’s not so much enticing but it’s one of my favorite cars.

#7 Do you listen to your music when you drive?

I listen to a lot of different stuff, from Frank Ocean, Majid Jordan to Mac Miller, Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Internet, Jamie Woon, Sampha, and some classical music as well. Also some rap like Kendrick Lamar and Addison Park. I love different kinds of music, and every now again I would listen to an old album of mine and see where I was and what space I was in whilst creating.



cover image by John Castillo