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.”