International hitmaker Black Coffee needs no introduction to our readers. With a resume as decorated as his, and a catalogue that is bursting at the seams with international features, Black Coffee is not just a South African treasure, but a global one too.
The DJ is gearing up to release his hotly anticipated new album SBCNSLY and has shared a slew of high-profile singles in the build up to the new record featuring the likes ofPharrell Williams, Sabrina Claudio and more.
His brand is Music is King, and we sat down for a chat with arguably the king of music himself.
Where in the world are you calling us from if I may ask?
I’m in South Africa right now, I’m home. In fact I just picked up my son from school!
You’ve blessed us with some new music in the past few weeks, can you tell us more about your high profile collaborations?
Yeah, it’s been a great few weeks actually. This past Friday I dropped a song with LA-based (Australian born!) musician Ry X titled I’m Fallin’ and the Friday before that I dropped 10 Missed Calls with Pharrell Williams and yeah, both songs have been getting a lot of love from fans, so really just happy to be in such a good space right now. They are both out and I’m really excited. The album pre-order is also available, with the album itself coming out in February.
The tracklist for your album features some of the biggest names in world music, it feels like I’m looking at a list of Grammy nominees! Blended in with some of the most exciting names in South African music too. How did you strike that balance?
For me it’s very important to have that balance. I don’t plan to have a specific 50/50 split or anything, I just think about my album and what voices I want to have on the project and I pick the best artist for the job. But in this case, I knew what I wanted for my album and sometimes it was an artist from abroad and other times it was an artist from home.
Your upcoming album SBCNSLY is dropping in February as you mentioned earlier. How do you tackle your projects, do you come up with a theme or do you record a number of tracks and choose the best selection for your record?
Probably more of the latter, I wouldn’t say I have specific themes or anything like that in mind. I also don’t just spend a long time recording and recording and recording throughout the year. I tend to block out some time when I’m working on a project, and then invite the artists who suit what we’re creating and then take it from there. As long as everybody gets the bigger picture of what we are doing, then it always works out.
That’s amazing man we can’t wait to hear the record. Outside of the studio and straight to the decks – how have your shows been impacted by 2020 and the pandemic?
Wow where do I begin, nothing is the same as it used to be. Everything is tighter, stricter, a lot more cautious and understandably so. It’s a very different world that we are living in these days and everything has been affected, everybody’s revenue has taken a hit. But I mean we solider on and we try and find ways to make it work, but it hasn’t been the same.
One of the highlights of the year end is your show-stopping concert series, Music is King. Will we be getting a 2020 (covid-friendly!) edition this year?
Not in the way that you’re used to seeing it. Yes we will definitely be doing something so watch the space, but it won’t be as big and grand as the usual show. Music is King is quite a big operation and usually needs large ticket sales to cover the costs. With current event restrictions, we won’t be able to execute it on the same level.
Are you optimistic for the future though?
Without a shadow of a doubt. I mean Covid won’t just go away next year, but somehow I can just tell that it will be better than 2020!