This maestro DJ and producer forged his musical background with his school choir and by studying the keyboard. He studied music in Durban because he felt that as a producer, he had to deepen his overall musical knowledge, develop his listening skills and advance his knowledge of music theory.
2003 saw Black Coffee starting to put his first project together. He revealed that his first album was created using very basic music-making software. “I don’t know how to explain the production stages of my album because all I did was put down the basic ideas that I had. I didn’t use any MIDI controllers or anything along those sophisticated lines. All I did was program the beats.”
After the successful 12” release of Black Coffee’s underground hit ‘Kwanele’, Kronologik brings you the self-titled debut album from South Africa’s prolific awarding winning DJ/producer.
Nathi ‘Black Coffee’ Maphumulo began his DJ career back in 1994 while still in High School. While studying Music in Natal Technikon, he formed ‘Shana’ – a band that has gone on to record and release four albums. In 2001 he was offered an opportunity to freelance for various clubs and promoters until securing a residency at Voodoo Lounge nightclub – the most happening club of it’s time. In 2003 he was chosen as one of two South African participants in the Red Bull Music Academy which jumpstarted him into the South African DJ scene. So much so that he was given the prime weekend dance slot on Umhlobo Wenene (Saturday’s 8-10) – a show featuring the most international DJ’s on South African radio. In 2006 Black Coffee triumphed in the category of Best Dance Album at the prestigious South African Music Awards and in 2007 he was picked to play at the Red Bull Music Academy lounge at the Sonar festival in Barcelona. Black Coffee has played alongside the cream of local and international DJ’s including Little Louie Vega, Alix Alvarez, Franck Roger, Charles Webster, DJ Spinna and Osunlade.
Now ‘Black Coffee’ – the SAMA award winning album gets an international release through Kronologik Music. Twelve tracks of deep, soulful, afro house music featuring artists such as Mabe Thobejane, Busi Mhlongo, Shana and Mafikizolo.
The album also includes Black Coffee’s remixes of classic tracks like Hugh Masekela’s 1972 masterpiece, ‘Stimela’, Thandiswa’s ‘Kwanele’ and ‘S Khuzile’ by Brothers Of Peace – all in his inimitable Kwaito style. If you are wondering what Kwaito is – its South Africa’s home-grown music that is based on US house music infused with South African melodies and rhythms.
Other well known Black Coffee tracks that have already done the rounds on the underground house circuit are featured on the album. Tracks like ‘Happiness’, the big hit from the DJs At Work compilation album, ‘Love Life Generation – House Generation’ and the deeper than deep soulful classic ‘Music’ which was included on Keith Thompson’s ‘Worlds Collide Volume 1’.
One listen to this album and you’ll see why it scooped the Best Dance Album award at the South African Music Awards.
4) Black Coffee is a famous jazz group from Split , Croatia active since 1993.
In 1996. they released their first album titled simply “BLACK COFFEE”. Album features such stars of Croatian music as Oliver Dragojevic and Gibonni, as well as guest appearance by famous Croatian actor Bozidar Alic. The composition “Night & Day” featuring Oliver, wins Croatian discography award “Porin” in the category of Best Jazz Performance.
Ever since has the group performed at numerous jazz and ethno festivals (Lagano, lagano; Hrvatski Jazz Sabor; Springtime Jazz Fever; Liburnia Jazz Festival; Alpe-Adria Jazz Festival; Baloon 2; Porin itd.), releasing 5 albums until this day. The most successful performances include concert at first SPLIT JAZZ FESTIVAL, which has also seen performances by names of world jazz scene such as McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker and Trilok Gurtu, JAZZ FOR PEACE festival in Pescara alongside James Williams, Larry Willis and Bobby Watson, and numerous guest performances in neighbor countries.Internationally acclaimed and Afro-house star DJ. has a brand new music video titledAfraid of the Dark, featuring Nathan Adams.The vid, also directed by the deejay whose real name is Nathi Maphumulo, was shot in London, England last month and he features the London-born vocalist Nathan Adams.
Black Coffee just released his first live DVD Black Coffee: Africa Rising last week.
He tweeted a picture of his copy of the DVD saying, “#AfricaRisingDVD official release date 21/09/2012 #LiveMusic #southafrica”.
The DVD was shot at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban on December 16 of 2011. It features an orchestra and live performances by some of the singers that the deejay has worked with over the years including the legendary Victor Ntoni, Thiwe and Soulstar . Nowadays, it’s rare that a DJ can rise to become a massive star without crossing over into the terrifying world of EDM. But producer, DJ and label owner Black Coffee has remained true to his roots, making some of the most informed, inspiring and straight up firing Afro-House music in the game.
Raised in the townships of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, Black Coffee moved back to his birthplace of Durban to deepen his knowledge of music as a producer, befor Entering into Red Bull’s Music Academy in 2003, since then he’s become something of a rock star in the house music obsessed RSA, with four multi-platinum albums under his belt, two South African Music Awards, and an MTV nomination for best worldwide act, further setting in stone his global status as a DJ.
His DJ sets see him mix up some of the funkiest house and afrobeat with cutting edge tracks that have seen him rise to become a unique figure in the global scene. Ahead of his show tonight at International Music Summit in Ibiza tonight, we caught up with the superstar to get his musical biography on the record.
What was the first record you bought?I bought my first records from a second hand record store in Umthatha where I grew up. I remember one being the Ladysmith Black Mambazo hit, Halala Team Leaders. I used it as the intro for a lot of my sets in the early 00s, and later re-recorded the song with my former group, Shana as well. I actually still have it.
The song that made you fall in love with electronic music?There are so many. Black Box, Fantasy, Soul 2 Soul’s albums, and Banderas, This is Your life.
The song that made you fall in love with soul music?Donny Hathaway, The Ghetto.
Who was person that made you want to be a musician?I was about 16 at the time, hanging out in Umthata with one of my cousin’s friends who owned a sound system. There were two big DJs, Christos and Oskido, coming to town to play at this place called Transparadise, which was a club on Fridays and Saturdays and a church on Sundays. We went to drop off some equipment there and I watched as the DJs connected everything. Then Christos put a record on to do a sound check. With me watching everything he was doing. Then the sound came out… That was my moment. That was it.
What song that reminds you of school?Spiritual Brothers. A song that my friend and I used to sing during morning prayers at school as part of an acapella group.
Is there a song that reminds you of your parents?Brook Benton reminds me of my mother.
What song got you through your first love/ heartbreak?Tortured Soul, Hows your life and George Levin, (I got somebody new )
Was there a song/lyric that made you think ‘I want to write songs like that’?All the Tortured Soul albums.
Was there a record that changed everything for you?I’d say Larry Heard, Flight of the comet
What song was a turning point for you in your career?My remix of Hugh Madekala, Stimela. I was working on something else when that song started playing on my TV. I stopped what I was doing, watched and while it was still playing, I switched to working on it instead. I didn’t stop until I had finished the entire instrumental.
What track or collaboration is most special to you?my remix of wathula nje by the late Victor Ntoni. He was a double bass player who never reall sang much. But on this piece, he had decided to sing, and he created a masterpiece. It blew me away the first time I heard it. I looked the label up immediately and asked for permission to remix it. lt’s also one of the most challenging songs I’ve ever worked on.
What was the first song that you ever played out live?I don’t recall exactly but pretty sure it would’ve been material by Shana, the group that I was part of.
Which track of yours do you think sums you up most?Mmm… I don’t think any of them. I’m quite a complex person. I’m still trying to figure myself out.
Last song that you played out live?Black Coffee, we are one At the most recent Africa Rising live show accompanied by a 24-piece orchestra and band.
The most played song in your collection?Mother Mother, fat freddys Drop.
What’s your favourite thing to watch on YouTube?Ballantines human Orchestra The experiment I conducted recently to recreate one of my tracks using 40 human voices.
AWARD-WINNING DJ Black Coffee turned down the chance to work with international R&B star Brian McKnight, as he’s gearing to release his latest album internationally.
Speaking to the media after picking up two awards at the DJ Electronic Music Awards in Ibiza, in Spain, the star, real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo, revealed he was asked to work with Brian.
“I said no,” he said.
DJ Black Coffee won the Breakthrough Artists of the Year award and the Dance Nation of the Year award at the 18th edition of this event.
“To me Brian is at the level I was when I released Home Brewed in 2009.
“I’ve moved on now. I’m at a different level,” said the DJ, who just dropped his latest album, Pieces of Me.
He also revealed he would have loved to work with one of his favourite artists, Carl Thomas.
“But it’s too late now. The question I ask myself before working with an artist is ‘what’s there I haven’t done before?’.”
This is not the first time the globetrotting DJ has turned down an opportunity to work with a US star.
He once said no to Macy Gray’s original track remake request, before agreeing to do a different track titled Lately.
The award winner also revealed one artist he would love to work with is Sam Smith.
“But I’ve realised over the years we have talented people in the country who can do what he does.
“The point is we need to realise as South Africans that we can go as high as we want.
“Africa is not our limit. The world is our playground,” said the star who’s used to filling venues overseas.
DJ Black Coffee has urged Universal Music to resolve the standing issue with Musica, so his new album can be available on retailer’s shelves.