Though she was making the rounds as a budding reggae star more than three years ago, it was Koffee’s sprightly performance on the Rebel Salute stage in 2017 that made many curious about the Spanish Town native.
At just 19, the Toast hitmaker became the youngest and first female Jamaican artiste to win the Grammy award for the Best Reggae Album today.
Rebel Salute organiser Tony Rebel beamed with pride as he spoke to BUZZ.
“The first time mi see Koffee was on Rebel Salute when Cocoa Tea called her up. We’re happy for her and hope that there will be many, many more to come,” he said. “She set a good pace in her teenage stage and it’s a good vibe to see that a young artiste is able to make that move, it will inspire a whole lot of other young artistes.”
Queen Ifrica was getting ready to perform at Reggae Gold on the Beach in Martinique when she heard the news.
“It’s awesome, I said that she would have won because of the time and it is only fair for a female to win this for the reggae or Jamaican music genre and this is a young, fresh sistren that got it so it’s a good look,” she told BUZZ.
Judy Mowatt was the first Jamaican female to be nominated for the best reggae album at the Grammys in 1985 for the album Working Wonders, and Etana was the last female to cop the nod in 2018 with Reggae Forever. Sisters Carol and Rita Marley have also been listed in the category.
Ifrica said the feat is inspirational for both young and old, and took the time to advise young artistes to not take the Rebel Salute platform lightly.
“She was founded on Rebel Salute, so this is an opportunity to say to all young artistes that you shouldn’t take the Rebel Salute stage for granted, it’s a very good stage where the world sees you.”
She added, “Koffee does culture music so it’s culture that win. A lot of negatives come out of Jamaica in terms of our music so to see this young, bright, promising 19-year-old win the Grammy by singing ‘gratitude is a must’ it’s such a motivation and young people in Jamaica need this kind of motivation, the world by extension, so it’s very good.”