Black Coffee (DJ)

Black Coffee is a South African DJ and record producer whose real name is Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo (born 11 March 1976). He began his career around 1994[4] and has released five albums[5] as well as a live DVD.[6] Black Coffee became prominent after participating in the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy held in Cape Town.[7] In September 2015, he won the "Breakthrough DJ of the Year" award at the DJ Awards in Ibiza.[8]

Black Coffee
Black Coffee perfoming at Hï Ibiza in June 2018.jpg
Black Coffee performing at Hï Ibiza in June 2018
Background information
Birth nameNkosinathi Inno Maphumulo
Born (1976-03-11) 11 March 1976 (age 43)
OriginDurban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
  • DJ
  • record producer
  • singer-songwriter
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • sampler
  • percussion
  • synthesizer
Years active1989–present
LabelsSoulistic, Ultra Music[2][3]

Early careerEdit

Maphumulo was born on 11 March 1976 in Umlazi, South Africa. He later moved to Umtata, the home town of Nelson Mandela, and grew up in Durban. Maphumulo majored in Jazz Studies at Technikon Natal now Durban University of Technology[9] before working as a backup singer for Madala Kunene[10] together with then schoolmates: Mnqobi Mdabe (Shota) and Thandukwazi Sikhosana (Demor).[11] Maphumulo, Shota and Demor later formed an Afro-pop trio called SHANA (Simply Hot and Naturally African) which was signed to Melt 2000, then headed by Robert Trunz.[12] Maphumulo was chosen as one of two South African participants in the Red Bull Music Academy in 2003, jump-starting him into the South African dance music scene.[13] His first big break was when his song "Happiness" was featured on the DJs at Work album.[14]

Music careerEdit

2005–2006: Black CoffeeEdit

In 2005, he launched his career with a remix of Hugh Masekela's 1972 hit Stimela.[15] Later that year he released his self-titled debut album,[14] and created his company.[16] The album featured collaborations with the likes of Thandiswa Mazwai, Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo amongst a few.[17][citation needed] "Black Coffee" was well received in the SADC region.[18] His album, "Black Coffee" 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 everything was played with a computer mouse".[19]

2007–2008: Have Another OneEdit

By 2007, Black Coffee had become recognized in the South African DJ scene with tribal, vocal-laced beats. In the same year he released his second studio album titled "Have Another One[20] " which featured "Wathula Nje"—a remix of Victor Ntoni's 2004 jazz ballad "Thetha". "Wathula Nje" was later released in Europe together with "Even Though" featuring Bantu Soul through a European label Realtone Records on vinyl[21] and digitally. The twelve-track album featured the likes of Siphokazi, Busi Mhlongo, and kwaito sensation L'vovo to mention a few, it also introduced a then 17-year-old high school producer from Eshowe Kwa Zulu Natal; Culoe De Song who became the second artist to be signed under Soulistic Music.[22] Black Coffee discovered and collaborated with Culoe De Song on an afro-electronic dub titled 100 Zulu warriors.[23][24]

During this period Black Coffee performed at the Red Bull Music Academy Lounge at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona,[25] alongside recognized DJs such as Little Louie Vega, Alix Alvarez, Franck Roger, Charles Webster, DJ Spinna and Osunlade.[26]

2009–2011: Home BrewedEdit

In 2009, Black Coffee released his third album, ‘’Home Brewed’’, featuring Ringo Madlingozi, Zonke, Hugh Masekela, Zakes Bantwini and others.[27]

Between 2009 and 2010, new releases from Culoe de Song,[28] Tumelo[29] and the great Zakes Bantwini achieved gold and platinum sales.[30]

In 2010, Black Coffee was inducted in the Guinness Book of World Records when he DJed 60 hours non-stop at Maponya Mall.[31] He also won two awards in the categories Best Urban Dance Album and Best Male Artist at the South African Music Awards 2010.[32][33]

In 2011, Africa Rising was launched at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. It included a live band and 24-piece orchestra in front of an audience of 8,000 and was filmed for the Africa Rising DVD.,[6] 2011 saw four other releases including Culoe de Song's "Elevation",[34] Sai & Ribatones "Here and Now[35] ", Boddhi Satva's "Invocation[36] " and the label's "Soulistic Music Cuts".[37][38]

2012–2013: Africa RisingEdit

In 2012, "Africa Rising" DVD and triple-CD sold double platinum in a space of a month.[39] Black Coffee featured different artists on the album "Africa Rising," such as Bucie or the soulful musician Toshi Tikolo on the title "Buya".[40]

In 2013, he performed globally at locations such as Southport Weekender,[41] Panoroma Bar,[42] Circoloco,[43] Boiler Room.[44] He participated in music conferences like ADE[45] and RBMA in Johannesburg.[46] Amongst a few 2013 notable collaborations are with Mi Casa[47] and Black Motion.[48] He also became one of the key speakers on his friend Vusi Thembekwayo's tour.[49] He was featured in numerous publications[citation needed]. In South Africa, he was featured in November 2013 in the Destiny Man edition of Destiny (magazine).[50]

2015–present: Pieces of MeEdit

After his world tour started in January 2015 at Circoloco in Mexico[51] and ended in August 2015 at Circoloco at DC-10,[52] he released his 5th album, Pieces Of Me.[53]

Pieces of Me was released the second week of September. It received criticism for the cover and title identical to US singer "Ledisi". .[citation needed] Musically the album got positive response, going platinum in South Africa in October.[54] On this album Black Coffee worked with Azola, Portia Monique, Ribatone, Nakhane Toure, Mondli Ngcobo, Kensy, NaakMusiq & Lungi Naidoo.[citation needed]

In 2016, he performed at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival[55] and Ultra Music Festival.[56][57]

At the end of 2016 he was named 91st on Resident Advisor's top 100 DJ's list.

In 2017 he contributed to the beat of the song "Get It Together" on Drake's album More Life released in March 2017.[citation needed]

In 2018, he released a single in collaboration with David Guetta titled "Drive" featuring Delilah Montagu.[58] It is featured on Guetta's upcoming album 7.[59]

End of 2018, he released a seven track EP Music Is King.[60]

In September 2019, Black Coffee released "LALALA" with Grammy-winning American R&B singer Usher.[61]

Personal lifeEdit

Black Coffee married actress and TV presenter Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa. They had two children together as he has four children in total.[62] In July 2019, it was reported they had divorced.[63]


Apart from singles and remixes Black Coffee has released the following albums and DVD since 2005, all under the Soulistic Music label.

  • Black Coffee (2005)
  • Have Another One (2007)
  • Home Brewed (2009)
  • Africa Rising DVD (2012)
  • Africa Rising CD (2012)
  • Pieces of Me (2015)
  • The Journey Continues EP (2016)
  • Music is King EP (2018)


Year Awards
2005 SAMA Best Urban Dance Album
2010 South African Music Awards#12th South African Music Awards (2006)
2010 SAMA Best Male Artist
2010 Health Magazine Best Man[64]
2010 Metro FM Award for Best Produced Album
2010 Metro FM Award for Best Dance Album
2011 Channel O Award for Most Talented Male Artist
2012 Sunday Times Generation NEXT Award for Coolest DJ
2013 SAMA Best Dance Album
2013 Sunday Times Generation NEXT Award For Coolest DJ 2013
2014 Sunday Times Generation Next Award for Coolest DJ
2015 DJ Awards for Breakthrough DJ Of The Year
2016 SAMA Best Dance Album,

Album Of The Year Best Engineered Album International Recognition

BET Award for Best International Act: Africa
DJ Awards Best Deep House DJ
2017 DJ Awards Best Deep House DJ
2018 Dance Music Awards South Africa Best International Producer,

Best International DJ


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External linksEdit