UP 23

House music
Best known for:
Ibiza residency, being Africa’s most well-known DJ
From: South Africa
Nkosinathi Maphumulo’s star continued to rise in 2021. The artist, better known by his stage name Black Coffee, released his sixth studio album, ‘Subconsciously’, in February to glowing reviews. The 12-track record was packed with music heavyweights, including Pharrell, David Guetta and Usher, reviving the SA house legend’s signature smooth and subtle sounds, with a few more radio-friendly cuts thrown in for good measure. He took to the road following the release, playing at venues in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Zurich and Ibiza and even revived his world-renowned Deep In the City nights.
South Africa’s top DJ also gave an NPR Tiny Desk performance in March, becoming the second DJ to do so and in September it was revealed that his No.1 single ‘Drive’ was the most-streamed South African song in Apple Music history, proving Black Coffee’s staying power after many years in the game. “I’ve been in the studio this year working on new music, gearing up for the launch of Sensorium Galaxy’s PRISM, composed the soundtrack for Amiri’s SS 2022 runway show and focussed on Gallo Music, as well as my angel investment company Flightmode Digital,” he tells DJ Mag.
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
“My first show after having been in total lockdown in South Africa for most of 2020 was just such a revelation. There is very little that can top performing to a live audience. Human connection is not over-rated.”


How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
“The pandemic has allowed me to spend real-time at home and to really rest and replenish, something I haven’t been able to do in about five or six years. It was a joy to have extended quality time to devote to my kids and to be able to sit and do nothing, just listen to my inner voice and reconnect with myself. This past summer I’ve made a point of breaking touring into chunks and returned home to South Africa every four-to-six weeks.”