Black Coffee on working with Pharrell Williams and 80% local music quota

DJ Black Coffee spoke about his work with international star Pharrell Williams.
DJ Black Coffee spoke about his work with international star Pharrell Williams.
Image: Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape

DJ Black Coffee may be one of the biggest DJs in the world right now, but he is not about to turn his back on his SA roots in his music, even while recording with hit producer Pharrell Williams.

The Superman star has worked with some of the biggest names in the world, including Kelly Rowland, Usher, David Guetta and Drake.

Still, he wants to stick to his roots during collaborations and, in an interview on YFM this week, recounted his experience working with Pharrell.

“I am very conscious of my roots. That is the stuff I always want to keep. I am very vocal about. If I am uncomfortable, it doesn't matter who I am working with, I back up a bit.

“For example, I have been working with Pharrell (Williams), working on some songs, and one of them, he was like, 'this is the one'. I was like 'no'. I sent him another one and he was like 'this is better'. So it is not even about the name., I don't compromise what I love and what I do”.

The star also opened up, in an interview on Metro FM in 2017, about how he was asked to record a song for Jay Z and the struggles of that collaboration.

“Swizz (Beatz) reached out and said Jay is looking for one song before he concludes his album. It freaked me out. I am in Milan.I couldn't sleep. He literally called me: 'I spoke to Jay. Jay wants a song.' I couldn't sleep. Then I didn't work. I couldn't. How do you produce a song for Jay Z? He kept saying: 'Yo, man. I'm waiting.' I think I failed him but subconsciously I think I wanted to. I wasn't ready.”

Speaking on YFM about the state of music in SA, Black Coffee said he felt bad that South African radio still plays “an entire Sunday” of old music from America. He said radio should play 80%t local music.

“I felt like, man, it would be so cool if this was 80% local music. We make the same kind of music. We can have guests, American artists featuring, but it would be so cool if we could embrace our own. If we did, the younger artists would make more because now there is a platform to play the music they make.”

While stars sometimes have massive demands on their tour riders, Black Coffee revealed his consists of “sweets and water and fruit. That is it”.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the 2019 Music is King concert in October, Black Coffee said it was important to unite in the music industry and work together to move it forward.


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