DJ Black Coffee

Black Coffee, born Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, is a South African DJ, recording artist and record producer. He began his music career in 1994, in 2003 he got his big break when he was chosen to participate in the Red Bull Music Academy, a world-traveling series of music workshops and festivals held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Born Nkosinathi Innocent
March 11, 1976
Umlazi, Durban
South Africa
Known As Black Coffee
DJ Black Coffee
Wife Mbali Mlotshwa
Occupation DJ, Musician, Entrepreneur
Recording Artist
Record Producer
Genres Dance, House
Since 1994 – to date
Record Label Soulistic Music
Associated Acts Culoe De Song, DJ Shimza
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

Black Coffee was born in Umlazi, a township situated on the south of the city of Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

He was raised in Umthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa. DJ Black Coffee attended primary and high school in that province.

In 1994 he started his music career when he was still in high school.

DJ Black Coffee returned to the province he was born in, this time to study at the then Technikon Natal, now Durban University of Technology, Steve Biko Campus.

He studied music at Technikon Natal, Berea and majored in Jazz Studies.

While studying music at Technikon Natal, along with his would be band-mates, he worked as as a backup singer for Madala Kunene.

Black Coffee later formed a group called Simply Hot and Naturally African (SHANA) with his friends Mnqobi Mdabe (Shoot) and Thandukwazi Sikhosana (Demor).

As part of the band SHANA, Black Coffee went to release four albums under under Melt 2000 record label then headed by Robert Trunz.

Having languished in the shadows of prominent artists of that time for nearly 10 years, Black Coffee’s big break finally came, in 2003 he was chosen as one of two South African to participate in the Red Bull Music Academy, a world-traveling series of music workshops and festivals, which took place in Cape Town, South Africa.

His participation in the Red Bull Music Academy helped him jump start his career as a serious dance solo artist, the years that followed were marked with gradual critical and commercial success in the South African, African and International music scene.


Music Career as a Solo Artist

In 2005 DJ Black Coffee released his first solo album title Black Coffee, the album was released under his own record label Soulistic Music, in it he collaborated with established artists including Thandiswa Mazwai, Hugh Masekela, the late Busi Mhlongo among others. He also made a remix of Hugh Makekela’s 1972 song Stimela.

In 2006 “Black Coffee” was nominated for Best Urban Dance Album at the 12th Annual South African Music Awards (SAMAs) and later won.

In 2007 he released his second album titled Have Another One, the album was buoyed “wathula nje”, a remix of the late Victor Ntoni’s 2004 jazz ballad Thetha (Wathula Nje?). In Have Another One he collaborated with Busi Mhlongo once again as well as Siphokazi and L’vovo Derrango. It was during the production of this album that DJ Black Coffee discovered and collaborated with Culoe De Song.

In 2009 DJ Black Coffee released his third album titled Home Brewed which featured Ringo Madlingozi, Zonke and Zakes Bantwini among others.

In 2010 Home Brewed earned DJ Black Coffee two awards for  Best Urban Dance Album and Best Male Artist as the 16th Annual South African Music Awards. In that year, Home Brewed also won Best Produced Album and Best Dance Album at the Metro FM Music Awards as well as Channel O’s Most Talented Male Music Video of the year.

In 2011 DJ Black Coffee launched Africa Rising which included a 24 piece orchestra along with a band and featured artists performing Black Coffee’s works live a Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.

In 2012 Africa Rising, the album, was released. A triple Compact Disc (CD) and a DVD which went double platinum within 2 months. The album earned him his fourth SAMA at the 19th Annual South African Music Awards, he had been nominated for Best Dance Album.



Black Coffee was invited to perform at the Red Bull Music Academy Lounge at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona, where he played alongside the world best DJs in house and dance music including Little Louie Vega, Alix Alvarez, Franck Roger, Charles Webster, DJ Spinna and Osunlade.

He has also toured Sydney, New York, São Paulo, Luanda, Los Angeles and Athens  with other Soulistic Music artists.


Record Producer

DJ Black Coffee is a record producer, he is the founder and owner of the record company Soulistic Music. Black Coffee discovered and introduced Culoe De Song though his record label.



DJ Black Coffee is among the artists who capitalized on the emergence of Afro-House during the decline of Kwaito. Some of those artists were pioneers of the Kwaito Revolution among them Oskido who made a seamless transition from Kwaito to House as well as DJ Sbu.

Black Coffee has however transcended Afro-House, his music has long been described as “dance music” rather than “house music” and has won Best Dance Album award at the South African Music Awards on three separate occasions.

Following the release of “Black Coffee”, he was quoted saying “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”.



In 2011 he was the subject of Nicky Greenwall’s The Close Up and in 2013 he was the subject of Pearl Modiadie’s Zaziwa.

In 2014 DJ Black Coffee was a judge on the third season of The Road to Miss South Africa which aired on Mzansi Magic.



Year Album Title Record Label Notes
2005 Black Coffee Soulistic Music DJ Black Coffee
2007 Have Another One Soulistic Music DJ Black Coffee
2009 Home Brewed Soulistic Music DJ Black Coffee
2012 Africa Rising Soulistic Music DJ Black Coffee
2012 Africa Rising (DVD) Soulistic Music DJ Black Coffee





Year Award Work Category Result
2006 SA Music Award 12 “Black Coffee” Best Urban Dance Album Won
2010 SA Music Award 16 “Home Brewed” Best Urban Dance Album Won
2010 SA Music Award 16 “Home Brewed” Best Male Artist Won
2010 Metro FM Music Awards “Home Brewed” Best Produced Album Won
2010 Metro FM Music Awards “Home Brewed” Best Dance Album Won
2010 Mens’ Health Magazine Unknown Best Man Won
2011 Channel O Africa Music Awards “Home Brewed” Most Talented Male Artist Won
2012 Sunday Times Generation NEXT Award N/A Coolest DJ Won
2013 SA Music Awards 19 Africa Rising Best Dance Album Won
2013 Sunday Times Generation NEXT Award N/A Coolest DJ Won



Personal Life

In May 2011 Black Coffee married actress Mbali Mlotshwa of’s 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls fame.



Black Coffee founded the DJ Black Coffee foundation. The charitable foundation was founded for purposes of assisting and uplifting people with disabilities.

In 2009 DJ Black Coffee announced that 5% of all album sales from his record company, Soulistic Music, would be donated to charity.


Left Arm

DJ Black Coffee lost the use of his left arm when he was 13 years old. While celebrating the release of Nelson Mandela from prison a speeding vehicle ran over the crowd, injuring him.


Alleged Feud with Zakes Bantwini

In September 2013 The Daily Sun reported that DJ Black Coffee and fellow musician and collaborator Zakes Bantwini of Mayonie Produktions fame. The article claimed that Zakes Bantwini expected Black Coffee to treat him like a superstar after he finished recording his Upfront With Zakes Bantwini DVD at the Durban ICC.

It goes on to say “Zakes wanted Black Coffee to release his DVD under his Soulistic Music stable, but Black Coffee refused to do that because he was gatvol (fed up) with Zakes’ attitude”.

The Daily Sun reported that Zakes Bantwini responded to those claims by saying “There’s no animosity between us. Black Coffee is like a brother to me and we had fun working on each other’s DVD projects”, while DJ Black Coffeee responded by saying “I refused to release his DVD under my stable. In fact, I have a problem with you as a journalist”.