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DJ Black Coffee’s son Esona Maphumulo keeps blazing his own trail

‘Next year, I will be releasing an EP and probably work on an album as well’

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Esona Maphumulo.
Esona Maphumulo.
Image: Mini The Photographer

Esona Maphumulo is set on carving his own path in the music industry, while maintaining the legacy of his Grammy Award-winning father DJ Black Coffee.

Maphumulo first launched his career two years ago and he is an avid lover of percussion, tempo and beats that are blended in soulful harmonies. 

“The past two years have been like a scene from a movie. I’ve headlined in Ibiza alongside my dad… that was one of the most surreal moments I’ve ever had,” he said. 

“Events leading to that moment were quite stressful. Got stuck in some minor delays that nearly made me miss my flight but I’m glad I managed to live such a special moment in my life. 

“Another highlight was playing at Tomorrowland in Belgium, which was such a rewarding experience because it’s something that I had always been dreaming of.” 

The 24-year-old has been taken under the wing of mentors including his famous father and DJ/producer Culoe De Song.

“I’ve never really found it hard distinguishing myself from my dad. In the past two years, I’ve grown in such a way that defines who I am, musically and as an artist,” he said.

“People would be totally surprised to learn that my dad and I are two different people. I’m such a laid-back person who loves playing FIFA with my boys when I'm home, I could define myself as a ‘simple’ guy.

“However, from a DJing perspective, I try to defy the norm of how the current Afro-house sound that my dad is championing by playing with different elements and adding my flair to it – a more flamboyant energy that I get from the people I’m surrounded by.”

International DJ Black Coffee with his son Esona and musician Tresor.
International DJ Black Coffee with his son Esona and musician Tresor.
Image: Mini The Photographer

He added that Burna Boy’s song, Sitting On Top Of The World, summed up his current mood.

“I feel blessed and honoured to be where I am at such a young age. I’ve seen it all and done it all…” he said. 

“I’m currently working on releasing my single. I don’t feel ready to release it yet because I want to put out something I’m really proud of… I need to pick up from the Drake song [Texts Go Green] that I did, so the moment needs to be right for me to release this single.

“I can assure you, however, that next year, I will be releasing an EP and probably work on an album as well.” 

He strongly holds that his father has opened doors for him, but admits that the internationally renowned DJ does play a role in getting his name out there. 

“The misconception is that my father gets me in these places but I believe my hard work also does,” he said.

“Biologically he does play a role but I’ve been able to get myself in rooms and spaces on my own. Yes, the focus might be on him but it then shifts to me and who I am as an artist. Opportunities fall on my lap because I’m good at what I do. If I wasn’t good at this DJing thing, I don’t think I would’ve gotten as far as I have right now.” 

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