‘Cat’ Coore happy for Koffee, but … Says she should have been nominated in another category
Word from ‘Cat’ Coore, guitarist, cellist and founding member of the ‘Reggae Ambassadors’, Third World, is that the band is over the moon about their latest album, More Work To Be Done, being nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Reggae Album category.
One of the five nominees contending for the award at the upcoming ceremony, the work was executively produced by their ‘nephew’ Damian Marley. But as Coore celebrates his fellow nominees, he also expressed reservation about this crop’s youngest member, Koffee, who he believes should have been considered for a pop music category.
Koffee nabbed her first nomination for her debut EP, Rapture. Coore told The Sunday Gleaner that he was totally thrilled and happy for the 19-year-old singjay. He, however, opined that Koffee’s music defies the definitions of the reggae genre, and that she should have been considered in other categories. In addition, he said that he “would have liked it to have been a situation where she wasn’t being judged on an EP, but rather an LP”.
Based on the Recording Academy’s guidelines, to be considered an album, recordings must contain at least five different tracks and a total playing time of 15 minutes or a total playing time of at least 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement.
There is precedent for an EP being considered for an award. Last year, rising singer-songwriter H.E.R. walked away with her first two Grammy awards, for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album. After collecting her trophy, she tearfully said: “So first thing I wanna say is this is unbelievable and second it’s not even an album, it’s an EP.”
Along with Third World’s More Work To Be Done, and Koffee’s Rapture, Steel Pulse’s Mass Manipulation, Sly and Robbie’s The Final Battle: Sly & Robbie vs Roots Radics and As I Am by Julian Marley are nominated for Best Reggae Album, which will be announced on Sunday, January 26, 2020.
Third World shared the stage with Koffee earlier this summer, as the two acts supporting the return of English soft-rock duo Air Supply, goodwill ambassadors for the Issa Trust Foundation (ITF) at a benefit concert at Couples San Souci resort in Ocho Rios, St Ann. There, Coore got to see the beloved young star in action.
“I get the impression that she’s very talented. Apparently, she can play the guitar as well, which is really cool, because we’ve never really had a female singer who could whip out and play. I think she should really give that a shot,” he suggested.
That thought could be rooted in Coore’s position that Koffee’s music could be comfortably and winningly placed in other categories, like pop.
He said: “The kind of music she has transcends reggae. It’s pop music. I would have liked to see her get a nomination for that, in that category. My personal feeling is that she should have got nominated for “best pop single”, not just on a reggae basis. She should have got a nomination in another category.”
Music producer Gussie Clarke disagrees. “It is my view that she has been singing and functioning as a reggae artiste. At this point, I don’t see where she has broken any barriers as an artiste of another genre. If you look at where she’s coming from, what she has had success as, is basically a reggae artiste,” he said.
Ultimately, the guitarist is not overly concerned with the outcome of the awards ceremony next month. “I’m not so really involved in the final outcome. We’re very proud to have been nominated, and we’re proud of her to be nominated for such a young person. The energy is good. We love all the nominees. Whatever will be will be,” Coore told The Sunday Gleaner.
But if Third World does walk away with the golden gramophone, it would be the ultimate satisfaction after being expertly led by their industry nephew, Jr Gong.
“It would be almost like a life-changing situation. Having known Damian from he was very small, having been a big part of his growing up, and seeing him become what he is, would be the most touching point to me. I’m really saddened that (Bunny) Rugz didn’t really live to be with his nephews, being produced,” he shared.