Meet the Fresh Prince of Barbados.
Energetic, witty, philosophical, and charming are all words that can describe Dj Puffy. But it is not his voice or writing skill that captivates the audience but his super agile fingers on the turntables.
Barbadian deejay, DJ Puffy (Andre Parris) made history in 2016 when he became the winner of the Red Bull Music 3Style World DJ Championships.
Recently, he spent some time with LinkedIn Local Caribbean host, Pauline Joseph to talk about his journey into the music industry.
Born and Raised In Barbados
DJ Puffy was born in Barbados, November 20, 1991 to Grenadian singer Denise Williams and Barbadian Curtis Parris. He grew up in a musical household and became interested in turntables at age seven.
In high school, he earned the name DJ puffy from his peers because he was known to attend costume parties as prominent American businessman, rapper and music producer, Puff Daddy.
”(Deejaying) was a hobby at first and I was doing these small house parties and stuff for my friends, ” said DJ Puffy.
Around age 16, he started to work for the carnival band called Youth Explosion. DJ Puffy said that he volunteered to play music for one of the organisation’s event.
”While I was warming up for the other Djs at this fete we were throwing, a guy was there and he heard me play and he was like yo, how long have you been deejaying? And I was like I am not a real DJ. I just do it for fun, ” said DJ Puffy.
His exchange with the venue owner resulted in a full time gig as a Deejay. This chance encounter led to eleven years perfecting his craft as a deejay.
”I was never really the type of person to say no to opportunities…I will say yes and figure it out along the way, ” said Dj Puffy.
Carving His Niche
The young deejay explained that he brought ”something different to the table”. While his colleagues played only dancehall and soca he focused on other genres.
”I was the guy who was known for playing all those left-field songs at the time, all the hip hop and the pop, ” said Dj Puffy.
He also concentrated on branding, his brand identity, his presentation of mixtapes and social media presence. He believed that his audience liked what he offered to them.
Entering this competitive industry at a young age, Dj Puffy admitted that he was fortunate to have a sound support system through his management team. They helped him to negotiate his contracts and guided him through unfamiliar scenarios.
”I did have a manager and I did have somebody to play devil’s advocate and take all the lashes for me, ” said Dj Puffy.
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