02 Jul, 2019
In the Caribbean, there is no shortage of talented DJs. Names like DJ Crown Prince from Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad’s DJ Private Ryan and Black Chiney from Jamaica, are known for their creative remixes and ability to push the conventional boundaries. Beyond this, Caribbean DJs are the ideal cultural ambassadors to serve on the front lines of the region’s mission of transporting its music to the world.
When thinking about ambassadors, one DJ that comes to mind is DJ Puffy, the 2016 Red Bull Thre3style World DJ Champion. Born Andre Curtis Parris, the Barbadian turntablist started DJ-ing as a hobby during his teens, but it is evident that music is a part of his DNA.
What started as a passionate adolescent pastime, eventually turned into a rewarding world-class career; one that has led to Puffy performing at parties attended by A-listers such as Rihanna and Amber Rose, and sharing the stage with Hed Kandi and Rick Ross among others. Puffy’s raw talent has propelled him into the global spotlight, but his success has not overshadowed his Caribbean influence. In fact, many will argue that staying true to his culture and background as an artist is what makes his sound so unique. Other influences include the likes of Ryan Leslie, Swizz Beatz, Machel Montano, Funkmaster Flex, Scratch Master, Private Ryan, DJ Crown Prince, Hypasounds, Peter Coppin, and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
“I’m influenced by everything around me. What defines a living organism is the fact that it’s extremely sensitive to changes or elements in its environment and I’m no different.”
This adaptability also fuels Puffy’s creativity. His music, much like his personal style, is somewhat of an evolution, and this creativity is instrumental to his craft. Puffy’s ability to connect with the crowd and the performer, and his knack for bringing the element of surprise to the set came to the fore during his run to the finals of the Red Bull Thre3style World DJ Championship in 2016. He entered the competition as a Wild Card, following encouragement from a fellow competitor and colleague, United Statesbased