Custom Search 1

This is Brukout! Seani B talks to DJ Puffy

NATURAL TALENT: A son to musician parents, DJ Puffy is now making a huge impact on the scene – despite initially getting into the industry by accident

BARBADOS HAS always held its own as a musical powerhouse, and not just through Rihanna.

Bim, as it is affectionately known, boasts generations of top-class music makers, producers and artists. One of the shining lights from the island is DJ Puffy – a supremely talented DJ who is making extreme waves in the industry right now.

I caught up with Puffy just as he was about to hit the road to DJ at the St Lucian Carnival.

“I was DJ-ing as a teenager for fun – it wasn’t really a big deal for me as a career,” he says.

“I was actually into tennis and IT, and was also into the newest DJ equipment as a music fan. My parents are musicians, and I loved all sorts of music from soca to house.”

KINSHIP

“I was a marketing manager for a youth brand, and had to fill in for a DJ on an event,” he tells me.

“The person who put me on the gig is actually still my manager today, and since then it has been an ever-rising climb.”

DJs have a kinship with other DJs, especially those that they rate, and it’s interesting to see how rated Puffy is. His name is definitely well-held within the elite circles, and there was one event that catapulted him to a higher level.

“In 2016, Red Bull changed up the rules on their DJ clash (called Thre3style), allowing DJs from territories that haven’t been represented before.


PATRIOTIC: DJ Puffy

“I submitted my entry and it went viral. I was selected by them to be part of the final in Chile, and let’s just say I had a good day in the office!”

He is certainly being very modest. It was an expertly-crafted set, which ranged from rock to Rihanna and all points in between, and demonstrated his genuine love for the art and the craft.

For someone who had only been DJing seriously for six years, it’s an amazing achievement. So what does he feel is the secret to his success?

“DJ-ing is not just playing music – it’s a performance. I like to interact with my audience. I put a lot into it, and feel as a Caribbean DJ, we have so many influences and love to make people enjoy themselves, so it comes as a big part of the whole package.

“I didn’t come off the stage thinking I would win at Red Bull, but when I did, it was a blessing.”

He is now a trendsetter, with many regional DJs asking his advice on how they can progress their own careers.

“I love that I can try to assist these guys, and give them a slice of what I am learning out here on the road,” he explains.

Life has taken him out on the road, touring hard, and bringing many of the sounds he is collecting along the way back to Barbados.

“It’s great that now people give the different and new music I play a bit more of a chance, because they expect my set not to just be the normal tracks.


POPULAR: DJ Puffy’s winning set at the 2016 Red Bull Thre3style World Finals Chile

“For example, a little while ago I dropped in J Hus’ Did You See into my set, and although people didn’t know the tune, they rocked with it and stayed with it. I love that I have the chance to introduce that stuff in a party.”

Our conversation goes off on a tangent about music from the UK (he really knows what the deal is over here!), but I soon get back to the agenda and ask him if he is still able to stay across the Bajan music scene as much as previously.

“Yeah man, for sure! I have just released my sampler for Crop Over. We make the hits as DJs, and we just make sure the radio DJs are all on top of their game. It’s a vibe,” he says, reassuringly.

So, what should we be looking out for music wise from Barbados for this Crop Over season?

“Check out Faith, Refill; Father Fox with Good Ole Days, Hyper Sounds with Dip, the Whistle & Drums riddim and Lil Rick with Blessing.”

That’s a big list, for sure.

“The Bajan artists have earned their place in the juggling – we have our own space – we are in the mix,” he says, proudly.


PARTY TIME: Crop Over

Crop Over is a festival I haven’t experienced as yet, and Puffy puts on his PR hat to sell the idea of a BrukOut visit to Barbados.

“Bajans are normally laid-back people, but during Crop Over time, we go into overdrive. Everything is full of pace, people even miss work for it. It’s something that you just have to experience – it’s phenomenal. Everyone is in fete mode. It’s all party, party, party.”

2017 may have passed me by for the festival – but I may have to get the diary out for a 2018 visit...

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Annual subscription for The Voice newspaper print edition.

Read more stories like this in our weekly printed newspaper. To purchase an annual subscription and get 50% off, complete the form below and enter the code 'ONLINE2017' - offer ends 30 November.

* indicates required
() - (###) ###-####
Facebook Comments