DJ Puffy pleases the crowdAndre 'DJ Puffy' Parris.
By Natanga Smith Hurdle | Fri, September 21, 2012 - 12:00 AM
At age seven Andre Parris was curious and asked his mother what a turntable was. But it wasn’t just curiosity; music is in his blood.
His mum Denise is an entertainer and performed while she was pregnant with him, and as he grew up, Andre watched her perform as far away as Germany.
“I didn’t really think I would pursue a career in music, but I knew that I would be involved in some form or fashion. Before I picked up deejaying, my eyes were set on the IT field,” said Andre DJ Puffy Parris.
His mum embraced the idea when he approached her with it but his dad was a little hesitant. He was concerned about his balancing the work and school.
The University of the West Indies student got into the music industry by accident. Fooling around with DJ software in his bedroom, he became familiar with the system. Barely out of school, he volunteered to help a local promoter at a Crop Over band fete and that Saturday night decided his future.
“There I met my manager Matthew Ashby, who has so far provided me with opportunities I can’t begin to mention.”
The burgeoning DJ already had a moniker that fits right into his future in entertainment.
“I always have to pause and laugh before I answer this question. In primary school I went to a friend’s costume party as Puff Daddy [Sean Combs)]. I totally pulled it off with a huge fur coat, sunglasses and the toothpick. From then the name Puffy stuck. I think I played the part a little too well,” he said, laughing out loud.
He remembers his first big event was in 2009 at the Ship Inn for local band Masala’s Saturday night event and also one of the funniest moments of his life.
“One of the old CD players malfunctioned. I started to panic. Luckily I had a mix recorded on a CD, so I was able to hype the crowd while the mix was playing”, he said, laughing.
“The first record I ever bought was Mystikal’s Let’s Get Ready – the clean version, of course,” he said, chuckling, and his vinyl collection consists of two records.
Now he has no more CD player problems – he has moved on to the futuristic Numark NS7 with a Smithson Martin Emulator.
Since that fateful night, he has played for audiences that include international celebrity Amber Rose, Justin Bieber and J Cole, and songstress Rihanna.
“I love Rihanna, she’s very pleasant and fun to be around; Shontelle is fantastic – I performed at her birthday party in New York last October; Funkmaster Flex – a no-nonsense type of guy but has a crazy sense of humour; Rupee – very approachable and humble; DJs Scratch Master and Simply Smooth – two rootsy fellas. Plenty vibes,” he said, counting them among the people he has met and admires.
Aside from playing at various venues, he has a spot on Slam 101.1 FM.
When he is not behind turntables, the confessed workaholic says he prefers to “chill in the studio or eat out with friends. Outside of the music scene, I go to school. It’s very challenging, but what’s life without a challenge?”
DJ Puffy lives by the personal mantra “thoughts become things” and draws from a strong spiritual tradition.
What are five things you cannot live without and five musicians on your iPod, I asked.
“My family, my Macbook, my iPod, my sneaker collection, and the Internet,” he said, answering the first question.
“On my iPod I have Rick Ross, Drake, Jay Z, Swedish Mafia House and Afrojack.”
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but for DJ Puffy it began with a curious question that has led him on a musical journey he hopes will take him even further – “Maybe as far as Dubai”.
- Editor's Choice