What kind of person do you have to be to enter the international Thr3style DJ competition as a wild card and win? A DJ Puffy kind of person.
When we called around BMW started telling us how much he loved the X1 and that we had to do the interview in the X1… And so that’s what we did.
Standing tall at 25 years old, Puffy doesn’t drive but Momma Puff does. She spent years taking him to every single one of his gigs before passing out in the car park whilst he completed his set. That. Is faith. Imagine what your mother would say if you told her you wanted to be a DJ and that you needed her to drop you off at 2am and then also pick you up again with all your equipment. You would either receive the wrath of God or a lot of silence followed by licks. Nothing in between.
The Red Bull Thr3style story is actually much cooler than we thought… And we thought it was pretty cool. Red Bull runs Thr3style in a lot of countries around the world and the winners of the nationals move on to the international competition – the one that Puffy just won. Except that there was never a Barbados or even a Caribbean Thr3style competition for Puffy to win… So he entered as a wild card. For the first time, Red Bull allowed DJs from anywhere to apply to be a wild card and represent their nation. He sent his video in 10 months ago… YouTube DJ Puffy and you’ll see his entry video.
They took five wild cards. Puffy was one of them. For four days DJs would compete and on each day one person would make it through to the finals. DJ Puffy got into the final. At this stage Barbados was already buzzing with the news and they were broadcasting the finals live.
For the final I had been practicing a set for six months… But once I past the semi-finals I realised that the energy I got from the semi-finals wasn’t going to be what I needed for the finals. There was a lot more reggae in my final set and so, the night before, I redid the whole set.
King Bubba did a plate with Mashup for me. Rupee and his Tempted to Touch plate? I got that the morning of the finals. I got Hypasounds Wednesday night. I had messaged him Tuesday and asked him to call all the DJs names I was up against…At 110bpm… And acapella and I threw that over Scrilla.
I have to practise all the time. I was practising just before I got in the cyar. I try to practice every time I’m at home. If I have access to turntables I try to come up with something. Between last night and an hour ago, (and remember I just got in last night and I’m going to Belieze tomorrow), I made 5 new routines. New music comes out every day!
What inspires me? Everything. I’m an artist. If I see someone doing something in an unconventional way that inspires me. I’m inspired by doing things that people haven’t done before.
Actually, my family is a huge inspiration. My mum is my best friend. Being able to provide as a young person… Having that role at an early age… I didn’t ask for it but it fell into my lap and I stepped up to the plate. I wasn’t always able to succeed you know.
What’s it like being a role model?
It’s a blessing. To feel like other people made me feel. To be able to even think about me doing that for other people… You don’t understand the power you hold. Watching a Ryan Leslie video touches me.
Puffy has exploded onto the music international music scene but even with this newfound glory running into Rupee in Trinidad is something that doesn’t ever carry any less value. Rupee is still a massive inspiration to Puffy and like many others he’s going to have to inspire a whole generation after him.
Right now Puffy is working on two massive projects.
The first is a DJ workshop where Pioneer and Serato come to Barbados and showcase what they’ve got. It’s definitely not easy to get DJ equipment here so by having a full, hands-on workshop everyone can get a taste for it. And it’s not just for DJs. The second thing is that he wants to bring Thr3style to the Caribbean. So when we opened this article with the fact that Puffy had to apply as a wild card, this is the solution to exactly that. Make sure that there’s a Caribbean entry every year to the international Thr3style competition and we are golden.
Before we wrap up. How did he get his name? He grew up Andre, went to Combermere for his sixth-form and at a costume party he went as Puff Daddy – now P Diddy… Or just Diddy… Or just Sean. Anyway! There was that one kid at school, Springs, who came up to young Andre and said “From now on we gonna call you Puffy. Combermere is one of the coolest schools and we have that rapport with the teachers so any teacher that came in and called me Andre would get corrected.
“Sir his name ain’t Andre, you gotta call him puffy.” So every teacher in the school called me Puffy.
Andre is almost permanently on tour around the world and it was a pleasure and privilege to interview him as our Star in Our Cyar. As he continues his travels, he’s always in touch with his girlfriend and keeps one foot at home with his family.