Barbadian Andre DJ Puffy Parris went to the Redbull Thre3style competition in Chile for the experience. He came back the winner and is now considered the best deejay in the world.
Tonight, he returned home to a hero’s welcome at the Grantley Adams International Airport. He was greeted by Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and other tourism officials, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley and members of his Dream Real management team.
Addressing the gathering, Puffy said he was humbled by all the love and support he was receiving while admitting that the feeling was surreal.
“Thank you guys so much for doing this. After being told many things about my career, it’s definitely an honour to change people’s minds and change the way people will see things like deejaying and other entertainment, and careers in the arts.
“It’s still sinking in for me. I still feel like Andre, still humble,” he said.
Puffy described the entire experience as a dream come true, but admitted he did not go into the competition to win.
“The experience alone is priceless,” he said.
“I was amongst Jazzy Jeff from the Fresh Prince who worked with Will Smith, Z-Trip who is LL Cool J’s deejay, DJ Craze who is a trailblazer in his field among others. And this is the crème de la crème in my craft. So just to breathe the same air as them, have breakfast and just sit down and ask them questions about their careers was priceless. The competition was secondary,” the 25-year-old deejay said.
He acknowledged his fans, saying it was the support he received from back home as well as from the Chileans that got him through each round of the Thre3style contest.
“After the first night I did have some nerves, but after seeing the magnitude of support coming my way I didn’t feel it anymore. Just wanted to go out there and have fun. They [Chileans] were chanting my name and it was a dream come true when I got into the finals,” he said thankfully.
The former student of Combermere revealed that his winning set was only prepared the night before.
“I threw in some gems that I got from Bubba and Rupee and I just want to say thanks so much to Rupee for coming through in the cut in the last minute.
“After my performance I wasn’t totally satisfied, I made a couple mistakes. When they announced the results, my knees got weak and I called for my mother and all that,” he said with a laugh.
Going forward, Puffy hopes to use his win to inspire others.
“I was in a position where I had to make a decision and I chose to follow the dream. I put my all into it along with my team and support system,” he said, adding, “I keep telling people this is bigger than me, bigger than Barbados. We just inspired people from a whole region.”
Puffy’s remarkable feat has not been lost on the Minister of Tourism who said he was truly moved by the win.
“To actually see a young Barbadian in a distant land bringing glory to Barbados was extremely moving. I know I am not alone in those feelings. It was really an inspiration to see those Chileans being whipped up into a frenzy and a Barbadian being behind it. Those people don’t even speak our language and you see the way they were responding to our music,” Sealy said.
Lashley echoed Sealy’s sentiments while congratulating Puffy on his tremendous accomplishment. He also encouraged him to remain humble.
“Use this as a stepping-stone to even greater things and use this as an opportunity to reach out to the young people.
“We are very impressed and happy with your victory. It is phenomenal and I agree with you it is really more than Barbados, its really big time,” the minister of culture added.