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Feb 28, 2023

An Ideal Incubator for Belize’s Many Musical Talents

In tonight’s episode of Kolcha Tuesday, we focus on a young Belizean music producer who has been making waves across the Caribbean for his skills inside the studio.  We visited the newly inaugurated Reef Recording Studio where we sat down with DJ Perf to discuss the impact of Belizean music on culture and how the younger generation of musicians plans to carry the torch into the future.  Here’s News Five’s Isani Cayetano with that feature story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Over the years, Belizean artists have ventured into various genres of music outside of what is considered to be native.  With regional and international influences being brought to bear on what is produced, there’s a lot more for the younger generation of musicians to work with, but standing out in an industry that’s brimming with homogeneity is often the biggest challenge.  Since Reef Recording Studio was officially opened a few weeks ago, music producer Devin Peyrefitte, known to many as DJ Perf, has been spending countless hours behind the mixing board where he is honing his skill.


Devin ‘DJ Perf’ Peyrefitte,

Devin ‘DJ Perf’ Peyrefitte, Music Producer

“I mih always fascinated with music.  I neva mi wahn be wahn musician, honestly.  I mi always wahn be wahn pilot, wahn commercial airline pilot, but I mi always fascinated.  My dad was a video director, still is, and I mi always fascinated.  “Okay, he did the video, but how dehn mek di songs, yoh dig?”  Like how dehn have di vocals and how dehn have di beat and who do di beat and weh dah di sounds?”


That desire to know how music is made led Devin to a computer software while he was in high school.  His introduction to FL Studio, referred to simply as Fruity Loops, inevitably changed his career path.


Devin ‘DJ Perf’ Peyrefitte

“Dat da mi it.  Afta dat, I neva wahn be wahn pilot again, I mi just fascinated with music. I da dih type ah person, once I do something, I go all out with it, you know, and I tell myself, if I could put een wahn good five years straight, just di learn it and get it, I good, and I mi get it done eena like three.  After three years I mi start my professional beat making and stuff.”


Subsequently, DJ Perf has gone on to produce for other artists, both home and abroad, the likes of Stig Da Artist and other well known Jamaican talents.  The idea of building a professional studio to serve not only as an incubator for young creatives, but also as a space for the production of Belizean music, was the brainchild of Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations.


Anthony Mahler

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

“I strongly believe that music, culture, art, the orange industry, as it is called, has a great part to play in the growth and development tourism.  If you see what reggae music has done for Jamaica, and soca Trinidad, and afrobeats for Africa now, then why can’t we have punta beats going global and other forms of music.”


…and that is exactly what the idea is, taking unique Belizean sounds and rhythms, such as the timbre of the Garifuna drums, to the world in much the same way as other Caribbean compositions have permeated the international music scene.


Devin ‘DJ Perf’ Peyrefitte

“With this generation of music and how music has evolved in Belize, we have adopted to the world of mainstream music.  Yes, we have our cultural music but we adopted, you know, just because that da how di world di move right now.  Afrobeats adopted to what they had, you know, they took stuff from other genres and created their own genres which is pretty much one of the biggest genres in the world right now.  [It’s] the same thing with reggae ton, Latin, you know, so that da weh we’re getting at as a country.”


Behind the mixing board, DJ Perf composes intricately layered sounds that reflect not only a distinctive Belizean vibe, but also melodies that resonate across the region.  You know, it fits in without trying to fit in.


Devin ‘DJ Perf’ Peyrefitte

“Fi me as a producer, my numba one thing da innovation, you know.  Lotta my credentials and stuff da because I mi innovative with it.  With Belize, like I always seh, we da wahn untouched gem, both with music, with tourism, with anything, we da wahn untouched gem, Belize di country itself and wahn lotta people, slowly but surely, di pay attention to Belize itself and when dehn di pay attention to wahn country, dehn di look pan all kinda thing, di food, di music, you name it, you know.”


It’s a vision that can only be made possible once the right space is made available for creatives.  That idea is not lost on the Minister of Tourism who has worked diligently to see this project through.


Anthony Mahler

“We have to create an enabling environment whereby our young people, and some old, can use their talent and energies in a positive way and this is just the start for us.”


Isani Cayetano for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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