Mr. Peppa, born Arael Jahzeal Walters on February 29, 1980 in Kingston, Jamaica, is as unique and rare as his birthdate. The ninth of eleven children, he grew up in Papine at a place called Bedward Pastures with his parents, one brother and one sister.
Under the guidance of father Dennis Walters and mother Alice Johnson, Peppa grew into a fine young man. As a child they were strict and did not allow him to go out and play like other boys; he was homebound. Life wasn’t the best for them, but his parents ensured that they stayed on track.
His education at Hope Valley Experimental Primary and Excelsior High School only served to cement his foundation.
With his studies at the forefront of his mind, the young man also had a strong love for music, particularly deejaying. However, although he started to deejay at the age of eleven as a fun pastime, he focused on school with the aim of joining the army to study civil aviation or to enter the real estate business.
Peppa was also very active in school, forming part of the drama group and cadet corps, as well as participating in track and field.
It was while in high school that he discovered how good he was at deejaying and started to focus more on it. He was then inspired by his mother, who is a singer, and his biggest brother Steelie from Steelie & Cleevie fame who motivated him to go further with it. Not to mention the encouragement he got from friends who drummed up beats on blackboards and desks in the classroom, as little Peppa rode the riddim.
Peppa started to record professionally in 1995 while still in school. The aspiring DJ used to walk from stage show to stage show, as well as sleep at various studios trying to get a recording.
A year later he did his first single titled ‘Mi Sharp’ on the Trevor Gordon label, produced by Trevor Gordon himself. Although not earning much airplay, he was still determined to play his part in the music business.
In 2000 the youngster recorded ‘Don Cinderella’ for Steelie & Cleevie on the Bitter Blood riddim, which earned him some popularity.
It wasn’t long after that Mark Pinnock of Natural Bridge Records discovered the talented youngster and decided to sign him to his label. Peppa then recorded on the Bad Weather riddim for Steelie & Cleevie, and later ‘Peppa Dis Peppa Dat’ on Natural Bridge’s Resilience riddim.
The year 2001 was a bright one for the DJ. He came out with a favourite for the ladies at the time ‘Good, Good Gone’, which led him to perform on numerous events such as Fully Loaded, G.T. Christmas Extravaganza and Bling Dawg Summer Jam. He also performed at top nightspots like Asylum and Amnesia.
In 2002, the DJ further cemented his presence in the business with recordings such as ‘Baby Dem’ on the Beach rhythm, ‘You So Proud’ for producer Preston on his Intime label and ‘All You Need To Know’, which featured Christopher for BYG Family Musik. Peppa later did ‘Gal Journey’ and ‘Guy Thing’ on the Natural Bridge label.
With his trademark ‘Dat’s Betta’ slang, Mr. Peppa has been working with producers such as Akiliboy of BYG Family, Shams, Red Rat, Dia, Birch, Hawkeye and DJ Karim, Ward 21, to name a few, putting out some wicked singles.
The music video for the ‘Talk’ single on Ward 21’s I-Rob riddim recently made it to number one on the Hitlist on CVM TV’s E-Strip.
Mr. Peppa and long time friend DJ Smurf of Hot 102 teamed up to produce and release an 80-track mix CD, ‘DJ Smurf Introducing Mr. Peppa’. The mix CD, which featured 12 hot tracks from Mr. Peppa on 10 hot riddims, was a hot item, as they didn’t have hands to distribute, giving away over 5,000 copies across the island. The mix CD, which also featured some of Jamaica’s top entertainers, has been travelling the globe, kicking up a storm in places like Japan, England, UK and the USA.
The versatile Mr. Peppa creates lyrics for all types street lyrics, girls tunes, social commentary, you name it, he’s got it.
Under the management of Mark Pinnock and Natural Bridge Records, and the support of BYG Family Musik and Kingston 6 Rekords, Mr. Peppa is now a driving force and should be for sometime to come. Dat’s Betta!