In life there is pain, there will be hurt, and the season you may be going through, sometimes may not be fun – but you can make it and you will win! This is your time and this is your season – that’s the message rising gospel star Bryan Popin wants those he encounters to know.
After working with and being associated to such Artists as *NSYNC, Chaka Khan, Justin Timberlake and even Stevie Wonder, BRYAN POPIN has seen & been around both the heights of fame and prosperity, yet has also experienced the lows and heartache of financial hardship, rejection, insecurities and personal drought.
Through each of these seasons, Popin has learned to trust and rely on his faith and spiritual upbringing.
Popin was first introduced to his signature instrument, the piano, at the age of five in his hometown, Middletown, New Jersey. He spent hours every day practicing in his family’s home under the guidance of his mother who was a pianist, choir director and the source of his family’s love of music. Early on, Popin gravitated towards church songs and spiritual hymns – he didn’t have an ear for music but became quite adept at sight-reading and by age 9, could eloquently play through a Chopin Polonaise or Mozart Sonata, just not without the music in front of him.
That all changed when, at the age of 11, Popin was prayed over by a well-known concert pianist. “All I know is from that point on, I could immediately memorize music and play by ear – I couldn’t do that at all before,” he explains, “It’s like a switch was all of the sudden turned on. God touched my life and music immediately became more of a calling than just something I liked to do.” This sudden change of events propelled Popin into becoming a teenage prodigy at the piano. At age 12, he had won a local piano competition, started performing classical piano concerts in the NY/NJ/PA area and began private lessons with both a Julliard music professor and Rutgers music professor at the same time. But then it all stopped. “Something wasn’t right” says Popin. “I just felt I was going down the wrong path and not being true to my calling.”
Popin’s music comes from the heart. He explains, “I feel the need to be transparent and connect with people on a heart level. Music is such an incredible gift as it can be the catalyst to inspire someone not to give up and to pursue their destiny and calling. I live the music I write and sing, I’ve gone through some really frustrating and difficult times and the music was birthed from this and I try to encourage others that are experiencing the same season,” says Popin. “I promised God that if He would even let me do this music thing for a living, that I would be transparent and share music that would connect to people’s heart. See, I’ve gone through all these highs and lows in life – one day you’re on the mountain, the next you’re in the valley – it can be quite confusing. But I do know this – I KNOW that God has each one of us here for a purpose. When we can’t figure it out, when life throws a curveball, it’s not the end. When you look back in life, you’ll see that THIS had to happen in order for THAT to happen. The process is not easy, I’m learning that I may just be in chapter 7 going on chapter 8 in my book of life, but one thing I love is how God doesn’t give up on me, even when I sometimes give up on myself.”
You can tell within a few minutes of talking with Popin that he is an intensely passionate individual. He carries himself with a confidence, yet with all he has experienced, still has a raw realness and humility that makes one feel that they have known him for years. One thing Popin is passionate about is helping other underprivileged young people that may not have been able to afford to take music lessons and experience diversity in music arts, now discover classical music and even receive free instruments and take free lessons. “To help open a young person’s mind to experience other pallets of music and connect with something that interests them outside of their current environment can be powerful. It can change their life as it did mine. It can give them hope and a brighter future outside their world. It may just be that little spark to keep them off the streets and give them the confidence to do anything in life,” says Popin.
Popin was recently given a 1915 Steinway grand piano. This kind gesture birthed a strong desire and compassion to help others. “Only God knew that I, a concert pianist and gospel Artist doing what I do, did not even own a real piano to my name. Money comes and goes. Seems most times it went more than it came. But to even fathom that God wanted to bless me and not only bless me with just any old piano, an antique 1915 Steinway grand piano. Well, that makes me cry just thinking about it – He uses people, ordinary people, if we just allow Him to intervene in our busy lives, He can and will work through us,” says Popin. Bryan’s heart and goal is to work with Steinway, The Sphinx organization (based in Detroit) and The W.O. Smith Music School (based in Nashville) to help make this vision a reality and to donate his time and platform for this cause.
Popin has shared the stage with Tye Tribbett, Bishop TD Jakes, Israel Houghton, Deitrick Haddon, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, Vickie Winans and even “American Idol” alum Danny Gokey, to name a few. Popin is married to Susan and reside in a suburb of Nashville where together they raise their 5 children.
Popin’s latest single, “SUCH A TIME AS THIS,” has been widely received on gospel radio and is the follow-up to the success he experienced with his last single, “I CAN MAKE IT.”
Photo Credit :: Artist Management