” I GOT OUT “
Little Boy Wonder Music & Flaydo Music, Recording Artist
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“I believe musicians have a duty, a responsibility to reach out, to share your love or pain with others.”
– James Taylor
With his sophomore release, I Got Out (Little Boy Wonder Music, Flaydo Music and Fuel Music), classically trained pianist and rising gospel star Bryan Popin (pronounced POP-in) steps into his musical calling to reach out and share the love, pain and encouragement taken straight from his own experiences. A body of work that took almost three years to complete, the project was born out of Popin’s desire to assess his “next steps” after going through a series of difficult and unexpected life challenges that could have easily shaken his faith. He made a promise to God to not only be honest and transparent in sharing his struggles, but to ultimately be as intentional in celebrating his victories over all of them. I Got Out isn’t merely a title for this new musical offering, it also serves as the project’s prophetic theme that Popin hopes will connect with and encourage every listener.
“I Got Out” *Deluxe Edition Album (released July 21, 2017) garners Popin his first No. 1 on both the Billboard Top Christian and Gospel Albums sales charts under the umbrella of his own imprint label (Little Boy Wonder Music | Flaydo Music). The title cut and chart-topping radio single “I Got Out” is a swingy congregational anthem with a contemporary edge that compels you to sing along. It features production from super-producer AyRon Lewis (Kirk Franklin, James Fortune, Bishop Paul Morton Jr. et al.) and vocals from Pastor CeCe Winans’ Born Again Church Choir. The sonic urgency of the track can be attributed to its overwhelming backstory. Four years ago, Popin’s musical career suffered an unexpected dry season. As with any financial setback, marital and familial tension began to set in. With a possible bankruptcy on the horizon, he was forced to place the property he and his family hoped to build their dream home and recording studio on up for sale. At the end of his proverbial rope and nowhere to look but up, Popin began to shift his energy and focus to serving others. “I found myself willing to let go of me and care more about others, helping others more and living a life with a heart to worship through my mess,” says Popin. “As soon as I stopped stressing about my situation and knew God was going to work it out, the song “I Got Out” was birthed in my heart spiritually as a message of hope before I even really got out of the situation naturally.” The most exciting part of his testimony is that Popin shares this part of his story from his dream home and recording studio built on the very same property he almost had to sell. God did it, and yes, Popin got out!
I Got Out is packed with additional personal testimony-driven songs. The album’s opening track “STEP In The Name” will literally make you want to dance even if you don’t know how to dance because of its infectious groove and assertive lyrics, but the message behind it is much more than that. Popin explains, “I really had to learn to just let go and STEP (meaning to dance or praise my way through it). I had a lot of people around me thinking I was supposed to be this or that. I had label execs telling me I needed to sound a certain way, look a certain way, not act a certain way. All strictly based on my appearance and profile. I was getting more and more frustrated with the business and people’s ideas of who they though I should be that I honestly just needed to let it and all of them go and just STEP forward with what God originally put in me musically. I just needed a little funky Jesus music to help me focus and get back on the right track. I kept hearing this little melody and groove idea in my head and I could not get it out of my head. I knew the lyric had to be… STEP IN THE NAME, JUST STEP IN THE NAME, JUST STEP IN THE NAME, IN THE NAME OF JESUS! I hope that those that hear this song will do the same… just let go and STEP forward into their calling and destiny. Be the authentic you that God created you to be and that no one else can be. And as I was always told… there is nobody better at being you, than you… so go ahead, STEP IN THE NAME!”
“You’re Gonna Live Again (Bella’s Song)” is one of I Got Out’s more contemplative tracks. It’s a soaring worshipful ballad that originated out of a time when Popin’s daughter Bella suffered a series of bullying incidents that escalated to a violent attack. As a father, he naturally wanted to defend and protect his daughter at all costs. The accompanying frustrations of seeing her suffer and authorities deal with the incidents was extremely difficult. As usual, God gave a song to encourage Popin and his family. He recalls, “It spoke to my family, my daughter and me. It reminded us that this season too will pass, that Bella would come out of this and continue to pursue her dreams. It wouldn’t crush her, nor our family.” Popin’s hope is that this song encourages listeners in the midst of overwhelming struggles in that very same way – that no matter what life has dealt you nor what someone has spoken over you… You’re Gonna Live Again!
As if life and the experiences that go with it aren’t tough enough, it’s no secret that life and specifically the music industry can take a toll on one’s spirit. Popin has admittedly dealt with his own share of insecurities over the course of his journey. On “Favor and Mercy” he tackles these issues head-on in one of the album’s most deeply innocent and personal songs. “All of my life I had to deal with the demons within that constantly told me I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t have the right look, wasn’t skinny enough, wasn’t tall enough, or just wasn’t perfect enough. That I couldn’t sing like so and so, didn’t have the coolest friends, the right relationships or know the right people. It also didn’t really help that industry colleagues and so many others literally said: ‘There’s no way you’ll be able to do that,’ ‘There’s no way that will happen,’ ‘I just don’t see how that can work! or even, “We just aren’t sure where you fit and where to place you.’” All of that created fear, it built room for doubt to live and a spirit that constantly said ‘There’s no way God will or can use me.’ It has been a continuous journey and a process, but I’ve learned how to work through it all, and I’ve learned to stay true to what God has called me to and what He has already done for me and that it’s not what people say or think about me, but rather what He says about me. I’ve learned how to not let it get me down and steal the best of me. Through the process of life, it is important to look back and take the time to be thankful for the good and even thankful for the bad and to simply say… favor and mercy please continue to follow me. That’s the story behind this very personal song.”
I Got Out features top notch collaborations with two of today’s best gospel voices. BET Sunday Best Winner Tasha Page-Lockhart joins Popin on “Beautiful Savior,” an audacious cut with a sound that goes beyond the genre and musical expectations one might not usually associate with Tasha’s vocal stylings. After hearing Tasha minister arena-sized fervor at a small church event they were both a part of, Popin knew in that moment that he had to have her on this song. “She was all heart and that’s just what this song needed,” he recalls of their instant connection. Gospel and television superstar Tamela Mann rounds out the album with an updated soulful version of “Alright.”
Bryan Popin has appeared at Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Megafest as well as the International Pastors’ & Leadership Conference. He’s shared his music around the country in churches and before thousands. Popin has also had numerous television appearances including a recent performance on BET’’s Joyful Noise, hosted by Tye Tribbett.
A philanthropist and humanitarian, Popin especially lends his support to three notable charities. “The Sphinx Organization” is a national arts and youth development organization based in Detroit, Michigan dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in classical music. They fulfill their mission through artist and ensemble development, national and city-wide music competitions, and through educational programs, like Sphinx Overture, offering introductory music education, free violins, and free group lessons to students in underserved communities. “Lifewater” helps to provide and establish clean water wells to much needed communities around the globe. Their vision is a world where every person has access to safe water, improved health and sanitation, with the knowledge and understanding of Jesus’ love and compassion. “Compassion International” is a Christian child development organization dedicated to releasing children from poverty. They work through local churches to provide child development programs to deliver children from economic, physical, social and spiritual poverty, enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. They speak out for children in poverty – informing, motivating and equipping others to become advocates for children.
Bryan Popin is a native of NJ. He is married to his wife Susan and they reside in a suburb of Nashville, TN where together they raise their 5 children.
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BRYAN POPIN has released the following singles to gospel radio:
“I GOT OUT” *(#4 on Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart)
“I CAN MAKE IT” (#19 on Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart)
“SUCH A TIME AS THIS” (#17 on Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart)
Popin has 3 Top 20 hits on the Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart.
Popin’s huge hit single “I GOT OUT” peaked at #4 on the Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart, as it spent 7 weeks in the Top 5 at radio and has over 1 million streams.
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ABOUT BRYAN POPIN:
Born in Middletown, NJ, Popin was a piano protégé by his early teens. Later in his career, the legendary Stevie Wonder nicknamed him the “Little Boy Wonder” and he’s continued to impress with his songwriting, keyboard skills and vocal flow. He’s appeared with Bishop TD Jakes numerous times and was featured at both MegaFest and Bishop Jakes’ Pastors & Leader’s Conference. He’s written with R&B legend Chaka Khan, opened for Tye Tribbett, Israel Houghton, Deitrick Haddon, Tamela Mann, Tasha Page-Lockhart, Jermaine Dolly, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp and even American Idol alum Danny Gokey to name a few. At the height of their popularity, Justin Timberlake’s *NSYNC recorded one of Popin’s songs for their multi-platinum album, Celebrity & performed the song during their final stadium world tour. With 3 Top 20 hits on the Billboard gospel radio chart, a #4 hit radio single with the churchy choir anthem “I GOT OUT”, a #1 Billboard album for the *Deluxe Edition album release “I GOT OUT” in both the Top Christian & Gospel Albums sales chart… Bryan Popin seems to be gospel music’s rising star.
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