Little Boy Wonder Music / DarkChild Gospel, Recording Artist
“I believe musicians have a duty, a responsibility to reach out
and to share their love and pain with others.”
Classically trained pianist, a lover of soul, R&B, funk & gospel music, church boy and rising gospel star Bryan Popin (pronounced POP-in) got out, stepped in the name and took it all back! Most recently, 2021 ushered his first No. 1 Billboard at radio with his worship single “Beautiful Savior (feat. TASHA). Though much loss and such a heavy burden was brought on during the 2020 COVID pandemic season, his musical calling to encourage others in sharing the love, the hurt, the pain, the loss and lack, remained at his focus. God turned his brokenness, his loss and his pain into great strength. Ultimately, lighting a fire within to ignite others from his own experiences. Popin had to assess his next steps after going through a series of difficult and unexpected life challenges, unexpected twists and turns, all that could have easily shaken his faith. Yet, he found himself making a promise to God, and to himself… to be honest and transparent in sharing his struggles, his insecurities, and to ultimately be as intentional in celebrating his victories over all of them. Fear, lack, cancellations, division, rejection, questioning why, how, when… all of it. With the obvious division in the world, it saddened Popin to his core. Many years ago, his entire music ministry was built on bringing cultures together, pushing people outside their box, beyond their mindset, and truly caring and having compassion for those that are hurting with the love of God, the compassion of God and an encouraging lyric through his original music. What should have broke him, actually did. But, instead of it taking him out, or making him burnt-out, bitter, and wanting to quit, it made him stronger, wiser and even more determined to pursue his musical calling and roots.
Bryan Popin has had to deal with insecurities his entire life. Not looking the part, not feeling like he belonged or was good enough. He’s dealt with many highs and many lows in life. But, he has learned that feelings come and feelings go. From seasons of hangin’ and jammin’ with legendary singer Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and *NSYNC’s Justin Timberlake, to almost losing everything that was important… it is evident that there have certainly been a number of almost(s). Almost losing his marriage, almost losing his children, almost losing his ministry, his career, almost claiming bankruptcy, almost losing his home, almost losing his mind, his peace. So much rejection, so much confusion, frustration and loss. Yet God, through it all, was breaking him to make him stronger. Years of crying out to God on his knees, worshiping, praising, and finding his way, songs were birthed which one day would become theme songs for others. God gave Popin the grace to see his own faults and realign, restructure and pivot. Get his confidence back. Re-prioritize his life, his family, his values and re-discover his calling.
Years later, God continues to use Bryan Popin to light a fire of hope and encouragement to others through his testimony and music. “There have been so many ALMOST experiences in my life… I’m definitely not who I used to be that’s for sure. But, I’ve learned so much, grown so much, both musically and spiritually. More importantly, internally. I’ve become more confident in who I am, in my calling and even stronger in my faith. I’ve learned what is most important and at times forgot, but am grateful and thankful for the favor and grace of God on my life”, says Popin.
“All Back”, Popin’s single released in 2019 was recorded LIVE with Tennessee State University’s award-winning New Direction Gospel Choir. Produced by Bryan Popin and AyRon Lewis, this driving old-school foot-stomping church song was definitely another anthem from Popin we’ll remember for a long time.
“Beautiful Savior (feat. TASHA)”, Popin’s 2020 worship single was a different sound than expected, but for years Popin felt the song was special and needed to be released. “I am a worshiper at heart. You must be. You can’t just perform and rely on the praise of others. That praise belongs to God and my gift, my life, everything I have, everything I will have, everything I need, my mind, my peace, my joy… it all is because of Him. I need Him, gotta have Him and owe it all to Him!”, says Popin. “He rescued me, completely set me free. I was in a dark place of anger and really frustrated this last year during this COVID pandemic and seeing all of the division within this world and within people’s heart. It wasn’t just upsetting, but sad. It hurt. Then, the loss of my Dad and the pointing of who was at fault, who could have done more or done this or that. Yeah… He rescued me and completely set me free.”
“I Got Out”, the Album (released July 21, 2017), garnered Popin his first No. 1 on both charts, the Billboard Top Christian and Billboard Top Gospel Albums sales chart under the umbrella of his own Indy imprint label (Little Boy Wonder Music | Flaydo Music). The title cut and chart-topping radio single “I Got Out”, a swingy congregational anthem with a contemporary edge that compels you to sing along, featured music production from super-producer AyRon Lewis (Kirk Franklin, James Fortune, Bishop Paul Morton Jr.) 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 family 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 for their first home and recording studio, that wasn’t an apartment or condo, 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 I stopped stressing about me, my situation and my problems, I began to trust that God was going to work it out and didn’t care when He was going to work it out. It was then the song “I Got Out” was birthed in my heart spiritually as a message of faith and 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 newly built home and recording studio built on the very same property he almost had to sell, numerous times. Yes, God did it, and yes, Bryan Popin got out!
2018 was a good year for Bryan Popin. As an Independent artist, he was awarded a top-notch award from his peers, receiving a 2018 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Award for 1 of 2018’s biggest gospel songs… “I Got Out!” In addition, Popin was nominated for his first ever Stellar Award at the 33rd Annual 2018 Stellar Awards® for Traditional Gospel CD Of The Year. His songs, usually birthed as words of encouragement to himself during his own trials and difficulties, quickly seemed to become theme songs to others. His singable melodies, soulful keyboard skills and rhythms not only connect, but penetrate right to the heart.
With over 4+ million audio/visual streams for his last single release, “Step in The Name”, Popin brought a diverse group of artists, actors, singers, choir members, dance teams and more together for one purpose… to step in the name of Jesus together in unity. From DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good, to Jekalyn Carr and Jonathan McReynolds, even David and Tamela Mann joined Popin in his music video. “I love diversity”, says Popin. “I love the differences, the cultures… it’s what makes us, us. I’ve always had a strong desire to bring people together. I’ve seen music unite people like never before. Bring down walls and create a bridge. Music brings people together and crosses genres, language barriers and political views. I grew up in the NY/NJ area. I used to take a train from NJ to mid-town NYC and then the subway to Brooklyn. I started working with an R&B/Funk producer. NYC was this huge melting pot of different cultures. There was nothing like it. The food, the people. One people all trying to survive in one small area. While on my way into NYC the morning of 9/11, I will never forget how we as one people all came together to help one another that day. It wasn’t about race, or the color of your skin. It was about survival. Coming together to help those in need, and all those in need. We all bleed red. I get we are different. I get our cultures, environments, how we were raised, our so many different opinions, beliefs, likes, dislikes, ideas, different upbringings, etc., but, WE are all an un-perfect people and in need of a Savior, a beautiful Savior. Yet, while he was hanging to die on a cross, He was thinking of you.”
In 2019, Popin was nominated for two Stellars for the 34th Annual Stellar Awards.Nominated for “Producer Of The Year” for his song, “Beautiful Savior” on BET Sunday Best Winner Tasha Page-Lockhart’s “The Beautiful Project”, co-produced by super producer AyRon Lewis (Kirk Franklin, James Fortune, Bishop Paul S. Morton) and “Special Event CD Of The Year” for his song “Step In The Name” on WOW Gospel 2018.
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 memorable performance of his timely song “Such A Time As This” 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 Nashville, TN where together they raise their 6 children.
BRYAN POPIN has released the following 6 singles to gospel radio:
“BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR” (#1 on Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart, #1 on MediaBase Chart)
“I GOT OUT” (#4 on Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart)
“ALL BACK” (#19 on Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart)
“STEP IN THE NAME” (#21 on Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart)
“SUCH A TIME AS THIS” (#17 on Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart)
“I CAN MAKE IT” (#21 on Billboard Gospel Radio Airplay Chart)