Popcaan wants more local support for reggae, dancehall
Almost a decade ago, Popcaan provided the local dancehall fanbase with Where We Come From, his first official studio album, which told the artiste's story of growing international success by way of connecting the world to his roots.
The songs were tempered with consciousness and hardcore dancehall rhythms, touching on topical issues. It was just another Monday night when Popcaan delivered another powerful message with the reveal of his fifth studio album Great Is He, at a private launch and listening party held at The Cove in Kingston. The 17-track album, which is slated for release this Friday, starts with the OVO label-signed artiste motivating 'ghetto youths' to hold on to their dreams in Defeat The Struggle.
Speaking to THE STAR at the event, Popcaan said that he was content to know the world would be getting another full project from him very soon. But he also expressed concern about the support coming from Jamaica.
"It was rough, but we did it and the world needs it and they're gonna have it now. It feels amazing but Jamaicans need to support dancehall and reggae music more than any area code because the music is ours. That's why I walk with '876' around my neck and on my fingers," Popcaan said referring to his patriotic jewellery. "We love Jamaica and we represent the culture more than anybody else."
Popcaan, whose given name is Andrae Sutherland, said that the dancehall genre has more potential than is being recognised locally.
"Me just ah mek unuh know ah just love and light to everybody who come out tonight and support the thing because we music greater than weh even Jamaican think, it greater than weh everybody think. Our music ah di first forever and it can never go nowhere. Dancehall, reggae music is it me represent for and it is the greatest," he told the guests.
"Me woulda like the industry help me bring our music further because the music is more important than anything else. So, the government of Jamaica need to be of support for Jamaican dancehall music, the tourists, the residents all need to support it, because it is greater than what they think," Popcaan said.
With Great Is He, which "uses all avenues to explore where he comes from", the Unruly Boss charged several producers with creating and reshaping the genre to personify the Jamaican culture while capturing his own personality. There are four major collaborations, including St Thomas Native featuring Chronic Law, produced by Attomatic Records and We Cyaa Done with OVO principal Drake produced by Congo-born Tresor.
Grammy Award winner Anju Blaxx, who produced the single Next To Me featuring Toni-Ann Singh, and who worked on the album's title track, emphasised, "Popcaan sends a message with every album, every single. We have good work chemistry and from good, great things happen."
Popular producer Dane Ray, who previously worked with Popcaan on the 2020 hit single, Numbers Don't Lie, has over three productions on Great Is He.
"Every project I've worked on with Popcaan has reached the Billboard charts and so, the expectation is that this will reach the highest level of greatness, because 'great is he' and great is the feeling knowing that it's not just about putting out music, but the quality of music has to be great," he said.