Andrae Hugh Sutherland (born 19 July 1988), known professionally as Popcaan, is a Jamaican deejay, singer and songwriter.
In 2014, Popcaan signed with Mixpak Records and released his debut studio album, the critically acclaimed Where We Come From. Popcaan is one of Jamaica’s most successful dancehall artists, known for a variety of singles, including “Only Man She Want” (2011), “Love Yuh Bad” (2014) and “Ova Dweet” (2016).
Popcaan has also collaborated with a number of international artists, most notably Drake, Jamie XX, Pusha T and Gorillaz.
Born In Saint Thomas, Jamaica, Sutherland grew up in Portmore, St Catherine. As young as seven years old, Sutherland trained himself as a vocalist and performer and Popcaan continued to follow his musical calling.
2007–10: Early career
In 2007, Popcaan approached Vybz Kartel at a local jam called ‘My Scheme’ where Kartel recruited the young deejay to his Portmore Empire (music group), becoming both a producer and mentor. Besides showing Popcaan the ropes of the music game, Kartel took him on major shows like Sting and Reggae Sumfest.
Popcaan began making music for Adidjaheim Productions with then in-house producer NotNice, the first person to voice him professionally. He got off to a strong start with “Gal Wine” on the Gal Farm riddim,clarks, which he did with Vybz Kartel following up with hits including “It Nuh Work So”, “Jah Jah Protect Me”, “Gangsta City”, “Dream”, “Gangsta City Part Second”, and “Hot Grabba”.
2010–13: Growing popularity
Popcaan’s breakthrough came in 2010 with “Clarks”, a collaboration with Kartel. The song achieved international success, causing a worldwide spike in sales of the British shoe. In 2011, Popcaan received the Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Award for ‘Best New Artist’, and ‘Collaboration of the Year’ for “Clarks”, which also won ‘Song of the Year – Dancehall’.
At the end January 2012 Popcaan released a new mixtape, Chromatic presents Yiy Change—the follow-up to his 2010 mixtape Hot Skull, Fry Yiy, Boil Brainz. In March “Only Man She Want” gave Popcaan his first Billboard entry at No. 89 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song was later officially remixed by rapper Busta Rhymes.
Popcaan was also featured in The New York Times speaking on the growing impact of “Only Man She Want.”
At the Youth View Awards, Popcaan won three awards: Favourite Summer Song and Local Chart-Topping Song of the Year for “Ravin”, and Young, Hot and Hype Male.
Popcaan has toured the world since, in Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean and South American region. While in Canada, Popcaan connected with Canadian rapper Drake, who has publicly expressed his admiration. In 2013, Popcaan released the video for “Unruly Rave”, which was shot in Toronto and directed by October’s Very Own label head Niko.
In 2012, Popcaan was featured on Pusha T’s song “Blocka”. His voice was then sampled by Kanye West on Yeezus in 2013.
2014–present: Where We Come From
In 2014, Popcaan signed to Mixpak Records for a multi-record deal. His debut studio album, Where We Come From, was released on Mixpak on 10 June 2014. The project was executive-produced by Dre Skull. The first single from the album, “Everything Nice”, was produced by Dubbel Dutch and released on 1 October 2013. It entered the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart at number 2, and the video gained over 5 million views on YouTube.
In June 2014, Popcaan first appeared on the cover of The Fader in its 92nd issue. He featured on Melissa Steel’s “Kisses for Breakfast” single, which was a top ten hit in the UK in August 2014.
In September 2014 he was nominated for a MOBO Award in the Best Reggae Act category, his fourth consecutive nomination. He won the MOBO Award in 2015 and 2016.
In May 2015, Popcaan was featured on Jamie xx’s “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” with American rapper Young Thug.
In January 2016, Popcaan was featured on English electronic duo AlunaGeorge’s single “I’m in Control”. On 29 March 2016, a song entitled “Controlla” by Drake was leaked, with Popcaan being featured on it; a version without Popcaan was later featured on Drake’s fourth studio album Views.
On 28 April, Popcaan released the single “Ova Dweet” which gained popularity both in Jamaica and abroad.
On 2 May 2016, Popcaan was reportedly held by police after a performance in Antigua involving an altercation with an officer on stage.
In June 2016 Popcaan made his first UK appearance alongside Mixpak for the annual Red Bull Culture Clash, and won the clash over Wiz Khalifa/Taylor Gang, Eskimo Dance and UKG.
In March 2017, Popcaan performed guest vocals for the Gorillaz track “Saturnz Barz” off of the album Humanz