Born and raised in Middletown, New Jersey, Popin was first introduced to his signature instrument, the piano, at the age of five. He would spend hours every day practicing in his family’s small apartment 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 hymns – he didn’t have an ear for music but became adept at sight-reading.
That all changed when, at the age of 11, Popin was prayed over by a music minister.
“From that point on, I could immediately memorize music and play by ear,” he explains. “The switch was turned on. God touched my life and music became more of a calling than just something I liked and wanted to do.”
At the age of 12, Popin began traveling with a Gospel group. He eventually became well known across the country for his classical piano skills and broke out on his own. Throughout his teen years, Popin performed in a diverse collection of venues alongside an equally diverse cast of characters including Southern Gospel legend Dottie Rambo and internationally known pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes.