LargeUp: The first time you heard Popcaan was on Pusha T’s “Blocka.” Listening to Popcaan’s lyrics and tone, what struck you first?
LD: That’s a bard, too. The very first thing he says is, “Dis type a shit happen everyday/ All dem a gwaan dem heart softer than clay…” That’s an impressive rap line in itself without the patois. It was rhythmic, lively and different. I heard people speak patois, mainstream artists like Shaggy, but I had never really been that exposed to it and his voice struck me as…different. My buddy got me into him, and he sounds exciting in all of his music. That really grabbed me.
LU: Is rap and hip-hop your background in terms of musical preference?
LD: Yeah. I also listen to a lot of indie, singer-songwriter stuff, progressive rock or acoustic music. Since I was five or six years old, I’ve been listening to rap music. I learned how to use Limewire when I was really young. I was downloading Eminem, T.I.. I got the Best of OutKast when I was nine. It’s been rap music for a very long time.
LU: It seems pretty unconventional: Canadian dude with an Italian surname covering Popcaan in stellar patois with grit. Why do you think your Popcaan medley received such an awesome response amongst all of your other covers?
LD: I think I hit a niche market. Before, I was making covers with my friend Kelly and we were content with what we were doing. But they were all songs that other people were covering. She’s not really into dancehall, and I had been listening to it and I made the cover. I think it really grabbed people’s attention because one: I don’t look like I should be singing that and two: cause I can. I don’t usually point out my strengths, but one of them is that I can speak, or mimic, patois in an authentic way.
LU: You’ve received a lot of attention from Jamaican women. Why do you think they love you so much?
LD: Maybe cause I have glasses [laughs]. I don’t know. It’s more like the songs are attractive. Especially “Only Man She Wants” – that’s a ladykiller. That’s what it was made for. Girls have always enjoyed my voice, so I guess it’s the same thing. I don’t get caught up in that.