Lucas DiPasquale began playing guitar at 8 years old, and after a few years, he started singing and recording covers which he uploaded to YouTube and Facebook for friends. It was his 2014 Popcaan mash-up that changed everything. After the dancehall artist shared the acoustic cover on his Twitter page, the video gained viral attention in the social media sphere and beyond.
OVERSEAS ATTENTION: Lucas was completing his first year at Ryerson University’s distinguished Radio and Television Arts program when the YouTube Popcaan mash-up caught the attention of U.K. manager/A&R, Riki Bleau (Labrinth, Naughty Boy, Emeli Sandé).
Riki flew to Canada after spotting Lucas online, and left him several voicemail messages in an attempt to set a meeting. When Lucas didn’t respond, Riki scoured the Ryerson campus with hopes of tracking him down. “He (Riki) came to Ryerson while I was not there. I had just moved home to Markham for the summer after my first year,” says Lucas. “He got one of my professors to call me and tell me he was legit, and that I should give him a call. He showed me his business cards and I was impressed so I did.”
Lucas met Riki a few days later in New York City where he also got to meet with esteemed managers and publishers Tim Blacksmith and Danny D (Stargate, Charlie XCX, Sam Smith) and the partnership was cemented.
REGGAE & DANCEHALL INFLUENCE: In addition to Popcaan, Lucas has also been influenced by other dancehall mainstays including Busy Signal and Tommy Lee. When he was offered the opportunity to
share the stage with some of Dancehall’s biggest stars, he was humbled by the warm acceptance. “I love Jamaica, the people, the food, the culture and of course the music.”
WHIRLWIND FIRST TRIP TO JAMAICA: Lucas got a call from his manager: “Brotha, we are going to Jamaica!” Further explaining that Popcaan saw his cover, Lucas was to pack his bags and jet off to meet the star two days later. While they were there, Lucas was invited by Popcaan himself to perform alongside him in front of 10 000 people at Dream Weekend, Jamaica’s largest music festival. Lucas also had the privilege to appear on OnStage, the island’s biggest television program.
Reflecting on his Dream Weekend performance, DiPasquale says, “There were so many people in front of me and it was crazy crazy overwhelming. People were just screaming with lots of horns in the air and I got really comfortable which completely surprised me.” He adds, “It was a surreal experience – 3am in Negril and I’m alongside Popcaan and all these people are here losing their sh*t, screaming at me. It still just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Lucas has since returned twice to Jamaica to record, shoot his first music video and press, including a return to OnStage.
DEBUT SINGLE, “DO IT LIKE”: Lucas’ first single, “Do It Like” is available June 16 and was produced by Mojam (Sam Smith, Emeli Sandé)) & Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor (Sean Paul, Bounty Killer) in London, UK. The single features Stylo G, Kardinal Offishall and Konshens and will also appear on his debut EP later this summer. The video was just shot in Jamaica and features a quick cameo by Sean Paul.
“I can’t wait to put this music out because honestly, it’s the best snapshot of how this whole amazing experience has inspired me.” Lucas adds, “Just seven months before sitting in the studio with all these amazing artists and producers, I was a teenager in Toronto posting a Popcaan cover on YouTube.”