UNRULY X DAILY PAPER: A CELEBRATION OF JAMAICAN HERITAGE AND BIKE CULTURE
One of Jamaica’s most influential artists, Popcaan has joined forces with Amsterdam based brand, Daily Paper, creating a one of a kind 6-piece capsule collection, in collaboration with Popcaan’s very own Unruly Entertainment.
Founded in 2013, Unruly Entertainment began as a sanctuary for artists, supporting emerging creatives through their journey in the industry. With an ethos of creating strong relationships and providing support, community is at the heart of Unruly, spotlighting heritage and unity, which can be seen throughout the creative direction and each piece of the collection. From biker tops and pants, to hoodies, t-shirts and even a balaclava, each item is adorned with unique artwork and the Jamaican flag.
We caught up with one of Daily Paper’s founders, Abderr Trabsini, on the process of being a key designer for the Unruly collaboration. “Every time we start a collaboration I’m always interested in what the artist likes and what he does. The first thing we noticed is that he’s really into the bike culture, he owns his own dirt bike and has his whole collective of bikers. And you know what it is with collectors, people always want to be a part of it. You see a community of people and you really want to be a part of that.”
Speaking of the exclusivity of the pieces, Abderr said “Our collaborations are collectors items, and if you sell out, you snooze you lose!”
“We had a recent collaboration with Fatboy for the beanbags and they sold out in like 2 hours. But collaborations I want to produce minimally, it’s about the story and I see it more as a marketing perspective and to honour each other’s world. It’s not about money, money is never the objective of doing a collaboration so it’s all about tapping into each others story.”
With a collection and campaign so close to Popcaan’s heritage and personal life, we caught up with the Dancehall artist ahead of the launch to chat about the origin of Unruly Entertainment, his love for bike culture and community.
First of all, can you begin by telling us about Unruly Entertainment and what it’s all about?
Unruly is a brand that represents me and my style because I always wanted to do my own thing, I don’t follow the crowd. I made my company to remind myself of what I am made of and to inspire the youths to stay true to themselves, to go for their goals.
How did you come up with the idea for Unruly Entertainment? What are your goals since setting up the brand in 2013?
It’s a reflection of me as a person and what I believe in. The way I came up with Unruly is by making my sounds and singing about how ‘unruly’ I am, until I registered Unruly as a company. At first it was just slang, you know? Until it became a brand. The goal is to see this brand go as far as it can go. I would like to see Unruly Entertainment as a company that is established worldwide and in years to come my kids can have their own part in it.
With the past year and a half being so tough on the entertainment and music industry, how have you stayed inspired and engaged with your fans?
What is going on [around the world] is part of the inspiration as well. I spent a lot of time by myself since the pandemic, because I haven’t been travelling. I have spent like 8 years of my life just travelling, so it was the first time in a long while that I got to spend so much time with myself and my family. It was a bad experience in some ways but also a good experience so that’s what I share within the music, the good experiences and the bad as well. The whole pandemic was a big inspiration you know?
Your 6 piece collaboration with DAILY PAPER is inspired, featuring a capsule of graphic tees, hoodies, outerwear and balaclavas . How did the collaboration with DAILY PAPER come about?
Daily Paper approached me, probably around 3 years ago. They send me pieces and I always wear them. I like their style and Daily Paper likes my style as well. After all that time, they reached out to me and we decided to make it happen, it’s happening right now as we speak.
The biker jacket and pants featured in the collection show how much biker culture influenced the collection. How heavily involved were you in the design process of the collection? Can you tell us a little bit more about why biker culture was such a key inspiration?
I have a lot of bikes you know, I used to have a lot of bikes parked in my garage for me and my friends. They were all of my bikes but I gave a lot away to my friends so we could all go out together and have fun. It’s like those bikes bring us a lot of joy but also some sad times. Some people get a broken foot and broken arms in the process, but it is bike life and bike life is a part of my life. It’s a part of my culture. Do you know what I mean? It’s effective, biking can move things from point A to point B really quick you know, and in Jamaica we need that, sometimes the traffic gets mad heavy.
The Daily Paper is a capsule collection and it’s one of a kind. It can never go out of style and it’s very limited with one-off pieces available to the world. It will never be restocked and made just one time. A lot of work went into the design, detail and construction of each garment and it’s considered to be a collectors item. You can put it in your archive. I was always involved [in the design process] as I always have to approve designs, but more overseeing things.
From your success in the music industry to your accomplished entertainment business, it is clear to see that your Jamaican roots have heavily influenced your work. How has growing up in Jamaica positively impacted your life and career?
I mean, I’m a successful person so it’s like the struggles of what I have been through have given me the drive to become who I am today, because I’m not going there again. Every time I remember where I’m coming from, I’ll go and put my earphones on and I just start recording. When I remember [where I came from] it gives me an extra push, so the struggles always count. It don’t matter how progressive I get, or successful, I always will sing about the struggles because not everyone makes it out, you know?
People see me as a motivation for them, so I can’t show them weakness at any time. I always have to be their strength and be my strength at the same time. The struggles in Jamaica, it’s what makes me so strong.
Collaborating with some of the biggest names in music, from Drake to Jamie Foxx and the Gorillaz, to now working together with DAILY PAPER for an apparel collection, do you find you are able to get more creative with working with others which ultimately results in a stronger outcome?
It’s always good working with other people, giving other people a chance you know, like believing in other people’s ideas as well. In the industry that I’m in, I have to be open to other ideas. By being around other people, like the Gorillaz and Drake, we all create music differently, so they inspire me as well.
The results are not always stronger, you know. Sometimes it doesn’t matter who you collab with. Sometimes it’s just a banger, it doesn’t matter who it is or their status. That’s the way music works. Music is a spiritual thing as well. Sometimes the sounds that you like are not what the fans like, and what the fans like is not what you like. Sometimes an artist will be creating an album and you’ll be like “I don’t think this is the one”, but when the world hears it, they think it’s the one. So you just have to believe in what you do.
The theme of family bond, unity and togetherness is apparent throughout, what does community mean to you?
Family and community is everything to Popcaan. That is like Popcaan and Unruly. Popcaan is the artist and Unruly is the community. If I’m going through something, my fans will know. They listen to my music so much and feed off my energy, so if something is wrong they can sense something is wrong. So my fans are a part of my community.
Are you working on any new music at the moment?
I am working on a new album right now, it’s almost complete and we’re about to start rolling it out so the world can have it. I don’t have much to say about that album right now.
With the collection being so exclusive, once sold out, we’re usually left wishing we’d invested more in another piece. But that’s the point, each collaboration leaves us wanting more. We couldn’t help ask whether this was going to be a long-term partnership and was delighted to find out talks of an Unruly X Daily Paper part 2 is already on the cards. “Oh for sure, we’ve already talked about it, he just DM’d me yesterday saying like ‘Yo can we make jeans’ and I was like ‘yeah, whatever you want, we can make everything’. This is one part of the story of Popcaan and Jamaican culture. There’s so much more to tap into in that culture. So I’m down!” Abderr shared. And that’s music to our ears – literally.
To shop the collection, head to the Daily Paper website or visit the London flagship store.