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pop, drop & roll

In the two years since he got his first turntable, Alexander “DJ Pop Drop” Popovics has played for events like SunFest and Irie Weekend, produced an album, and been contacted twice by Vanilla Ice to DJ his parties. Not yet 13, Alexander is already turning his goal of becoming one of the world’s top DJs into a reality.

Alexander Popovics seems like any other boy. At first, he’s quiet and a bit timid, but when asked about his weekend, he’s an open book. He gushes about the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie, his friends and his schoolwork. He’s everything a 12-year-old should be.

That is, until the conversation segues into his pursuit of musical world domination.

“My goal is to be one of the top 10 DJs in the world,” Alexander says.

He’s already on his way to being one of South Florida’s top DJs. Alexander has worked at events like SunFest, the Vanilla Ice Toys for Tots Block Party in West Palm Beach, and the Irie Weekend in Miami, a charitable golf event hosted by DJ Irie, the Miami Heat’s official DJ. As of October 2014, he played his electro-house music for thousands boarding The Groove Cruise dance music festival in Los Angeles, Calif.

Not a bad resume for an upcoming DJ – especially for one his age.

But don’t let that fool you. Alexander, also known as DJ Pop Drop, elicits a quiet maturity fitting for someone twice his age.

Like most kids, Alexander played sports and tried martial arts, but it was music that grabbed his attention. “He just had such a passion for it,” Rose Popovics says of her son.

Alexander’s Serbian lineage is heavily steeped in music. His maternal grandparents were academic musicians, choir conductors and professors. And his mother, who plays the piano, was a competitive Latin ballroom dancer and her dance partner was Alexander’s father, Viktor.

By the time he was 4 years old, Alexander was the kid dancing up a storm at his parent’s parties. At 8, he took his first hip-hop class, and at 10 he took his first DJ class, which was taught by Josh Daniel, a local former DJ.

Daniel recognized Alexander’s talent and began giving him private lessons. But the moment Alexander knew he wanted to be a DJ was when the then-10-year-old received his first turntable for Christmas. “I simply fell in love with it,” he says.

Through Daniel’s connections, Alexander began getting more gigs. He worked alongside well-known South Florida DJs like DJ Adam Lipson and DJ Supreme1. And as a result of the Toys for Tots block party’s success in December 2013, Vanilla Ice contacted Rose to have her son DJ for him again – this time for his season-end party for his reality show, The DIY Network’s “The Vanilla Ice Project,” which premiered in May.

Alexander is serious about what he does. He has taken a music production college-level course at SAE Institute in Miami, where he was the youngest in the class; and he attended Scratch DJ Academy in Miami to learn different ways of mixing, remixing, adding sound effects, mashing and producing music. “My instructor said there was nothing left for him to teach me, which was an amazing feeling,” Alexander says.

And like his parents, he has been dancing Latin ballroom for nearly four years.

Today Alexander is homeschooled, so he can focus on his music production. His songs can be downloaded on SoundCloud, and his first album should be released by the end of the year.

It’s rare to encounter someone who not only knows what they want out of life, but chases it without a shred of hesitation. It’s even more rare to encounter that quality in a young boy.

But that’s Alexander: He’s a sweet, very well-mannered and determined DJ prodigy.