Pipo left Beljazz, a band he helped put together from scratch with Ralph Menelas, his business partner, to integrate Nu Look -a band which was on the verge of total disintegration, following the unexpected and sudden resignation of the lead vocalist, Gazzman Couleur, almost a year ago.
The Pipo card sought by Maestro Arly Lariviere is by most people’s accounts, including mine, a well thought out or an astute move on the part of the maestro; I personally applaud him for that.
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Pipo, with his pristine vocal pitch, has the credence to meet Maestro Lariviere’s expectations and get the job done. He is one of the top lead vocalists in the business, and the league he is in has very few people of his caliber. He can navigate on any track given to him –Konpa love or up-tempo.
We all must agree, however, that there can never be another Gazzman Couleur to replace Gazzman in Nu Look. So Arly is going to have to capitalize on Pipo’s unique attributes to score big with the next album should he want him (Pipo) to be and stay relevant in the band in the years to come.
Pipo already has what is needed for him to deliver exactly what is expected of him. But that will not be enough. More is going to need to be done in terms of marketing strategy to get him to be accepted as a replacement of Gazzman Couleur in the band. It is feasible, though, but this is definitely not going to be a simple task.
While we are well aware of his strengths and attributes, we cannot overlook his flaws, which, in my opinion, cause a huge problem for him to fully assume his role of frontline superstar in the band.
In terms of on-stage performance, it has been said that he has a connectivity issue, preventing him from connecting with his crowd (the fans). In fact, that is something he has been largely criticized for. He is not as big of a people person as Gazzman is. And that could be a major setback for him in terms of maintaining the band’s leadership position in the post-Gazzman era.
Most people who have been following him in the Konpa market would tell you that he is not a guy to fully count on; he is not someone who believes in business commitment and consistency. In other words, he does not have any sense of stability in him. Fairly so, they argue that he has a track record that could prove that to be true. He has moved around quite a bit in his career -from Passion of Montreal to D-zine; from D-zine to Hang Out; from Hangout to Beljazz, his own band; and from Beljazz to now Nu Look. So they express doubts that this marriage between him and Nu Look is going to last.
We all know that perception is reality. The perception most people have of him is that he is too stiff and snobbish to make it in the entertainment world. So he has work to do to change that perception of him; he needs to work on his public relations skills. For that, I would suggest that he hire the service of an expert in personality improvement to help him out. If he can get that heavy charge off his back, he will be insurmountable.
To the prognosis that the marriage will not last long, I would say this: however long he will stay carrying the colors of Nu Look will depend on how long Maestro Lariviere will want him to. Why do I say that?
Pipo is not the type who would allow anyone to exploit and take advantage of him. He knows how to count his money and defend his interests. His days in the band will be numbered if Maestro Lariviere is not taking good care of him like a lead vocalist of his stature deserves to be taken care of. So how long he is going to stay with Nu Look will depend on how well he is being treated by the man with all the power in his hands, and that’s the one and only Maestro Arly Lariviere.
Finally, Pipo in any band will cause wonders. That’s how great of a lead vocalist he is. I don’t know one band leader who would not feel lucky to have him in their squad. He is beyond talented. He has what it takes to get the job done. But like everybody else, he has flaws to be worked on. This is, indeed, a defining moment for him. He must score big with the band’s upcoming album. If he fails, as the pressure is mounted so high on him, that will be a major blow for him and the band.