The dreams we have as children are bigger than life. We are born fearless creatures without a clue as to the price a vision that brings so much joy will cost. Age, experience, and hardship forces people to put aspirations aside, sometimes causing these to wither away over time. However, there are some dreams that lead us to push our way through the hurdles, coming out on the other side to realize the holy grail. The 22-year old Filippo Gabella, aka PipoBeats, did just that when Luis Fonsi chose his song “Sway” in Episode 2 of NBC-Universal’s hit show Songland.
PipoBeats’ love of music came very early in life. Memories of it being played at home are engraved in his mind. A combination of his mother’s ability to sing with his father’s showmanship enamored him, providing a backdrop for the musician’s passion for tunes.
This self-taught musician and lyricist has been fantasizing about putting his music out into the world since an instrument was first placed in his hands. Along with playing the keyboard and guitar, the youngster prepared himself for the initial drum set by playing shoe boxes with pencils he collected around the house. Little did he know, it would set roots to create a foundation for the production delivered to his audience today.
PipoBeats’ infectious energy was instantly palpable when he joined our call. The newly chosen “Sway” hit #1 on the iTunes list, shortly after winning first place on national television. It was evident he was excited about the victory and wanted to share his experience as a contestant on Songland. It was one of the most memorable moments of his life, thus far. Sharing thoughts on how he got there and music was nothing less than inspirational. The victorious PipoBeats was ready to answer questions to help readers familiarize themselves with his path to Songland. The artist allowed a peek inside what it meant to realize one of his fondest dreams. Hopefully, you will share my inspiration as you read about this young star. The answers to my questions were not only genuine but moving; it was obvious he had long thought of this dream coming to life.
What do you find to be your biggest challenge when writing in both languages?
The process of writing in English and Spanish is not exactly cut and dry. Everything is beyond subconscious, happening naturally. The “flow” beats comes first, laying down syllables, then the melody.
In an interview for All Access Music you said, “Being yourself is the definition of perfection.” You were referring to “Flawless,” a song you wrote for the Ms. Asia International Beauty Pageant. Powerful words! Did you always feel this way or did an event in your life lead you to see the importance of owning who you are?
The search for what made me happy began during my early teens. Doing the work to develop character and work ethic, I started to get the importance of loving myself. Embracing me as a person was an essential part of my upbringing. Acquiring this gift at such a young age was nothing less than amazing. Everyone has something to offer, understanding that you are unique is key.
During the airplay of your Songland episode, you shared a story of a list. Holding a piece of paper you mentioned a wish of a song for Luis Fonsi. Can you share with the readers details of this goal or wish list?
For as long as I can remember, my mindset has helped me achieve the goals set. On an ongoing basis writing these down has helped me focus on what I wanted. Knowing what and why you want these things is so important. I wanted to make music that impacted the world, deep within felt if I could dream it, work for it, it would happen. On my list of dreams, I wrote “I’m so grateful to work with major A-list artists including but not limited to the following: Luis Fonsi, J Balvin, Justin Bieber, John Mayer, and Bruno Mars.” My dream manifested itself.
I listened to several songs of yours, such as “When You Mambo,” “Flawless,” “She Bad,’ and the new single “Hate It.” Each song has a slightly different vibe. Most artists fit in a box, as far as sound/genre. Your playlist has a lot of variation. Did you purposely look to change your sound each time? Or write, create, and see what happens?
I am all about the music vibes. As a walking sponge, I’m constantly listening to different genres. The constant switching of intakes produces a range of different sounds and forms in my shape of music. The inspiration for my lyrics, sound, is always shifting too.
What set you on a path to Songland? Some people are afraid of rejection or intimidated by the huge platform of a show like this, where millions are watching! What gave you the courage to take the plunge and submit “Sway” to the NBC show?
Once my mind was made up that this was something I wanted to accomplish there was no fear. Rejection could only teach me a lesson and make me stronger if I failed in the attempt.
What is next for Pipo? What is your ultimate hope and how will you represent your Latino background?
The “Hate It” music video is officially out now. Already creating new music that incorporates similar sounds to the single “Sway,” I am pretty excited about it! “Sway” is being streamed, check it out! My hope is to create music that makes people feel good.
The artist’s enthusiasm provided me with an opportunity to extend our conversation, asking him a few questions at the end of the interview required some quick thinking to help me get into his head. I enjoy the line of questioning because it provides readers with more insight into the profiled artist.
One thing you cannot do without during your music writing process?
Coffee and water.
If you had to choose the most important element of a song, what would it be?
Being raised in a Chilean household, what are you most proud of in your heritage?
The morals my parents raised me with, being a gentleman, attending church, having proper etiquette.
What is one thing you would like contestants to know about this experience?
The experience on this show has been unbelievable from the producers to the process. My wildest dream came true! Just an incredible time for me.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
It all starts with my parents, without them I would not be who I am today.
Tell us one thing we do not know about you as a human being?
I am no different than anyone else, just try to look at the glass half full. Practicing gratitude each step of the way.
Random stories about dreams coming true are often met with an incredulous mind. We imagine contributors that affect the outcome for the lucky few. Lotteries are filled with the fortunate ones that get hit by the mother of all favored. However, for PipoBeats the journey has been about setting his mind to conquer the world doing something he loves. I have no doubt that we will be hearing more from him in the future. Follow his journey through his IG @pipobeats.
In the meantime, you can catch the next dreamer on Songland, Mondays at 10:00pm ET on NBC.