Christian Yaipen He is the youngest of the children of the remembered Elmer Yaipén, founder of Grupo 5. At only 28 years old, he is the main vocalist of one of the largest cumbia groups in the country and even This Saturday, August 20, we will be able to enjoy his talent and charisma in the singing program “La voz Perú”, beside Daniela Darcourt, Eva Ayllón and Noel Schajris.
The singer told in an exclusive conversation for The Republic the details of his beginnings in music, when he was barely in school and accompanied the group on tours, until he became one of the greatest representatives of the genre at the age of 50 Team 5. In addition, he revealed some details of what to expect for the grand finale of “La voz Perú”.
—You studied at the prestigious Berklee University, what was the most difficult part of this stage?
—The most difficult part of my studies at Berklee was the academic level. There were very gifted people, with a lot of talent, as if they were pure geniuses in the classroom. The biggest difficulty was that I came with a very low level of English. Every day I tried to be a good student, to be someone that the teacher remembers, above all to get good grades so as not to disappoint the family, which was the most important thing because they trusted me.
—What inspired you to be able to continue in music, apart from coming from a family of artists?
—I wouldn’t say that the Yaipén family is full of artists. If you go north, you find many Yaipén and they are not necessarily dedicated to art or singing.
But in my case, since I was a child it has been my dream to belong to Grupo 5, I loved seeing my dad sing live. Then came the boom of “La culebrítica”, “Motor y motive”, I was fascinated to see how people shouted and got excited. When I finished school it became one of my goals, that’s why I decided to study Sound Engineering as a career, but without neglecting singing, which was what I loved the most and one of my dreams to fulfill.
I remember that I was always linked to Group 5 and I wanted to record something until they gave me the opportunity and to this day I haven’t stopped.
—How do you start in Group 5?
—Group 5 is a family business created by my father and my uncle Víctor. Later, my uncle Víctor decided to create the Candela orchestra. Both of them were doing very well and in a signed legal deal they decided that my uncle Víctor would stay with the Candela orchestra and my father with Grupo 5.
My house was full of Grupo 5 and, when he passed away, my brother gave me the opportunity to sing. I earned the right to live a song that he performed from a very young age like when I was 7 years old, but it wasn’t with the intention of belonging to the group, but it was like the youngest singing.
My brother Elmer always instilled in me to belong to the group. Since my dad died, he is the musical producer of all the songs. Everything you know about Grupo 5 today, he is the arranger and I was with him because he took me as his key ring.
I was always breathing Grupo 5 at home, already professionally after graduating from Berkley I started singing some of my dad’s songs. People in the north took it very well and saw me as the heir to Don Elmer’s voice. And that allowed me to climb the ladder, record new songs and little by little occupy a good place in Group 5.
—You are just talking about memories with your dad, how did he influence your musical career?
—My father, being the total owner of Grupo 5, always instilled in his children to row this boat. The life of the musician and life, especially those who have an orchestra in charge, is very hard. Today the group is very famous, very successful, it is well loved and everything is fine, but when you start it is not so nice.
—What is the best memory you have of him?
“He taught me to sing. The most beautiful memory is when I won a contest in Monsefú with a song that he gave me. In any interview in which he spoke he always referred to me as the singer and I think he put many things in his mouth that were fulfilled.
—Much is said about the Group 5 presentations and the price. How much can an hour of concert cost approximately?
—Actually, I don’t see the issue of cost. The concerts normally last four hours, but they are not the exorbitant sums that they say, there is something for all pockets. Group 5 has come to have much deserved recognition for its clean work. Regarding the price, I think that each one adapts to what they can hire. I have a lot to sing for weddings and social events.
However, in the craze of TikTok, Facebook and Instagram There is talk of exorbitant prices, but if they were like that, we shouldn’t be playing, we wouldn’t have a job.
—How is it that you receive the call to be able to participate in “The Voice” and what is the experience of being a coach in an international format?
—I made a call to the great Carlitos Sánchez in Colombia and asked him: “Carlitos, I would love to be in ‘La voz’ one day”. Later, when I was in Miami, I received a call from Anita Roca Rey and Susana Umbert, who invited me to be Eva’s cocoach and I was super happy.
The first time I spoke with the teacher Eva we had a very fast chemistry and we understood each other a lot. We spoke the same language, we have the same way of thinking. The program was recorded, but every time he stopped he said: “He should have a chair, you are going to have a chair”. So it was.
Then I received a call to belong to “La voz kids”. I started to cry with happiness because it was a pretty big achievement. I am 28 years old and very nice things have happened to me at my young age, for which I thank God for all the opportunities. I am very believing and grateful in that aspect. I shared recordings with Joe Montana, with Danielita Darcourt and with the teacher Eva. We had a great time, I feel that I have always been transparent and to this day I maintain that.
I finished “La voz kids” with Angelito, who for me is a tremendous singer, and what followed was another call that moved me even more because they invited me to “La voz Perú” and it was like the largest format that exists. I believe that there have been many gifts together from God in such a short time.
—How do you decide to flip for a contestant?
Most of the time it is because of his interpretation, because of his way of singing. That is something vital for me because there are many people on the street who sing very well, who are in tune and that’s it, but the people who transmit and who can go through a television, that you can be —I don’t know, in Tacna— sitting in front to your TV and start crying because of what you hear, because of what a participant does, that goes beyond a pitched voice or a beautiful voice color, period.
—How is your relationship with the other coaches?
The four of us don’t love much, we have developed a very nice friendship. Today we are live, on Saturday this ends, but before the recordings were from noon to 8:00 pm or 7:00 pm It was like being at school, arriving at 10:00 am to get your makeup done and being in the joke for more eight hours.
Imagine, you practically live with someone. We finished recording and, instead of going home, we were going to eat. A very beautiful relationship was formed between the teacher Eva, Danielita and Noel, who opened her heart to us infinitely.
I have always been a fan of Noel and Sin Bandera, so one sees it as unattainable, but when you realize that it is quite the opposite, that it is a laughable mate, that it is super humble, it is something that teaches oneself and It happened to me with many artists in college. I had the opportunity to have lunch with Alejandro Sanz, to meet the teacher Juan Luis Guerra and when you realize that they are like that, then one only has to learn, they are a great example to follow. What I highlight about Noel is that he has a clean and very nice career that everyone is dying to record with him.
—“La voz Peru” reaches the final this Saturday. What surprises do they have in store for us?
-The surprise is given by them because one is the coach and we are already at a stage where I am practically going to sit down and give my appreciation because we depend a lot on the public and I want you to vote for your favorite. But we have also talked between the four coaches and in the end it is not the team as such that wins, but the singer.
So, let people download the Latina app and vote for who they want, who they really like, that they give that opportunity and that trophy to someone who deserves it.
—Do you think you can win with any of your pupils? Maybe a name out there?
—Right now Edu, Sandra and Fernanda remain, those three are the strongest horses that the entire channel knows that I had in mind, but it happens that —being live— if something happens to you, it happened to you and you are eliminated.
One may have some inclinations, but they themselves are the ones that surprise you and that is where they cover your mouth. One cannot really speak of “oh yes, I trust such” because at the hour of the hour the letter is forgotten and imagine. So, this program is full of surprises, but I am very happy that these three finalists are Sandra, Fernanda and Edu. They deserve it, they have worked hard.
—What are the next presentations or perhaps some projects of Grupo 5 and your musical career?
-Next year Group 5 celebrates its 50th anniversary and we are already organizing everything within these 49, recently we were in meetings. We will do something nice, something different, that people feel proud. For me it is something that I have been keeping for a long time, but every time I tell something it never comes true, so we are keeping this secret. In a few months they will find out. In fact, you are going to be the first to be invited and we also expect your support.