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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:49 pm    Post subject: LIONEL DUPERVAL OF CROSSOVER RECORDS! Reply with quote

Lionel Duperval of Crossover Records
Interview conducted by Patrick Desvarieux

Lionel Duperval

1) What's happening over at Crossover Records in terms of upcoming releases in the near future?
Lionel: We are currently working on a couple of projects. Each of them are in a different stage of completion, therefore I can not be more specific as far as a release dates for these albums.

2) It seems compared to last year, Crossover is laying low this year in terms of CD releases. Is that some sort of strategy, or is it not too many good projects (demos) have come your way for you to expand on them?

Lionel: You’re right, we produced more CDs last year than this year – so far we released only one album "Canon Spirituel". There is no strategy behind all this. We did receive a lot of demos. Although some of them were good, most were not what we were looking for.
We signed a new contract with Skandal for their first album "Nouvelle Generation" that will be released pretty soon. Consequently we do not consider that we are laying low in terms of CD releases, piling up CD numbers in our catalog is not our idea of being a successful record company.

And finally, the number of producers, record and distribution companies on the market have quadrupled for the past couple of years, artists now are songwriters, singers, producers, labels, distributors, all at once. Therefore, there are more choices out there.

3) Which one was your most succesful CD release last year? Why do you think that was?

Lionel: Our most successful CDs were not released last year but in 1997 and 1998 and they are "Tropical Mood" and "Flamenco Tropical" both by Strings. The main reason for that is because we are reaching new markets every day. Every week we have new customers around the world that are discovering and ordering these two CDs and they still are steady sellers in our own market base.

4) Which one was your least succesful release? Why do you think that is?

Lionel: Our least successful release is the "Lakou Lakay" Skandal album that came out on December 24,1999. I don’t know if it was because of the timing of the release, people were waiting for this album for the longest (11 years) maybe they got tired of waiting or is it because Patrick Brun is not featured in that album? Has Skandal raised the bar too high? Maybe the market changed. So many questions that might not ever be answered, but we are certainly not losing hope, specially after the KM "March/April 2000" CD review of "Lakou Lakay".

5) Every Haitian record label these days seem to have a band as it's "identity" sort of speak. Geronimo is Cubano/Skah-Shah, Antilles Mizik is/was T-Vice, Nouvel Jenerasyon is Kdans, and Crossover is Strings. Why do you think that is, and what do you make out of that?

Lionel: I would like to believe that we already had an "identity" before signing Strings to our label. All the albums featured in our catalog represent the identity of Crossover Records.

6) What do you say to those who say that Crossover Records' top priority is ALWAYS Strings? Do you think it hurts the image of your label and other record labels when they are "tagged" like that?

Lionel: When I decided to launch this label, I named it "Crossover Records " because the vision was to take a group from Haiti and ultimately "cross-over " to the international market. It happens that when Strings came out with their first CD "Tropical Mood", the potential of being " the crossover " band that I was looking for matured almost instantly.

Just a couple of month after the release of their first album, Strings was already touring Japan, Chile, Dominican Republic. A few TV shows on the Spanish networks materialized including the famous " Despierta America " here in Miami. At that point, after the December 1998 release of their second album " Flamenco Tropical ", they were invited to perform at the famous St Lucia Jazz Festival which was a first for a Haitian group, soon afterward it was the Martinique Jazz festival for two concerts, followed by a sold out concert at the "Centre des Arts" theather in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

Soon after was the performance at the Cannes Midem 2000 in France and so on. Therefore it was our duty to do everything in our power including taking the management of the group in order to handle in a professional manner Strings’ musical career in the global market. Crossover Records' top priority, I repeat, is to have a Haitian group to "crossover" in the international market and if Strings is the band to fulfil that objective, so be it. I still fail to see how it would hurt Crossover’s image, au contraire.

7) It seems like most of the top groups that Crossover had on their roster a year to two years ago are no longer there. King Posse, Kdans and Tabou Combo. What happened in each one of these cases?

Lionel: In the case of King Posse, we had a one album deal with Krazy Staff Productions. Kdans is still under contract with us. The Tabou Combo album " 360º " was a manufacturing/distribution deal.

8) What do you think of the last King Posse CD?

Lionel: No comment

9) What do you make of the rumor of their breakup? Is it confirmed that most of the members are actually here in Florida?

Lionel: That’s what I heard too. But I think that question should be addressed to their manager.

10) Do you think the level of music in the Haitian music industry has changed for the best or worst in the last three to five years?

Lionel: What do you mean by the level of music? Are we talking about the quality level of the recording , the composition level in terms of lyrics content and music?

11) Why do you think it is so hard for a Haitian band playing COMPAS to crossover to the American market?

Lionel: Because our music composition is too complex for the existing categories in the US market.

12) How has the CD counterfeit "boom" hurt the industry? Is there any end in sight?

Lionel: Does cancer kill people ? Not only counterfeiting, but also bootlegging and piracy are the cancers in our industry.

13) We're hearing rumors of a Brothers Posse breakup. How accurate is that?

Lionel: I don’t know, again redirect this question to their management or agent.

14) Here's a chance for you to answer all the critics. Are rumors of Crossover's demise greatly exxagerated? Are you still "in the ballgame" so to speak?

Lionel: Since we put a lot of emphasis on artist development, it’s time consuming. If our critics interpret that as dying, I will suggest this… Don’t invest in a black suit yet.

15) Any final words?

Lionel: Thanks to KM for giving us the opportunity to answer all of our hardcore critics, we understand their concern. To our fans, we say thank you and we ask them to keep on supporting Crossover ‘cause we are for the advancement of Haitian artists throughout the world. Keep up the good work Patrick and my best regards to the KM staff.
Phone: (646) 529-5735
E-Mail: Kompamagazine@gmail.com

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