Media nights, ladies’ nights and expats’ night aside, there’s something cooler for the Delhi party people. Now please be warned — to survive this night in any of the lounges or pubs, one has to be comfortable with very loud music, singing talent ranging from ‘awesome’ to ‘god-awful’ and some good old-fashioned competition.
It’s called karaoke and the capital is taking to it like a rage. A superhit with the young crowd in the city, most lounge bars are singling a day out in the week for karaoke. Turquoise Cottage (TC) in Adhchini has Karaoke nights on Tuesday, V-Spot in Saket and Manajsa in Hauz Khas have picked Wednesdays, Rock a Fella has Thursdays and Blues in Connaught Place have selected Fridays.
The main idea behind karaoke is not about being a good singer — you need not be one at all — what one needs for karaoke is a love for singing. Simple. Karaoke is about being the star of the moment — with your friends or solo. If you have it in you, get up and start singing. The lyrics are ready and flashing on the screen.
‘Everyone wants to get pampered and karaoke makes you the star for the moment you hold the mic in hand,’ says karaoke jockey Prithvi Raj Dev. For Prithvi, who has been an integral part of the karaoke circuit for a good while now, it is about the interaction and the time in the spotlight. For a few moments amidst friends and other guests, the one with the mic transforms into Adele or Lady gaga or Phil Collins. Take your pick and start singing!
While karaoke is a sure shot way of increasing the footfall, the experience does not spell magic for all who have attempted the feat. Quite a few number of places have not had half the success as compared to a TC or a V-Spot. So what works?
It is not about the free offers or the ambience — it is about catering to the people the right way. The right karaoke jockey, good deals on drinks (since karaoke lovers are mostly ‘drinkers’ not ‘eaters’, explains Prithvi) and the ability to make the guest feel wanted. Not many have the confidence to sing in front of strangers. The work of the karaoke jockey is to get them up and going. It also means a barrage of tracks that the audience may demand, from Born This Way to Psycho. Your guest can ask for anything he/she wants to sing.
And most importantly, karaoke cannot work in a place where loud music is a turn off — the management should keep in mind that they cannot mix a fine dining experience with karaoke.
Karaoke is about the crazy kind of fun that the propriety of a lounge cannot handle. Alternately a pub can hit jackpot with karaoke.
The first karaoke in Delhi started around the early 90s. It died down then but now karaoke is back with a bang and it seems to have come to stay. So grab your friends, leave the inhibitions at home, carry some patience (you need it to wait for your song to come up) and go sing.