Have Voice, Will Travel! Meet The ‘Karaoke Stars’ of Mangala Singing Club

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Have Voice, Will Travel! Meet The ‘Karaoke Stars’ of Mangala Singing Club

Mangaluru: “Have a voice, will travel!” is the phrase for singers. You could be a star someday. If you have singing talents, don’t hide it — instead get up to the microphone and show you can really sing. You never know, you could be just another Indian Idol someday.And to get started, make your next night out a karaoke night. The Japanese started karaoke, and later the rest of the world followed it. Bars, taverns, clubs, restaurants and private gatherings are all hooked on to karaoke — because it’s part business booster, part therapy and keeps the crowd singing. Karaoke keeps the crowd going and stuffed. And it’s about having a good time, that’s all!

Karaoke is getting so popular, an increasing number of newbies are getting braver. More people are participating who’ve never sung before. I think TV’s top-rated talent show “American Idol” and “Indian Idol” has something to do with this ongoing fascination. Also, the ongoing mania may be karaoke’s purported healing power in many ways — it can be psychologically therapeutic, it can be physically therapeutic. Music can change people for the better, that’s for sure. Since the rise of karaoke around the world, karaoke contests have become a phenomenon of mainstream culture, giving non-professional singers opportunity to showcase their talent, win prizes, and at times, travel the world. Contest participants are usually rated 50% by customer votes and 50% of judges’ votes, but this may vary, depending on the venue and the level of competition.

And locally here in Mangaluru, we have a club named “Mangala Singing Club”, where amateur and budding singers come to the microphone and unleash their hidden singing talents- and some of them who are so amazing just like the original singers, get a laud applause from the audience, and also get a prize. How cool is it? It all started in the year 2010 when five Engineers started singing during their Engineering Association functions, a few songs after formal proceedings. Members liked it so much, that they wanted more. The same continued in following functions. Slowly people started demanding songs in every get-together. Unfortunately, all were not getting a chance as the time was limited after every formal program This prompted the “panchapandavas” to start a platform where singing itself was the main agenda- and they named the platform as MANGALA MUSUC CLUB (MSC).

Started with just a dozen of members, now the club is seventy members strong, and everyone gets a chance to sing, when they all meet first Monday of every month irrespective of any holiday, strike or festivities unless there is an Earthquake? The promoters of Mangala Singing Club are Er. Vimal Keerti Jain- President; Er. Rajendra Kalbavi- Vice President; Er. Vishnu Vijaya Mayya-Secretary; Er. Vinayak Pai-Treasurer; and Er. Sudeep Shetty-Joint Secretary

Let’s learn a little bit of history on Karaoke. Who is the inventor of karaoke? One claim is that the karaoke styled machine was invented by Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue in Kobe, Japan, in 1971. Although the audio company Clarion was the first commercial producer of the machine they may have also invented the machine, but there is no existence of the patent. What is the Japanese meaning of karaoke? Karaoke is a word formed from putting two Japanese words together. ” Kara” that comes from Karappo and means empty and “Oke”, shortened from Okesutura meaning “orchestra”. So Karaoke means “empty orchestra”.

Karaoke World Championship is one of the most popular karaoke contests and has been around since 2003. In September 2011, Karaoke World Championships took place in Killarney, Ireland. Robbie Williams holds the record for the largest number of people singing karaoke at one time, for over 120,000 people singing “Strong” live at Knebworth 2003.

Hungary holds the record for the longest Karaoke marathon with multiple participants for an event organized at the Honey Grill Restaurant. It lasted for 1011 hours, 1 minute, between 20 July 2011, and 31 August 2011. Each song was over 3 minutes long and the gap between songs was no longer than 30 seconds. No song was repeated in any 2 hour period.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Er Rajendra Kalbavi- the Vice President of Mangala singing Club said, ” All members are given with equal chance on first come first serve base. Cycle is repeated till the end. Every quarter special program is done with competitions Anthakshari. Duets,. Etc and prizes are given to deserving singers. Eminent personalities of the film industry have visited in the past like-Music director, singer Gurukiran, Script writer-actor V. Manohar, and Actor Santhosh Shetty, among many others. Rtd. SP of Mangaluru-Jayanth Shetty who graced our meeting recently, are few to name who not only visited also sung few popular No’s and interacted with members. Few professional singers are members who regularly share new songs to the benefit of the members. Today so called bathroom singers have raised to the level of singing on a public platform. Children are also given equal chances when they join us for the meetings during their school vacations.”

And then there are a few members who were born here but had to move out due to their jobs or other assignments, but they still make it a point to stop by at the Monday Night of Karaoke when they come down to Kudla, and participate in the singing spree. Two of such persons are Srinivas Rao from Chennai, and Jagadeesh Attavar from Canada. Jagadeesh Attavar, retired from a telecommunication company is a regular to the MSC meetings, whenever he comes down to Mangaluru from Toronto-Canada, escaping the freezing winter months of November -April there. Speaking to Team Mangalorean he said, ” It’s always nice to be back in your hometown and mingle with your friends whom you grew up with. I have been a member of MSC for the last eight years, and I always make sure that I don’t miss the first Monday’s of each month. I have been singing since childhood, and in Toronto I am also a member of two clubs namely- Indian Musician Karaoke Group (IMKG); and Rainbow Music Club”

“The best part is that since we are only three South Indians in IMKG, where the rest are all North Indians, and when we start singing old Hindi songs and Ghazals, we mesmerise the North Indian members- and they get so surprised that we get a rousing applause from them. How nice. I love singing because it is a best past time activity, good for health and also keeps you happy. It is psychologically therapeutic, it can be physically therapeutic- I love singing and I love Karaoke. Why not you?”

Srinivas Rao, yet another singer hailing from Mangaluru but now settled in Chennai due to his work, but whenever he comes down on his business trip (deals with Diamond tools used to cut stones, marbles etc) to Mangaluru he makes it a point to attend the Monday night Karaoke – speaking to Team Mangalorean he said, ” I have been singing since childhood and I still sing when I get a chance. I have been singing at the Mangala singing Club for nearly a year now, and I like it because of the good company of other professional and amateur singers. Even though I have been a Yakshagana artist since my college days at St Aloysius College and KPT-Mangaluru, along with that I showed keen interest towards singing. I preferably sing Kannada and Hindi. Karaoke relieves stress and anxiety, providing us with a pleasant feeling of well-being. This is because when we sing, we breathe more deeply and at the time lower blood pressure and cardiovascular rhythm. For this reason, I recommend other people who need a break or a little more of relaxing in their daily life to take up Karaoke”

Besides being fun, taking the microphone and singing with all our energy and passion, is very beneficial for health. Karaoke, of Japanese origin, has become a social phenomenon of its own kind in Asian countries and is one of the healthiest entertainments that there may exist. Whether singing a Bollywood tune or a Sandalwood tune or a Western hit, numerous studies say that singing is the best therapy for being happy. The possibilities karaoke offers are as endless as their play lists with the hits of today and the most popular songs of all times. It is enough to choose your favorite song and to unleash the singer we all carry within. Because better or worse, more or less intonation, all people have the ability to sing, because it’s part of human nature.

In the end, the benefits of enjoying a night of karaoke provide us with numerous effects, namely – It relieves stress and anxiety, providing us with a pleasant feeling of well-being; It helps to show emotions and feelings; it is a very effective and direct way of communicating with our audience. When choosing a song, we make the message ours and we express it according to our personality and style. It’s a magnificent leisure option for kids. It can help you to discover your hidden talent. You don’t have to be a rock star, neither a gentleman nor a successful singer of the past decades, but when you put yourself in the shoes of your favorite artist for a couple of minutes, it is possible that you will discover abilities you didn’t know until then. It is possible that you go home with the satisfaction of having heard yourself sing better than ever, or – who knows – maybe in the future you will be the singer others imitate in karaoke… in either case, it is worth a try and let yourself be surprised.

It allows you to lose your shame and shyness and in return, gain increased security before the eyes of others, increasing your self-esteem, self-confidence and your sense of humor. If you take a scale you can verify, that you gain much more than you lose. It’s a perfect excuse to move your body. It is a perfect way of socializing. Take note of these benefits of karaoke and get ready to enjoy the best First Monday night of every month at Maharaja Restaurant-Mangaluru where the members of Mangala Singing Club meet. And trust me there will be thousands of songs waiting for you to enjoy and entertain with a microphone in your hand. Be a star on the stage and not just in the privacy of your bathroom?

And coming to my personal life- I have been forced many times by my friends at the bars, pubs and clubs too sing during a karaoke night- but in case someday I decide to sing- I should be the last person for the night on the list- I don’t want to scare away the people by my singing? But I like to sing preferably in the privacy of my own bathroom, but me performing in front of an audience-No Way! And if I make up my mind to sing someday, my pick of the song would be “I Have A Dream” by Swedish pop group Abba, with lyrics which goes like this “I have a dream, a song to sing. To help me cope with anything. If you see the wonder of a fairy tale, You can take the future ever if you fail..”. Happy Singing! Happy Karaoke time!

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks Alfie, nice article beautiful pictures and you covered “Mangala Karaoke club” and its members profiles in detail.
    I am sure this article will affect Mangalorean society and karaoke singers in particular in a progressive way. My thanks to you and good wishes to Managalorean.com. God Bless.

    Jagadish Attavar
    Toronto, Canada

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