Celine made me panic a little bit the other day. Somehow I just thought that for karaoke, I would show up, choose a random song, and be amazing. Uh, yeah. Didn’t think that through really well. Apparently, there are several factors to consider. From Celine’s blog:
1. You have to find something that’s within your voice range. That cancels out a lot right there because I am neither Beyonce nor Mariah Carey. This is the main reason why Somewhere Out There and Borderline don’t cut it anymore.
2. The song has to go with your look and vibe. It’s easy enough for me to sing, say, You Know I’m No Good by Amy Winehouse. But it doesn’t feel right; it’s like putting on ill-fitting leather pants or a temporary tattoo. I think a certain bad-ass quality is necessary to belt out some Amy Winehouse, and I just don’t have it. Feigned innocence is more my style…
3. If you want to get the crowd behind you, it’s gotta be FUN. It has to be a crowd-pleaser, something everyone wants to sing along with!
So, I have to think a little harder now.
Vocal range is not too hard. I pretty much only have to eliminate the super-low (think Toni Braxton and Anna Nalick) and the super-high (think Leona Lewis). I can even do some guy songs an octave up, or in the same key if they’re high. I’d say generally I sound best on mid-to-high range stuff: Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson… The problem then becomes my level of badassery. Because I can hit the notes, but will I in front of a crowd of people? That’s questionable.
And that brings me to my look and vibe. I was in an a cappella group in college. (Who wasn’t, really?) My signature solo was Kiss Me. Everyone told me it matched my personality so well because it was sweet and nice and blah blah blah. Everyone was wrong. Buuuut, that doesn’t necessarily make me a badass. I am not sure, for example, that I can sing Heart or Joan Jett and really pull it off. More thinking on this will be required. Do I go with sweet, or try something new?
And now, the hard one: picking a crowd-pleaser. I am a fan of sappy ballads, I admit. But sappy ballads will just not do for karaoke. I do not want to make the drunk people cry. Or fall asleep. So my original go-tos– Kiss Me, My Favorite Mistake, and Crash Into Me— are probably out, because they’re a little sleepy. Top-of-mind right now for some crowd-pleasers are something by Pink or maybe Black Velvet.
This karaoke thing is harder than I thought!