couple sings their hearts out on March 10 at Club 51†
during their celebrity karaoke night.
Scobie, (Mark Ramjohn), tries his hand at karaoke on March
10 at Club 51† during their celebrity karaoke night.
With soca slowly gaining more recognition internationally,
Mark Ramjohn feels he finally has the tool to make music
fans, all over the globe, echo the songs of soca.
Ramjohn, also known as DJ Scobie, is using
the Japanese karaoke concept to fashion todays Carnival
hits into easy-to-follow singalong ditties.
For the past year, he and his partner Derek Chin Fatt
(DJ Hard Drive) have been crafting soca karaoke numbers.
He described the process as strenuous.
Ramjohn said most of the soca songs were transferred onto
a computer and it took around nine hours to do one karaoke
First, the vocal track is brought up on a graph and each
note and bar of music is analysed.
He said the lyrics for songs were difficult to transcribe
as attention had to be paid to the accompanying music.
timing has to be right: every line you see on the monitor
has to be in sync with the music, Ramjohn explained.
Owner of Island Stars Entertainment, Peter Louis also
confirmed that crafting karaoke was time consuming.
Louis said that at first people were apprehensive of local
music on the karaoke scene.
However, he said when he started doing more tunes they
eventually warmed to the idea.
Now Louis has added parang and chutney karaoke to the
mix and has the karaoke versions to Adesh Samaroos
Rajin, Rum Til I Die and Caroni Close.
Ramjohn also had karaoke versions to Mini Priests
Body Water and Destras Fly from this year.
He is currently working on what he called an official
Caribbean music karaoke CD with Mighty Sparrow.
adds longevity to the music and puts it in a special place,
Louis said. Being able to sing that old Sparrow
song brings nostalgia and that is the appeal of karaoke.
Ramjohn hosts Karaoke night at Club 51†, Cipriani Boulevard,
Port-of-Spain, and said the idea for soca karaoke came
out of numerous requests from patrons for local music.
On the night of March 10, the audience at 51† soaked in
karaoke sung by the likes of Shurwayne Winchester and
some of the onlookers even took their chance on the mic,
egged on by friends and well-wishers.
Spurred on by a clapping crowd, one audience member blurted
out lines from George Michaels Faith.
Imitating Michaels dance steps, for that moment
he was a star and to Ramjohn this is karaokes lure.
While fans lapped up the karaoke version to their favourite
soca songs, Ramjohn observed most artists had a cautious
reaction to his work.
In his own defence, he said soca karaoke was simply a
device to promote the music.
you can get a foreigner to sing your song and read the
lyrics they would appreciate it more and even buy your
music faster, Ramjohn added.
dollars and sense of karaoke
from the technical difficulties associated with soca karaokeKMCs
lisp is proving problematic as Ramjohn is catching hell
to create the karaoke version of First Experiencehe
said Cotts policies were not helpful.
Labelling Cott a rip-off, Ramjohn believes his creative
work was suffering from the copyright organisations
grip on local music.
He said artists registered with Cott had no rights, even
for promotional ventures like soca karaoke, as permission
to re-work a song had to be granted by the organisation.
Despite this, he said, some artists were already embracing
Ramjohn mentioned soca star Iwer George as being interested
in having a karaoke DVD of his work produced.
When contacted George said a karaoke DVD would be excellent
for international promotion of his work, but attention
had to be paid to the economic side and whether the venture
In a telephone interview, Colin Lucas, whose hit Dollar
Wine has surfaced on the karaoke circuit, said that so
far he has not received any royalties for the use of his
He revealed that he would ask Cott to look into the matter
later this week but at the same time felt pride that his
song had developed such popularity.
For his part, Ramjohn denied trying to make money from
soca karaoke but reiterated its use as a musical marketing
tell artists if their karaoke DVD doesnt sell then
dont give me a cent, but if it sells all I want
is a small percentage, he added. If you look
at it, there is a West Indian in every part of this world
starving for their music. Why not give them an option
to midikaraoke.com, Karaoke is a Japanese abbreviated
compound word: kara comes from karappo
meaning empty, and oke is the abbreviation
of okesutura, or orchestra.
At most times a recorded popular song consists of vocals
and accompaniment. Music tapes in which only the accompaniment
is recorded were named karaoke.
Karaoke started at a snack bar in Kobe City. Legend has
it that when a strolling guitarist could not come to perform
at the bar due to illness, the owner of the bar prepared
tapes of accompaniment recordings, and vocalists enjoyed
singing to the tapes.