When I joined Singa, as a music enthusiast and a karaoke lover, it was a perfect match - how exciting it is to be a part of a company that is evolving a whole industry! Very shortly after starting, I got a last minute request to get even more inside the core business of Singa - a big party was happening and the organizers needed Singa with a karaoke host to their party. As it’s not according to our values to leave any party without great karaoke, I decided to get my hands dirty and go along to get this karaoke party started.

So I entered the party with my Singa Business Pro iPad on hand. The party was already in full action, so I sneaked in to locate the mixer and sound system, and plugged the iPad in. The party had been a sit-down dinner party until that moment, so I started out with shouting out a very much-heard phrase; “ARE YOU READY TO SING?”.

Fortunately the audience was on my side despite of the cliché start, and more than ready to jump on to the stage and kick in their best. Very soon we had the first singer ready to belt out their karaoke go-to! After this moment, everything was insanely smooth. The party crowd was very eager to sing and the queue kept filling up. I was stoked to see the people giving their all, taking the courage to hit the stage and sing their favorite tunes, do duets, sing along for their peer’s performances, and even rocking some choreographies. The evening was a success and everyone, including myself, left home happy and humming some Dean Martin and ABBA melodies.

Even though my first time KJ’ing was a decent success, I decided to learn a bit more and collect some tips from a more experienced industry veteran, of what it actually takes to be a great karaoke jockey. I had a chat with Luca Gargano, who’s been doing KJ’ing for several years, in addition to producing Karaoke World Championships and working as a professional musician.  

Here’s what I learned, when I asked Luca, what makes a great KJ.

What Makes a Great Karaoke Jockey

Karaoke party with karaoke jockey

1. Good karaoke jockey is a customer service expert and a performer in one package

A great KJ loves music and interacting with all kinds of people with a positive tone. It’s a plus if you can sing, too! KJ can start the karaoke night by singing the first song and breaking the ice. It's good to choose a song that fits in the current atmosphere of the venue but usually an uplifting song starts the evening nicely. Find inspiration for the song from Singas Karaoke Party singlist. Remember: if you are not excited about karaoke, why should someone else be? ;)

2. Good karaoke jockey knows the rules of karaoke

As a KJ, it’s in your hands to manage the queue and decide when to take new singers up the stage and when to let the person singing their 5th song of the evening, to sing again. You have an eye to keep it fair and smooth.

Happy karaoke host in Apollo Nightclub in Helsinki, Finland
Good karaoke host stays positive even on the busiest night and is always willing to help and cheer.

3. Good karaoke jockey hypes up the audience

It’s your job to make each singer feel welcomed while hitting the stage, and give them an appreciation they deserve when they leave the stage. Also, motivating the audience to appreciate the performances and cheer for the singers (and put a song in the queue next, of course) is vital! You can hype up the customers before you even hit the stage with some good karaoke marketing and promotion.

4. Good karaoke jockey has the right equipment and knows how to use It

To make a great karaoke party happen, you need a big list of music, from classics to new hits, and a professional karaoke system to operate the karaoke. The best solution for this is Singa Pro, with over 100 000 songs and constantly updating list. With Singa your karaoke guests can search their favorite songs directly from Singa consumer app from tens thousands of songs and hundreds of curated singlists, and request their songs on queue directly via the app. Easier for the KJ.

Singa Business Pro works in iPad and is handy to use with UI mixer.
Singa Business Pro works on iPad and is simple to use so KJ can focus on hosting.

As a KJ you should be familiar with basics of live mixing - how to set the vocals and music for the right balance and know what equalizer, compressor and reverb do. It’s important that the sounds are on fleek in order to create the best possible experience for both the singers and the listeners.

5. Good karaoke jockey remains calm in all situations

We all hate queuing, don’t we? As a karaoke jockey you’ll hear a lot of people wanting you to help them skip the line and get to sing next. Also, often they might have had few beers beforehand. But, as a great karaoke jockey you’ll handle these situations so well that the next day nobody remembers waiting in the line - but they’ll have clear memory in their heads about the great atmosphere and how well they sang Bon Jovi’s Always.

And remember the most important: have fun!