Tuesday, April 07, 2009

KroaKING Season 4 - Week 1

Week one at KroaKING 4: Very nice!
Week two at KroaKING 4: Very nice!
Week three at KroaKING 4: Very nice!

Now we can move to what I really want to talk about. Which is… err…

Oh shut it men. Can’t string 2 sentences together! We’re supposed to write ABOUT KroaKING for the past three weeks. Not say very nice, very nice like it’s your 5 year old’s drawing.

Fine then! You write something instead of shouting at me. Lets see how well developed your linguistic skills are.

Hah! I am known in my circles, as a very cunning linguist! Soooooooooooooo…. Week one: Rather a dull weekend but forgivable since it was the first. Bunch of good singers. One of my favourites, Puttu, didn’t get through and im quite sad about that.

Of course he wouldn’t! He sang like a twat! Tell him to choose a proper song next time.

Moving on, the 3 who got through were… ummm… hang on… I have the list somewhere. Priyanka! Where’s the bleddy list? Ah here it is… Shilpa, who sang wonderfully beautifully…

You just want to get into... rooowwwrrrrrr!

No I do not! She sang really well! Though I must say, singing those slow, soft, dirge like numbers is nice, but boring in the long run. No hard feelings.

Huh. No hard feelings he says. Except for the feeling in his pants, im sure!

Oh shush. The next guy in was called Akshay Hari. Who played Samson to his pretty Delilah. And played a fine role.
And third and last name on that night was none other than an old face at Opus. Mr. Abhijeet Sudhakar. We understand that tolls of a career take some people out of the circuit for a while.

Though Carlton manages to stay put right where he is… Oh waitaminit. You said career. Right. Sorry.

Yes, thank you very much. As I was saying, It was nice to have him back after 2 years and Abhijeet got off on Freddie (Nice choice of words eh?) and got through to the semis of KroaKING 4.
Each of these lucky folks got a gift voucher from Flying Machine for a grand each. Can you still buy ANYTHING for a grand these days?

You cant. You don’t even have a grand. Never had and never will… Loser!

Oh shut it Vivek. Im going to kick your ass now.

Oooooh im terrified. Don’t mind him folks. See you guys next week. And oh I have to write about the other 2 Wednesdays as well.

Yeah he’s a lazy sonofabitch.

Dude. Really. Adios folks. Next para, it’s all me!

and Vivek

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I’m sure you’ve heard the joke that goes ‘When God said Go forth and multiply!; someone came fifth and won a toaster…’

Well we’re going Fourth and we’re multiplying and Morphy Richards isn’t any richer for it.

KroaKING Season 4 starts this Wednesday.

Begun 3 years ago, Opus’ annual Karaoke contest has resonated louder and louder with each passing year and has witnessed the discovery and growth of some phenomenal talent. From a humble start at the restaurant in the first year to a booming event at the Palace Ground for 1500 people last year, KroaKING is serious business for some and a whole lot of fun for others.

For an in depth history and pictures, videos and winners and prizes of KroaKING Seasons 1, 2 and 3, access www.kroaknights.blogspot.com. I would love to tell you all about it here but I’m reserving the space for much more important news.

As I said, we’re multiplying… This year, we’re KroaKING out of Bangalore as well! So Bangaloreans, you Frogs in the Well, beware. More competition from people outside of your adda. But on the other hand, more opportunity to meet people like you from other cities. Who knows what might come of such a melting pot of talent.

And for everyone who’s out of Bangalore, watch this space for more cause that’s how you’re going to find out when we’re there, to select the one or two of the best from your city and bring them down to the finals in Bangalore.

This is big. And it’s only going to get bigger. See y’all Wednesday and tune those voices. No more Bacardi bottles to give out. Just a ticket to the Semis of KroaKING 4. And maybe the dubious honour of being the Freak of the Week on www.myopusradio.com.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Announcing: Freak of the Week

10 things I learnt at Karaoke night last week

- Don’t Not Drink. It’s easier to bear the Kroaking. Hence my new found abstinence will be broken on Wednesdays to maintain my sanity.

- Banned songs like ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ and ‘Hotel California’ are like other illegal substances. The more you ban them, the more in demand they are.

- Most people do not know how to hold a mike. It is not an ice cream stick, not a toy and most of all, not a penis. Although it has certain resemblances like a sensitive head; stop holding it there.

- My ding a ling is long (chuckle)

- People who want to sing ‘Rockstar’ rarely are.

- December-December (Or May-May, I’m not sure which is which) love affairs are best left off stage and off the mike. I mean, they’re like your parents.

- Air guitaring can be hazardous to the singer on stage (Again, Neville, my apologies.)

- Air guitaring is best left to songs with a prominent guitar part.

- Air guitaring is best left to people who are not on speed. And finally…

- Bottles of Bacardi are to be handled carefully. They break just like normal bottles.(I plead guilty)

Quite an interesting day eh? You should’ve been there. Anyway, the Air guitaring chappie, Siddarth Abraham aka Puttu, is on air with me on www.myopusradio.com on Thursday the 5th. Tune in between 11 and 2. We talk about his name, his love, his school (Cottons vs Josephs plays a big role) and his Malyaliness as also serious issues like his Kickboxing and musical careers. Good fun!

And see you guys at Opus on Wednesday, where I will pick my new Freak of the Week to co host the show, next week. Ta!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

School Song Sagas

So the madness is back. And I mean that quite literally, since ‘madness’ is now a nickname for me, unimaginatively derived from my surname by… well, unimaginative people.

To quote the wise old owl from yesteryear, “Wednesdays are not going to be the same again”. And last Wednesday certainly wasn’t anything I’d seen in a while. There was a batch of Alumni from the batch of 1992, Lovedale; a batch of 2002 Cottonians and some random others from various institutions… And they all vied for School Song dominance.

The Love-days hadn’t seen each other for about 15 years and judging by the kind of madness at their table, they might not want to for another 15.

And being a Josephite, the less said about Cottonians the better else the blogsite might be blocked or dismissed or something…whatever they do to blogs that have been bad for badness’ sake.

But what this piece is supposed to do is announce a new scheme. You all know we’ve started our online radio station. If you didn’t know, then you’re a twat. If you do know and you don’t listen, then you’re an (beep) twat. They beep out expletives on the radio as well, so put it down to habit.

So anyway, every Wednesday, the whackiest, most-likely-to-be-diagnosed-with-MPD-soon person will get to host a show with Vivek vs Vivek.

If you’re thinking its not a big deal, then listen in tomorrow.

Last week, Rajiv Sasha, aka ‘The Sash’ was mad enough and he had a blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast. So did I, if truth be told. And he now has an open invitation to host a show on myopusradio.com anytime he wants. So talk about being a platform for talent, we promote madness and schizophrenia as well. Oh and music.

Rajiv, thanks buddy (Spastic picture, by the way & you've lost a looot of weight since some of those others).

And whoever’s next, bring it onnnnnnnnnn!

See you guys tonight. Raghava KK, celebrated artist and cartoonist and an old friend is leaving for greener and meaner pastures; on second thought, darker and meaner pastures -he’s off to the States with wife and baby son in tow and we all know who’s President now - and so he’s throwing a farewell bash. There will probably be a whole lot of people there just to make sure he’s really leaving. Just kidding Raghava! ;-) Ciao!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the verdict

There is karaoke and then there is kroaknight.
There are singers and then is a KROAKING.
I am still speechless.
What i thought  would be an extension of sunday nights at opus turned out to be a jaw dropping outstanding night of talent.
Not just that, but the ambience was amazing too.
I felt truly privileged to be part of it all.


comments shamelessly lifted from Sandeep Chowta's judging sheets. 

Aditya Menon : Innovative Rendition, Decent performance. Can’t judge his ability to sing from this song. He sounded ok.
Alexis D’Souza: Pitching is all over the continent. Not her genre that’s for sure. Nothing in her voice for this song.
Arti Desikan: Too much dominance by backing vocals. Good Throw. Pitching issues. Decent performance.
Anaitha Nair: Pitching issues. Good song selection. Well supported by backing voices.
Andy. V: Knowing his forte, he was superb. Great adaptation to disco. Great Performance.
Judy Das: Benefit of doubt. No Throw. First contestant. Sound system.
Megha Girish: Pitching issues. She didn’t sound comfortable. Maybe a semitone down would have worked. Decent performance.
Neville De Nazareth: Opened song on one key and then started song on another. Pitching issues. Doesn’t sound like his genre. Good effort.
Roohshad Garda: Kept the nostalgia alive. He kept getting better towards the end.
Roopika Muthanna: Pitching. good to hear someone’s voice dominating the backing vocals for a change. Not her genre. Pitching faultered towards the end. Too much shouting
Sendil kumar : Too much reverb when singing. No Throw. Voice sound stronger when backing track joins him. Maybe its not his genre.
Sharon Chang: Pitching issues. Decent performance
Venkat Subramanyam: He doesn’t sound very comfortable. But He is a good singer. Adapted it well for his voice.

Aditya Menon: Not audible. No clarity. Maybe he is just a good rock singer.
Andy V: Great Control. Well adapted, awesome timbre considering it’s a female song . brilliant .
Megha Girish: Great voice texture. Missed a few of the notes at the bottom. Loses her power in between. totally her genre . Great Effort.
Roohshad Garda: Didn’t pitch right in the beginning. Not audible with some of the low notes . nice voice texture .
Roopika Muthanna: Good in parts. Pitching issues. She didn't feel comfortable.
Venkat Subramanyam: This guy is so good. one of my favorites . Not one of his best performances though


The First Round – Disco

13 people march up to the guillotine – 13 very nervous people

Why do you put yourselves through this torture? Why?

No I’m serious, why?

I think everyone was under par, confidence seemed to be at an all time low. From 13 one selects 6 that go through to the second and final round. This is based on their overall performances on that night. Anything that has happened up to that moment, good or bad, is of no consequence and for those that are hell bent on getting through to the second round, it’s really a make or break moment and absolutely anything can happen. It all comes down to those 3 or 4 minutes you have on stage. What a nightmare.

For those about to sing – I salute you

Round 1 – Disco

Anaitha – If You Could Read my Mind

Your subtle ease and command on stage were your biggest plus points. You have a great voice too but maybe haven’t realized that yet and hence don’t use it to its full potential. I was sad to see you not get into the second round as I think you gave a good honest performance. If one could go back in time I would suggest re-working the song to make it showcase the voice you have. You need those one or two moments to show off and wow the audience.

Sendil - Another One Bites the Dust

I’ve heard you in Opus and I’ve heard you on the CD and I think you have a great voice. On the night this didn’t come through though. Probably down to a bad song choice. I don’t think it suited you and I know you could have done much better with something a little less glam and more your style.

Judy – Turn the Beat Around

I met her some time before the show. Good lord was she nervous. For some people nerves turn into adrenaline and someone high on a sudden surge of adrenaline can make for a great performance. I don’t think this happened with Judy. I love this girl’s voice and I think she has huge potential, unfortunately one isn’t scored on potential. I’m not gonna criticize her performance or her singing, I’m just gonna say this: Judy, you need to read Asterix and the Normans to understand how you can turn it upside down and make it work for you and not against you – fear can give you wings (it’s a fun read anyway).

Aditya – Super Freak

I really liked what you did with the song, you are a good performer and seem to understand what it’s all about. I think a song like this doesn’t come naturally to you but you took it on as a challenge and it worked. It’s a great thing to move in and out of your comfort zone so effectively. Good stuff.

Alexis - Murder on the Dance Floor

I’m at a loss for words here because you are one of my favorite voices on the CD and I saw little of that on stage. Firstly I think it came down to your song choice. With a huge variety of “singer” songs to choose from in the disco category this was not one of them. Probably everything else stems from there. You really needed something where you could have shown off that amazing voice you have and also something that you could have grooved to and had fun with on stage. DO NOT beat yourself up about this and do not beat me up for saying it either, it’s a lesson to be learned, learn it and move on, you have a great voice, now what’s it gonna take to make you loosen up on stage?

Venkat - Miss You

It was good to finally see you do something like this. You didn’t do it badly at all, in fact I thought it was quite good. You definitely should do more stuff outside of Sinatra and Bennett though, roll with it.

Nevil - Staying alive

You picked a song that is sung in falsetto. My question to you is this: Is that your real singing voice? I’m guessing here but I think the answer is no. You did it well though, I do give you that, but it came across as a novelty song as opposed to a “singing” song and novelty is not gonna get you far in a singing contest. It’s maybe difficult to find a disco song that would suit your voice but definitely not impossible. As mentioned before, I think you have a great tone and feel and you can get very far with that. Work on your stage presence – get comfortable – and do your thing.

Aarti - Lady Marmalade

Why Aarti why? Why would you go for a song that is almost ALL about attitude? It’s a singer’s song too, but… I see you more so as a traditional kind of singer, traditional diva stuff you know? But then of course I could be wrong. Anyway, it was nice to see you diversify like that. I liked what you were wearing, specially the shiny hair!

Sharon – I Wanna Dance with Somebody

What a super song for you to sing. I think it was a great song choice, I think you did well and I know you could have done better. I could not believe it – you were nervous? But… but… anyway, nervousness aside, you sang well and you looked like you had a great time. I look forward to hearing you sing in Opus again.

Megha - Hot Stuff

Pretty good but not up to your usual self. Was it nerves? I didn’t think you had it in you to be nervous. Again I think I am wrong. Vocals were not bad, performance was not bad but it was not mega (forgive that).

Roohshad – My First, My Last, My Everything

The Biscuit’s theme song (Ally McBeal), that’s at least how I know it. One of the better performances of the evening. No snazzy dance moves, no pyrotechnics but a good sense of stage and presence. Reasonably strong vocally, nice little touches here and there. Overall – good stuff.

Roopika - Don’t Leave Me this Way

A great voice and a decent performer but you did not shine as you can. I don’t want to keep repeating myself but this is a singing contest not sex – there’s a time and place to be safe. You did however get into the second round and by comparison I think you deserved it. But seriously, you need to let go, roll about with the punches, get knocked out a few times, get up and say “Ah, so that’s how it feels”. You learn your lines well but I don’t really want to hear lines.

…You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask – JM

I’m not a huge fan of his words, but he did make some sense…

Andy – You Sexy Thing

You sang well, your performance could have been better. It’s often the subtle things that count. Those glasses for instance, yup, the ones covering your whole face, maybe not a good idea. Much has been said about eye contact, so I shall not go there. Overall though – a neat job

Round 2 – Soul/RnB

Down to the final 6, nerves conquered, they line up against the wall.

Ready! …Aim!

Megha – Listen

What a performer. You put yourself out there, you sing your heart out, and everyone loves you for it, thank you.

Aditya - Hard to handle

This went very wrong for you. It was just a really bad song choice, from 10 seconds into the song it seemed evident that you felt the same way about it, the Black Crows version would have been great and a welcome change. Sure you would have nailed it.

Roohshad – Smoke Gets in your Eyes

I think you tried your best and it worked for you. Good show, these sort of songs suit you (I find them boring and cheesy) and you have a great tone for them as well as the attitude. I would suggest doing more stuff like this but having a modern edge to it. Re-work the vocals a bit etc. Nice.

Roopika – Vision of Love

What was up with that? You were good but why were you so holding back? You had it in the palm of your hands and you just let it slip away like you didn’t really want it. I don’t know what to say.

Musicality – Good (should have been excellent)

Stage presence – Okay (could have been excellent)

Venkat – Try a Little Tenderness

Really good. You’re quite fun to watch on stage, a side of you I haven’t noticed before. RnB or soul or whatever that was seems to be out of your comfort zone but you did really well with it, good for you. It’s great to see people doing something which is a challenge for them. I’m yet to see you do Baby Got back though, maybe you should do it as a duet with Roopika sometime, should be fun.

Andy – Without You

What were you thinking? Why on earth would you want to attempt a song like that? To win the contest??? Hmmm… well you did do that. It was a gamble and it paid off, congratulations (I mean it)… you were one of my favorites, but here’s what I think of your final performance:

It lacked feel, was far too watered down and your stage presence left much to be desired. It was a very brave choice of song and I think you over stepped your limits.

The End

It was very difficult writing that stuff up there. I do believe all 13 singers are in fact really good without exception and I’m not just saying that. But contests are difficult and they really do boil down to those few moments you have on stage. For those that are unhappy or disappointed with what they did, all I can say is, don’t take it too seriously, maybe there are lessons to be learnt, maybe you just had a bad day, only you can be the judge of that.

Mayank, Barry and his merry troop of ghouls – great, great stuff, excellent.

A super after party, great atmosphere, everyone having a really good time.

Gina, Shonali, Carlton and everyone else who organized this – really, really super show. It was great fun for me to be a part of this and I hope everyone else had a great time too.



Thursday, May 15, 2008

kroaking season 3 CD

CD Review by Sharmon Ibrahim

Home after a hard day? Kick up, pour yourself a shot of something smooth, and turn her on.
Alexis, you are a breath of sweet, fresh air

Ha! You’re a funny guy… As quoted recently in the Daily Bugle – “…but I never thought he had it in him!”
I think you nailed it

Silky, mature, honest and heartfelt. Super stuff

Sitting in the studio, from the first note, the sound of your voice is distracting. What a beautiful tone

I heard you last year and I heard you this year. What you do, you do well, and then you do it better. I’d love to hear you sing Sir Mixalot–Baby Got Back

Soaring effortlessly through valleys and peaks. Visions of cozy fireplaces and ski lodges. Marshmallows and mittens… (I have no idea, don’t ask) Really nicely done

What a different song for you to do. One of the most distinct voices – angelic, sweet, serene, spank-me-I’ve-been-a-bad-girl tone – great to hear you move away from the usual power-diva songs and do something like this ever so well

Classic neo/pop rock singer. It’s all about the sound and you have it

An aural exhibition of control and phrasing – it sounds really great too

In the studio you mentioned that you were not really a singer (or something to that effect). Well… you sound great. An interestingly lovely tone and a great feel, you really seem to mean the song

That rocked, really. From your performance in the semi finals to this. What to say… well… I’m very interested to see what you have up your sleeve for the disco and RnB rounds

Wow! I was quite concerned when I heard you were doing this song. Y‘see, I had a huge crush on Joan Jett… uh… and Suzi Quatro… and Agnetha Faltskog, Debbie Harry too but… this is about you, sorry… Super stuff woman! Ow!!!

Andy – NO WAY – ANDY
Tight leather, headbands, wristbands and big blond hair – no, this is not S&M Fortnightly. 80s hair metal is what they call it. You go for those notes and you get them.

What a vocally glam song to attempt. It could have gone wrong, very wrong. You both sound stunning in places and in others you just sound really good. I was looking forward to a cat-fight in the studio actually, that was the only disappointment. Ha!

Another voice to be heard. Super tone and feel. Quite distinguishable – Mark as only Mark can be

Oh… My… God… This is truly special, what a voice and what delivery. Most courageous, a lesson to be learnt: do your thing, and do it fully. Una voce dolce e potente. Bravo! Bravo! Encore!



KroaKing season 2 every wednesday