Karaoke first evolved in Japan as an emotional outlet in an introvert country in the 1970s, and then it immediately swept East Asia.
“I love it. You can relax yourself, and then… practice singing.”
The entertainment came to the Chinese mainland in the 1990s and got the new name of KTV, where the participants can watch the music video, dance, or just talk to each other in enclosed rooms. In Beijing, it is hard to book a room on the weekends, and when the New Year is approaching, it becomes even more difficult.
The KTV in China is different from its counterparts in the west. More often than not, the KTV rooms feature deluxe decorations and you don’t have to embarrass yourself in front of strangers.
“Here it’s more like a party. Here you get to go with friends, while in America, it’s done in a public space. You go to a bar, sing your song in front of everybody else. Here is more private, more of a social event”
“I like Chinese KTV better, the Asian style of KTV.”
“It’s a way to socialize. When you come, you usually get food included. It’s a good way for people like me to learn some Chinese songs. Just hang out with friends. It’s not only about singing, it’s about going, chatting and spending time with peoples .”
So in front of friends, you can also become a rock star to an audience who will always give the warmest applause no matter how bad you sing. However, what you sing is a concern for a lot of people who go to the KTV. A poplar saying goes that no matter how hard you try to appear tender and young; your real age reveals itself immediately when you begin to sing – people could easily tell your age according to the songs you like most.
“I think singing is a philosophy of age. Because only when you come to a certain age, you can understand what the singers you like are singing about.”
As a good way to relax, catch up with friends, and make new friends, KTV has become an important entertainment during the holiday seasons in the Middle Kingdom.
So with the New Year just around the corner and Spring Festival approaching, you may also want to try out your singing talent.