An intrepid group of Melodia singers and friends headed to Gagopa Karaoke in Koreatown, Manhattan, on May 26 for the group’s foray into a different kind of singing.
Gagopa Karaoke, I was told, was the go-to place for Karaoke in this town. Not knowing what to expect, I found myself opening a door on 32nd Street into a whole other world. An inauspicious entrance past a tiny concession stand brought me to a rickety elevator and up to a lobby with every kind of lighting, setting the scene for singers to explore every kind of song.
A narrow staircase brought me to a winding corridor with room after room of Karaoke. The Melodia room, the largest on offer, was at the end and was like stepping into a red and green cave. Once the music started, all reality faded away.
One by one, Melodia singers past and present browsed through the huge directories of available songs and picked the most eclectic selection imaginable. Others sang along, cheered, and accompanied on tambourines handily provided by Gagopa.
Among the 22 songs lovingly delivered, standouts for me included Steff Lyons with Something to Talk About, Cynthia Powell’s Girl from Ipanema, Blessing Agunwamba’s Defying Gravity, and Amanda MacBlaine’s Daydream Believer. Rachel Wifall brought us Bad Romance and Woman in Love and made sure the music flowed seamlessly. The high point of the evening was the final song, Seasons of Love, which we all sang together.
Our first tentative step into Karaoke was an evening that brought us all together in a fun musical exploration like none other. It’s a world we will be visiting again!
Amber & Steff giving it their all!
By Jenny Clarke, Executive Director, Melodia