Tone-deafness is best shared with friends—in a private room, that is. At least that’s one of the services karaoke boxes, generally known as KTV studios, offer people of any nationality or musical talent.

It’s the chance to have fun and let go of inhibitions, and it’s the chance for your friends to tell you how much you start to sound as good as Whitney Houston with every cup of sake you consume. Whether you’re a businesswoman winding down after a busy day of work or a student escaping the travails of university life, karaoke provides a magical release from it all.

Karaoke was invented in Japan in the 1970s. Its origin, however, is surrounded by obscurity. One account holds Daisuke Inoue, a musician who provided instrumentals for people who sang at bars in Kobe, as the inventor of karaoke. One day, a customer was so impressed with Inoue’s musical ability that he asked Inoue to accompany him on a business trip. Too busy to go, Inoue instead recorded his instrumentals on a tape and gave it the businessman. According to Inoue’s account, this was the genesis of karaoke.

Karaoke is a type of entertainment where people sing along to recorded tracks (i.e. instrumentals) of popular songs whose lyrics are played on a screen. Following its invention, karaoke became widespread in other parts of Asia like China, Korea, and the Philippines, among others. It is regarded as one of the most popular activities in those countries.


The reasons karaoke is so popular in Asia may be accredited to the traditions of older times. Some Asian cultures are deeply rooted in their collective practices of song and dance. Filipinos, for example, love to sing, and this can be attributed to the serenades done in rural towns.

Another reason may be because Asian culture tends to be more conservative than Western culture, and private rooms with karaoke machines allow people to vent and express themselves freely. Whatever the reason, people share their laughter and pain with friends and family through karaoke; it’s a great opportunity for one to free their voice.

KTV STUDIOS, BARS AND RESTAURANTS

DJ Karaoke
1535 S. Havana St., Unit A, Aurora, CO 80012
303-745-3535

We are the first Asian-style karaoke studio in Denver. You get your own room, choose Asian songs, just like back in the East. Asians like karaoke because of the privacy, it has songs they like, they can make their own choices for songs, and they can just be with friends. Karaoke are great alternatives to parties at a house. Our visitors are mostly Asians, especially Korean. But we get Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Indonesian, Thai, American, and Vietnamese. Languages provided are mainly in Korean, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, and Simplified), and Filipino. We use karaoke machines from Korea and China. Customers can also bring in their own CDs.

M18
3480 S. Galena St., Denver, CO 80231
303-751-2168

There aren’t a lot of Asian-style music studios in Denver. A cultural difference between America and Asia are that Asians want privacy to share enjoyment with each other.Our largest group of customers are mainly Chinese, some being American-born. We offer mainly Chinese and English. We use the most advanced karaoke machines in Colorado. They are touch screen, imported from the largest Chinese karaoke company, where you can type a song and it will automatically search for the selection.

Red Claw
472 South Federal Blvd., Denver, CO 80219
720-328-3620

Red Claw serves Cajun and Vietnamese food. Mainly drinking food and fun “hang out and chilling” food. We want to create an environment for people to come and enjoy, watch games and sports. We want to focus more on our food by expanding our drinking food and having a wider variety. Asian people, we love to sing! Especially when hanging out with friends. That’s why there’s drinks and food. People don’t sing without it.

Singing is fun for friends. We express ourselves and our feelings because when we’re bored and sad, it [singing] releases stress. Our customers are mostly Vietnamese. We offer more than ten different languages: Filipino, Korean, Spanish, English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, etc. Not just on the karaoke machine, but we also use Youtube so you can play any song and any language. We can also play DVDs.

Music Bar
4586 Tennyson St., Denver, CO 80238
303-458-5360

Music Bar is a good old neighborhood bar. We used to be a piano sing-along bar. Our best nights are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Westword magazine wrote us as the best karaoke bar in Denver for 2011. Everyone enjoys music. Deep down inside, everyone thinks they can sing. We are very diverse and are not race specific. We only provide English songs. We use a computer-based system with a monitor. We have 100,000 songs.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Hamburger Mary’s
700 E. 17th Ave. Denver, CO 80203
(303) 832-1333

Kolorado Karaoke
www.koloradokaraoke.com/Karaoke.html
Jeff Preihs (owner): 303-427-7105

​Written by: Javier D. San Andres