In general I aim to provide live musical entertainment in the form of discos and live singing sets (and sometimes karaoke) for events including birthday parties, charity/fundraising events and seasonal parties (Christmas, New Year, Halloween, Valentine's etc). I am hoping in the long term to be able to provide entertainment for large venues such as hotels. I currently hold an ever-expanding database of over 20,000 music tracks and over 35,000 karaoke/backing tracks.
My service started life in around 2010 when I used to provide karaoke on a voluntary basis to a social group which I attended in Leicester. I took inspiration from other DJs at karaoke nights I attended, and decided to develop into a business starting in 2012 when I took residency in Southwell. I originally traded as a "karaoke DJ" (as Ricky Roo's Karaoke), but have since decided to expand my services in order to try and get more customers, as well as to fulfill my own desires and talents. I changed the name to Ricky Roo's Singing Disco last year in order to emphasise the live singing element of my service as well as to avoid confusing people into thinking that I only do karaoke.
I am moving away from working within pubs unless it is an organised or ticketed event (such as a private party) where there would normally be some form of security. I found that when I used to just do casual "karaoke nights" at local pubs many of the heavily intoxicated audience (particularly the younger generation) didn't take me seriously and looked down on me because I was young. Often they wanted to take over and change the format of the evening, and occasionally even got behind the controls (even when I asked them not to) and rudely back-chatted when I protested. I tried doing something other than karaoke once at my local pub and everybody just wanted me to do karaoke anyway. I now feel that I want to aim my business at people who will hold an event where there is actually going to be an audience (not just people off the street) and who can afford to pay for such a service (the last pub I worked at recently withdrew my services due to low customers and not being able to pay me).
A selling point of my service is that I am a performer as well as a DJ. This means that I can sing some of the songs included in a DJ set live. This is included as part of the standard package. If a customer strictly requires 100% disco tracks this can be done as well, just as long as the customer specifies this on booking (it will be assumed that it is a standard package otherwise). Karaoke can also be included as part of the deal, again if specifically requested by a customer.
A disco with live singing can be done in one of two formats- a general disco set where live tracks are interspersed within a set of disco tracks (standard), or as a live singing set. For the latter, the session will consist of two sets of live singing with a break in between where a set of disco tracks will be played. There are currently over 400 songs that I am able to sing live, covering a wide variety of genres from the 1950s to the present, and I do have a broad vocal range for singing. I am continuously researching different music in order to expand my repertoire and tailor my set lists to suit clients' requirements. All live songs are sung to professional backing tracks that are as faithful as possible to the original recordings. I am hoping to also include live instruments in the future to play as well as sing, namely my acoustic guitar and possibly my electronic keyboard.
I am also able to perform a disco/live set based on a particular theme, including decades (60s, 70s, 80s etc), rock, rock 'n' roll or seasonal (Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's etc). Again I am able to tailor my playlists to suit the needs of customers for their events, trusting that customers let me know what music they would like in advance. I am always happy to research specific artists, genres and eras in order to expand my ever-growing database. I would advise that customers let me know in advance what they require so a playlist can be built prior to the event to allow for a smooth-flowing session. Of course, requests are always welcome throughout the course of the event as well. It would also be helpful if customers inform me as to whether or not the venue has access to the internet (and any passwords required). This can be useful when considering disco tracks as I have an online subscription where many tracks can be accessed that I may not currently have on my hard drive (tracks can be downloaded). This only applies to disco tracks, however, and not karaoke/backing tracks.
I do offer karaoke as part of my service, but it is not part of a standard package and customers will need to specify if they want it as part of the deal (at no extra cost). Karaoke will usually be interspersed within a disco set, although smaller events such as social clubs have often used my service for a karaoke only session (with no disco tracks in between singers). Extra equipment/resources will include a screen, 2x wireless microphones and karaoke songbooks and request slips. It should be noted that karaoke songbooks are intended as a guide and do not contain the full range of music available on the hard drive. Therefore if the desired song is not in the book I may still have it in the database.