The mastermind behind what the New York Times once deemed “America’s greatest karaoke night,” John Brophy had built a small kingdom of mobile karaoke packed with obscure selections and his own custom-engineered tracks, with rabid fans checking his Baby Ketten Karaoke calendar to see where he’d be. Trade in this jet-setting, free-floating life for the albatross of a brick-and-mortar business to run? Said Brophy: yes, please! —MS
“Now we have seven nights a week. Before, we were able to do a few, but it never lined up with everyone’s schedules. And personally, not having to set up a show every night, just a “hit the power button” kind of thing [is big.] But more importantly, being able to just have total control over the experience from start to finish: the design of the place, the food and drinks, the atmosphere.
It’s a great, tight community [of local karaoke lovers]. I think all of us frequent all the spots in town. It’s starting to feel, people have told me, really like a home base, a place that we all own, which is awesome. That’s what I was trying to achieve.
Every Tuesday is New Track Tuesday [when new songs are added to the karaoke catalog]. I haven’t missed one for about 10 years. I feel like if I skipped one people would think I’ve fallen prey to some ill or misfortune. I’ve done it on a plane over the ocean going to Japan—by any means, basically.
I still do weddings, birthdays, corporate events, but nothing to compete with my club. That would be silly.”