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Unique karaoke event takes over Buffalo, BPD officers take center stage

Posted at 12:04 PM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 12:36:09-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — This Valentine’s Day a special event is coming to the Queen City.

R&B karaoke.

It’s actually a spin-off from a craze that’s been picking up steam in the Queen City for years now.

HIp-Hop Karaoke started back in 2015 when the co-founder Gabrielle Arthur saw it in London with her husband.

“I thought to myself, ‘We need to bring this back to Buffalo,” she said. “Buffalo needs something like this. There was nothing really ever in that hip-hop realm.”

She and her husband teamed up with Otis “OJ” Barker and created an event that had humble beginnings.

“In the beginning ,it was something cool to do, something to do, but it became the “thing” to do,” Barker tells 7 Eyewitness News.

From 150 people to over 1,000, the event now brings in sold-out crowds.

“It’s crazy, you know, a normal karaoke night at a bar… there might be 40 people there. You go up there and you sing, everybody’s drinking and stuff and you’re singing and stuff…this is totally different.”

Arthur says what makes this karaoke unique is that the songs are current and up-to-date because she created the tracks and the lyric slides from scratch.

“We actually make the track. A song will come out Monday, and the event is Saturday, and we’ll have that song.”

But, don’t be fooled. If you want to make an impression, you won’t get up on stage to read the words to the songs.

“You gotta really rock the crowd,” said Barker.

“And it’s hip-hop, so you kind of have to know the words - it’s hard to read the words to a rap song… the words are just to help you if you {forget} the words.”

After a few years of running a successful hip-hop karaoke, the organizers decided it was time to switch things up.

For the first time, R&B karaoke will be coming to Buffalo’s Tralf Music Hall this Valentine’s Day.

“This is your moment to get up there and show buffalo what you got.”

A slower pace, but it will still have the heart and soul of HHK.

“We just switched the tempo up pretty much but…we’re going to dance, we’re going to dance for sure, we’re going to dance all night… believe that.”

Dress to impress.

The event will offer a great date night experience for couples, and an exciting singles scene, as well.

And the excitement continues to build for a performance by Buffalo police officers Michael Norwood, Jr. and Armonde "Moe" Badger.

Tables and ticket information here.

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