January 18, 2012
I have a confession to make: I like karaoke. In fact if I&rsquot;m being completely honest I should say that I love karaoke. There&rsquot;s nothing quite like being slightly tipsy and standing on a stage singing to a group of mostly strangers for getting the adrenaline going, although I appreciate it&rsquot;s not for everyone.
On my infrequent visits to São Paulo I always seek out some karaoke. The alternative in the UK is either pub karaoke (yeesh!) or bespoke establishments such as KaraokeBox. The latter is good, but involves singing with a group of friends in a small room, and doesn&rsquot;t quite have the same rush. São Paulo city is of course famous for being one of, if not the top area with the most Japanese descendants and immigrants, and this group have brought with them that most famous of Japanese leisure activities.
There is the odd karaoke bar in the traditionally Japanese dominated areas e.g. Liberdade, but to-date I have preferred the Brazilian take on these establishments. Some years ago this was the very good but very popular Opereta, but this closed a year or three ago. There was also the very spartan and quieter Xuxu, but as is typical in São Paulo this also unfortunately closed a year or so ago.
So it was against this backdrop of closed karaoke bars that I was grateful to discover StudioBar Karaoke in Moóca just a stone&rsquot;s throw from my in-laws. It&rsquot;s a little out of the centre of São Paulo City, but only a kilometre&rsquot;s walk from the new Metro station (or a short taxi/bus ride, which is the better option at night).
StudioBar sits somewhere between the aesthetic values of Opereta and Xuxu, but is certainly pleasant enough. For those that want to hear each other, and/or prefer conversation to singing, the room is split with a quieter space at the back, where you can mostly still hear and see the singers. There&rsquot;s also a bar with a modest drinks list, and an even more modest menu, but you&rsquot;re going there to sing, right? Despite that, the food was certainly pleasant enough.
The owner stated that StudioBar had actually opened 4 years ago, and has gained substantially in popularity. I witnessed some amazing performances, which put my singing to shame, along with quashing the myth that karaoke bars are always infested by awful singers. In fact at times I felt like I was playing a bit part in Duets.
The owner also stated that he is a huge karaoke fan, and was so sick of singing in poor establishments that he decided to open his own. His fandom is proven, if by nothing else, by the staggering list of songs on offer (around 200,000). You can search for music on two strategically placed computers, but a tip is to just ask (or write on the piece of paper) as a lot of tracks aren&rsquot;t on the computers. There are of course plenty of Brazilian tracks, but also a huge number of international tracks as well. StudioBar also regularly run competitions and theme nights, so keep an eye on their website and Facebook page for updates.
There are a handful of downsides to StudioBar. Firstly, the service can be a little slow. Secondly, you need to have patience when arriving – the front gate is locked, and as a tip it can require some persistent ringing on the bell. Thirdly, beware the holiday season versus closing dates. When visiting before Christmas we were told they reopened on January 5th. When we turfed up though they were still closed, albeit the owner had just returned from holiday. A tip to StudioBar would be to add clear closing dates on their website, that they ideally stick to.
Other than that it&rsquot;s an excellent venue which ticks all the boxes for me. If you&rsquot;re lucky you will arrive on a quiet night when there&rsquot;s a small audience, and plenty of singing time.
StudioBar is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 6pm to 1am. The entrance fee is R$20, unless you consume that much in food/drink. It&rsquot;s open Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 4am. At these times the entrance fee is R$25, of which R$20 can be consumed food/drink. At weekends there is valet parking for R$10.
Av. Paes de Barros, 3164. Móoca. São Paulo. 03149-000.
StudioBar at Facebook
Studiobar at Foursquare
If you have a comment on Mark&rsquot;s article or would simply like to contact him then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous articles by Mark:
Review: TomTom Navigator 7 Brazil
Around Brazil: Boiucanga
Brazil: São Paulo – The Forgotten City
Brazil: Enough of the “Estrangeirismos”
Understanding Brazil: Sense of Humour
Brazil: The “Turistas” Storm in a Teacup
Understanding Brazil: Christmas and New Year&rsquot;s Traditions
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 5
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 4
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 3
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 2
Brazil: An Interview with Marcia Loebick
Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 2
Brazil: Google Maps Gets an Upgrade
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 1
Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 1
Brazil: Daylight Savings Time
Brazil: Carjacking and Theft
Brazil: Airport Delays Grow Among Crash Speculation
Brazil: São Paulo’s International Film Festival (and The Fountain)
Brazil: Single Gringo Beware!
Brazil: The House of Coffee Comes Home
Brazil: Film Review
Brazil: The Portuguese Language Museum
Brazil: Election Time! Part 2
Brazil: Election Time! Part 1
Brazil: Torrent TV
Brazil: Book Review
Brazil: Whistle-stop Salvador Part 2
Brazil: Whistle-stop Salvador Part 1
The PCC Shows a New Level of Organisation
Brazil: Trading Places
Brazil: São Paulo’s Pinacoteca
Brazil: Don’t Forget, You’re in Another Country!
Brazil: PCC Violence Returns to São Paulo
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 5
Brazil&rsquot;s World Cup Defeat Party
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 4
Brazil: Japanese Standard Chosen for Digital TV
Brazil: NET Petition Feedback
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 3
Brazil: Football Love
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 2
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 1
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 3
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 2
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 1
GPS in Brazil
Brazil: PCC Attacks in São Paulo
Brazil: Tips on Buying or Renting an Apartment or House
Brazil: A Critical Sensitivity
Cleanliness is next to Brazilianiness
Brazil: No Change, No Sale
Brazil: Professional Children
Brazil: We deliver… everything!
Brazil: Terrao Itlia
Brazil: A Layman’s Carnival Guide
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Brazil: Feira Food
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Brazil: Finding Work
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Brazilian Film Review
Brazilian Film Review
Brazil: Finados (Day of the Dead)
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Brazil Humour: Phone Etiquette
Brazil’s Gun Referendum
Brazil: Moby Review
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 5
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 4
Brazil: Avril Lavigne at Pacaembu
Moby in Brazil
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 3
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 2
Brazilian Film Review
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 1
Brazil: First season of Lost repeated on AXN