Here at Thumb Culture, we love it when gaming brings people together, either through virtual worlds or in real life. The recently released Let’s Sing 2022, the first karaoke game available for the new console generation, is a great example of this! The latest addition to the critically acclaimed karaoke franchise is now available on Xbox Series S/X, One X, PlayStation 4 and 5 and the Nintendo Switch.
To celebrate the launch of Let’s Sing 2022, we decided to explore our love of karaoke within team TC and beyond, by chatting to the one and only Baga Chipz! But before we jump into that, I decided to test out the musical tastes of the Thumb Culture team by asking them to name their favourite karaoke tracks. The results were, let’s just say, varied.
Let’s Sing: Thumb Culture Edition
- Gareth: Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
- Paul: Lose Yourself – Eminem
- Joe: Angels – Robbie Williams
- Stuart: The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air – Will Smith or Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon
- Brian: Ace Of Spades – Motorhead or Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
- Si: It’s Tricky – Run DMC
- Stu N – Girl All The Bad Guys Want – Bowling For Soup
- Dan: Juneau – Funeral For A Friend
- Marc: America – West Side Story
- Nathan: Anything by the Backstreet Boys
- Martin: Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues (our one and only Christmas entry)
- Iain: Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (one of my least favourite songs, cheers Iain)
- Ar: Africa – Toto
Turns out there’s nothing quite like karaoke to polarise opinion whilst simultaneously bringing people together!
Time For Some Karaoke Expertise
To get some real insight into what it is about games like Let’s Sing 2022 so engaging, I decided to ask an expert. Who better to chat about all things gaming and music than the inimitable Baga Chipz? Read on to find out what happened when I had a lovely chinwag with one of the UK’s best known and most well-loved drag queens.
Ar: Hi Baga! Thanks so much for chatting to us about all things Let’s Sing 2022! I wanted to start with some quickfire karaoke questions, so to start us off…Cher or Madonna?
Baga: Oh, God. To me that’s like saying gin or chips, it’s the hardest question ever! Ok, I’d pick Madonna for her revolutionary approach and how she’s changed popular culture. With Cher though, she’s like one of the first proper divas, and she just seems like she doesn’t give a damn, does she? So actually, I’d have to say, Cher!
Ok, how about a slightly easier one; Dolly Parton or Abba?
That’s hard as well! You are literally picking all my favourites! The four you’ve just said, I just adore. I love Dolly but I am a huge, huge Abba fan. I love disco music, and while I love Dolly, I think if you’re on a night out and Abba comes on then you’re on the dancefloor, aren’t you?!
Chips, sauce and singalongs
Speaking of controversial questions, what’s the best chip shop sauce? If anyone should have the final say on this, it’s you.
It depends on what part of the country you’re from, but for my personal taste, I love chips and gravy.
Ahh, see I’d go with chips and curry sauce!
Oh yes! Chip shop curry, I love chip shop curry! Mind you, you’re talking to me; I just love grub! Proper chip shop curry or actually, I used to have chips, with melted cheese all over and then curry sauce on top. Oh, and loads of vinegar too. Mushy peas if you’re having a fish, and if we’re talking cold condiments, I do love a bit of tartare sauce.
So we’re going to chat about Let’s Sing 2022 and all things gaming and karaoke. Are you ready?
Yeah! Who doesn’t love karaoke?!
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Are you much of a gamer?
Yeah, but I’m old school. I’ve played games ever since I can remember, probably since about the age of five. But my Mum used to play them too, on the computer and I remember being like “I want to play it, I’m the kid!”. My favourite game console is the Super Nintendo, I love it. I know it’s a bit old, but you can get one of those even today. I’ve got so many friends who have them now and I feel like you could play on that for hours.
What kind of games are your favourite?
On the Super Nintendo, I love Donkey Kong, Super Mario, all the classics! But I’ve also got an Xbox and I play on that too. I’m really bad at games where you have to be brave – you know, Resident Evil and all that sort of thing? But yeah, all the Mario type games and Donkey Kong – I could play those for hours. Plus they’re the only games I can probably complete.
Me too, honestly – I can’t deal with horror games. I’ll happily pass those ones on to another member of the review team!
Yeah, I’d have to! I mean it’s just incredible, mind-blowing really, how the graphics have changed in games, especially ones like that. I love playing games though, I’m a bit of a granny about how much I love my computer games! My friend from my season (of RuPaul’s Drag Race), Sum Ting Wong, is a massive gamer, she’s got the headset, the camera – she’s got everything! I didn’t realise how big she was on it, but she really is. Mind you she’s into Minecraft and all that whereas I’m more into Paperboy!
Let’s Talk About Let’s Sing
What is it about karaoke games like Let’s Sing that draws you to them?
I mean I’d have to say that singing games are definitely among my favourites. When I was younger and had my PlayStation I used to have the mics and everything, even the old dance mats, I loved all that! I’m a singer, and these games are just so amazing because, for me, they’re great practice. I can do my vocal warm-ups with them, and I always get the notes!
I also love how they’re a great way to get together with your mates. If you’ve got your mates over, what better way to get everyone involved?! Even if it’s not your turn, you’re able to watch and support your friends (and take the mick a bit!) and it’s just really entertaining. Karaoke games like this bring back great childhood memories for me because they’re among some of the first games I ever used to play.
Has karaoke had a big impact on your life?
Well, I’m a singer, and as a performer, I really go for it. I sing for a living and on most of my shows, I actually sing live. I’m not really a lip-sync-er, even though I was on RuPaul’s Drag Race. So karaoke is a big part of helping me prepare for my performances.
I live over the road from a lot of bars and it’s something I do when I go out anyway, but it’s great if you want a night in with your mates now because you can put the console on! There’s such a wide variety of songs on Let’s Sing that there’s something there for everyone. I love all the 80’s music but there’s a load of modern numbers on there too.
What bands or music are you into that people might be surprised by?
I love every type of music, you’d be surprised! Obviously, I love all the divas and the pop music, disco, camp, gay music, but I also love rap; I absolutely adore rap music. I love garage, R&B, I love classical music! When I’m sitting at home, I’m often listening to beautiful piano music, or Katherine Jenkins, Andrea Bocelli – his duets with Sarah Brightman and Celine Dion, for example.
I also love the 60’s, Cilla Black, The Beatles, Elvis, even a bit of Cliff Richard! I’m very retro for my age! In my set, I think the most modern singer I do is probably Amy Winehouse, and she was very retro.
Do you have a favourite album?
I love jazz music, Amy was very jazzy, wasn’t she? I also love swing; Frank Sinatra I just adore. I’d say my favourite album at the moment is probably Cheek To Cheek by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, even though that’s been out a while – I just love it.
The Ultimate eSports Drag Team
If you had to pick four other drag queens to have your gaming or eSports team, who would you choose and why?
Well, I’ve got to have Sum Ting Wong, haven’t I? Not by choice, just because she’s very good at computer games! I mean she’s really good, she’s a proper gamer – I’ve never seen anything like it.
I’d also have my dear friend Kitty Scott-Claus, who’s currently on season 3. She loves playing on the Xbox and she’ll supply the snacks – me and Kitty love our snacks!
I’d also have my friend Bimini Bon-Boulash. She’d be fab! I’ve known Bimini for years and she can be really competitive, so she’d be like “yeah, let’s get this, I’m gonna win!” – very motivational!
And for the last one I’ve obviously got to have my best friend The Vivienne because if I don’t have The Vivienne, she’ll kill me.
I would actually pay good money to see this happen. A drag-based eSports team, it’d be such a good series to watch!
Oh yeah, and we’d be wearing Computer Game Realness outfits as well. Actually, that would be such a good runway on Drag Race, you’d have people dressing up as Lara Croft. I’d just go as that mushroom, the big mushroom from Mario, that’d be me!
Lessons learned from a karaoke Queen
After chatting with Baga, I feel more convinced than ever that a good karaoke game is one of the best ways to bring people together. I might even challenge the rest of the Thumb Culture team to a Let’s Sing competition for our virtual Christmas do. If nothing else, Nathan will be happy to know that Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) is on the playlist.
If you’re feeling inspired to grab your mic and give Let’s Sing 2022 a go, you might also want to check out this chance to win some limited edition artwork. To celebrate the launch of the game, Koch Media have commissioned five special drag-inspired art prints that can be won over at Gayming Magazine. Each piece of artwork is inspired by some of the world’s best-loved drag performers, displaying Let’s Sing microphones that embody the queens’ iconic styles! Check out this link to enter: https://gaymingmag.com/competitions/ and to find the full terms and conditions.
A huge thanks to Baga Chipz for chatting with us! I’m off to warm up my vocals with a bit of Lady Gaga.
We’d love to know your favourite singalong or karaoke track, so let us know in the comments below!