Alex and Anita Alfonso have been DJing karaoke in obscure spots in and around Vancouver for about 10 years. Some may be familiar with them from their recent run at the Legion on Fraser and 20th, or from their legendary and welcoming karaoke nights in the upstairs bar at the Biltmore a few years back. Recently, they started collaborating with the British Ex-Servicemen’s Association every Friday, running karaoke events from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
For Anita, when she’s singing, she feels as though she is in a different world—music is the language of the soul. It’s also her “migraine pills!” For Alex, it’s relaxing, the perfect close to a busy week. Alex’s favorite song to hear Anita sing is “Mustang Sally”; Anita favours Alex’s rendition of “Midnight Train To Georgia”. What is most satisfying for them about the opportunity to DJ karaoke is seeing how happy it makes other people. When they were invited to DJ a recent wedding, they didn’t even charge for their services; that’s how much this is in their hearts.
What is particularly intriguing about this combo of karaoke with the Ex-Servicemen’s Association is the unity of communities. The unpretentious pub generally hosts the veteran community and a few locals, but this opens those doors to a different group, creating an unexpected yet interdependent unity. Alex and Anita have, through happenstance and word of mouth, become the center for adventurous karaoke lovers in the city who also happen to love tradition and culture.