January 29 2020

Sophie Auster Presents Standard Sings for NYFW

New York-Standard Sounds
Songstress Sophie Auster returns to Top of the Standard on February 4th to host a New York Fashion Week edition of our karaoke series, Standard Sings. Accompanied by a full band, guests are invited to submit their favorite singalong tunes and show their stuff on stage. Leading up to the event, Annie O chatted with Ms. Auster about her own favorite songs to cover, what we can expect from this special karaoke night.
You will be hosting Standard Sings at Top of the Standard for New York Fashion Week. Is this your first time hosting [something like this]? How do you feel about it?
This will mark my first official karaoke hosting gig with Top of The Standard, and I am thrilled. I am a huge karaoke enthusiast, so I think they got their hands on the right girl. 

Do you know what you will be singing?
I think the key to karaoke, especially for a singer like myself, is to not be too self indulgent. I pick songs that everyone can sing and dance to. It’s more fun if it’s a group activity. I have "Black Velvet," "I Wanna Dance With Somebody,"  "Walking On Broken Glass," and some others up my sleeve for the night.  


The Standard
The Standard
As the host, are you looking forward to getting other people to sing?
It’s always amazing how many people can sing, so I’m really excited to get people up there. 

Any fun karaoke stories to share?
I have many, but my number one favorite karaoke story happened in Detroit about four years ago. I had just played a show at The Magic Bag, and my local friend took me out after the show to a karaoke bar. We sang a duet together; one guy did a pretty spot-on Frank Sinatra, and then this little old man came out with his own CD. He ordered the MC to play what turned out to be his own, original backing track, and announced to the crowd that his song was called “Big Booties, Fried Chicken, and Hot Sauce”. He said, “You won't forget it, because it’s a hit!” The track began to play and he started chanting “big booties, fried chicken, and hot sauce” over and over until the whole crowd was singing and stomping their feet. The man was right. I never forgot it and till this day sometimes it gets stuck in my head.   


The Standard
You have done a series of cover songs. What inspired you to do that?
Before I started writing my own songs, I grew up singing the works of Cole Porter, Gershwin, and Irving Berlin, to name a few. I loved reinterpreting famous songs as a kid, and I still do today. It’s fun to take on the challenge of something vocally or musically challenging. People can be very critical of covers because they love the original, but I do it mostly for myself. It also helps my own songwriting to learn and take apart a beautiful song. I also have a lot of fun doing it! 

What are you working on these days?
I spent the greater part of 2019 touring and supporting my last album, Next Time, and a small EP that I released in November. Right now, I am ferociously writing new music in hopes of putting something out in the spring or summer.  

You have been a friend of The Standard for many years. When can we expect another show with you?
Hopefully I can debut some of the new material I am working on at the Standard this year! 

The Standard
What can we expect from the show on February 4th?
What’s special about this karaoke night is that it is with a live band. I think that is so much more fun than a backing track. The singers and the musicians can vibe off each other rather than a rigid count in from a machine. As the host, I’ll be encouraging people to have a good time, relax, and have fun. It’s just karaoke!
INTERVIEW BY
Annie O