Quarantine Karaoke founder Joe Meyers. Photo courtesy of Joe Meyers

Brewer resident Joe Meyers was feeling the misery of self-quarantining in March, when he retreated to his basement music studio and recorded a karaoke version of The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights.” After posting the clip to Facebook, an idea came to him, and Quarantine Karaoke was born.

When I first wrote about the Quarantine Karaoke Facebook page in March, its membership was at more than 63,000. That number since has skyrocketed to more than 720,000 members from all over the world.

I recently caught up with Meyers to talk about the viral success of the page and what’s changed since the launch. The story is even more impressive than I anticipated.

Meyers is in the process of copyrighting the name and has created a companion website, quarantinekaraoke.net. He’s also taken on a college intern and plans on continuing to grow the Quarantine Karaoke brand. “I stepped into a CEO role overnight and now have a business and marketing department,” said Meyers.

About two weeks into the page’s launch, members started performing songs live rather than posting prerecorded clips, and that’s been the norm ever since. Meyers said that, on average, about 4,000 members go live on the page daily, and once the broadcast is over, the footage becomes a permanent part of the page. Some singers play entire, hourlong-plus shows, while others hop on for a single song. By fan request, some are able to accept tips during their performances. As for content, it’s a huge range of covers and original music from just about every genre. From tiny tots singing along to Disney classics to hip-hop emcees, singer-songwriters and hard rockers, whatever you’re into, you can find it on Quarantine Karaoke.

The logo for Quarantine Karaoke features a silhouette of founder Joe Meyers. Design by Kevin Morneault

Meyers and his team of more than 40 moderators and administrators work diligently to make sure everyone who posts receives a little love. Kindness is the No. 1 requirement, and politics are prohibited. Quarantine Karaoke is a safe haven to step outside your comfort zone and share your singing chops with a supportive – and now giant – corner of the internet. All levels and ages of singers and musicians are welcome, and the show literally never stops.

Meyers has also done his part to give back to the local community. Quarantine Karaoke T-shirts can be purchased for $15, and all of the profits are donated to a Bangor homeless shelter. He didn’t know the exact number of shirts sold, but said it’s well into the hundreds.

At the moment, Meyers hasn’t made any money from Quarantine Karaoke, but believes it’s possible to have a business model that does. “My five-year goal is to be running Quarantine Karaoke as my full-time job,” he said. Regardless of when the pandemic ends, Quarantine Karaoke is here to stay.

Running the page hasn’t been without problems, Meyers said. “Several controversies have come up. We’ve had to navigate political issues and we handle them carefully and sensitively.” That’s where the administrators and moderators, who are all volunteers from around the world, come in. One of their primary roles is to respond to things like bullying and occasional inappropriate content or commentary. But there’s a perk to having such a dedicated crew helping run the page. “The team feels like a family, and everyone is super passionate about it. The group couldn’t exist without them because there’s so much maintenance involved,” Meyers said. “We all say good morning and good night every day and talk about tons of personal and life issues, and people care.”

When I asked Meyers to mention a few of the most popular singers on the page, he wouldn’t single anyone out. “I appreciate every member who comes, they’re all stars in my book. Everyone’s winning and we’re creating our own entertainment,” he said. Some of the contributors are professional musicians, and others are singing publicly for the first time. Regardless of who is on stage, this is one show that will never sell out.

To join in on the fun, go to facebook.com/OfficialQuarantineKaraoke.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.