Who is the champion?

Updated: Nov 30, 2019, 09:32 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

Four Mumbaikars tried out a new app that tests how close your voice is to the legendary Freddie Mercury's. Here is how they fared

Freddie Mercury. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi and AFP
Freddie Mercury. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi and AFP

Let's get this straight. Singing a Freddie Mercury track isn't as easy as taking a walk in the park. The Queen frontman had such vocal range that it could oscillate sonically between the highest of mountains and the deepest of seas. You might say, "Oh please, I've sung I want to break free at numerous karaoke sessions." But then I'd say, "Sure, but have you tried Bohemian rhapsody?" The point is, if you have the sort of voice that even your parents hid from guests in your childhood, try attempting a Honey Singh hit. But steer clear of Freddie Mercury.

Yet, I invited four Mumbai-based friends and fans of his iconic rock band to try out a new app called FreddieMeter, which the trust in Mercury's name has launched in association with YouTube to commemorate his 28th death anniversary that fell earlier this week. The volunteers were Sujan Sengupta, Ritwik Ghosh, Karan Daz Paul and Janet Babu. The idea is to pick one from a list of four Queen hits — We are the champions, Don't stop me now, Somebody to love and Bohemian rhapsody.

Janet Babu, Ritwik Ghosh, Karan Daz Paul and Sujan Sengupta have a blast trying the app out
Janet Babu, Ritwik Ghosh, Karan Daz Paul and Sujan Sengupta have a blast trying the app out

You then sing a karaoke version of the track that's in-built in the app, and wait for a percentage that tells you how close or off the mark your voice is compared to the legend's. None from the quartet unfortunately achieved a score that would get them a certificate of distinction. But they did have evident fun while trying it out and I, too, felt a thrill while giving it a shot myself. Except, don't ask me how I fared, because some things are not fit for print.

Log on to freddiemeter.withyoutube.com

Sujan Sengupta

Sujan Sengupta, 27, media professional

He sang: We are the champions
As a big Queen fan, the idea of having an app that essentially functions as a Queen karaoke system is an exciting thought to begin with, and to know how close your voice and singing skills are to the legendary Freddie Mercury is quite an interesting thought as well. The app, though, disappoints, because a true fan would expect something more from it, even if it's a quiz on Queen trivia. But the app literally has one sole purpose. Thus, though it initially sounds exciting as a concept, it leaves a user wanting more, especially if he or she is a true-blue Queen fan.

Score 66%

Ritwik Ghosh

Ritwik Ghosh, 30, producer-director

He sang: We are the champions
The app successfully manages to take you back to your teenage years, when you would play Queen songs at home while air-guitaring and imitating Freddie Mercury singing live in a concert. What I love about the app is that it lets you do this in real life and even tells you how close you are to Freddie in terms of your voice texture and melody. I feel that it is quite accurate, and a night out with friends and this app can get any party started. But it would have been great if demos of each song had been included, since a lot of people have heard Queen a long time ago and may not remember the exact tune. A quick practice session before a performance is thus an added bonus.

Score 29%

Karan Daz Paul

Karan Daz Paul, 30, director of photography

He sang: We are the champions
My first thoughts when I heard about the app were, why is there one on whether we can sound like Freddie Mercury or not? But I found it pretty cool that there's something new that can test your abilities on how you match up to a star. It gives you the feeling, 'Can I be a star myself?' So, I tried it out of curiosity and found it pretty simple to begin with. Queen is a band I have grown up with and the first song I probably ever heard was I want to break free. But the app doesn't give you enough options, and not everyone can sing the ones you can choose from. I'd still recommend it to friends, though. In fact, I have been showing it around to people and making them try it out in front of me, saying, 'Hey, let's see how much you sound like Freddie Mercury.'

Score 55%

Janet Babu

Janet Babu, 28, PR and marketing professional

He sang: Somebody to love
I love everything about this app. More than anything, I love that it didn't differentiate between a male voice and my female one, and gave me a result that was unbiased. Who knew I could come anywhere close to Freddie's voice! The app needs more songs, though, because I want to try them all out. Singing and doing this entire activity with some of my favourite people was super fun and we had a good laugh at each others' scores, given that the app surprised us all. I'd recommend that Queen fans take a shot at this and brag about their individual score to their friends. All in all, thumbs up to this new discovery.

Score 40%

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