No, it's not coffee shop music. I don't even really drink/like coffee. Check that, I'd rather drink raw eggs than coffee. So why Barista?
Other than the obvious tell, referencing years logged in the service industry, Barista was the perfect namesake for my first project for the similarities it draws to both the contents of the project and who I became while creating it.
Like devoted musicians, devoted baristas and bartenders spend years honing their craft, continuously learning and relearning how to create classic consumables. Recipes are revisited and refined as they take on new tastes and flavors, fueled by creativity and willingness to try new things.
The beginning is usually tough. Drinks suck. Production is slow. Customers walk out. We wonder why we're working this stupid job in the first place. "Do I even have the talent/desire to do this?". It's a period of frustration, uncertainty, and vulnerability. However, it is also a time of great excitement and enthusiasm as the recipes and interactions are so irreplaceably fresh. Our passion fuels us to learn more and more, developing a short memory and willingness to work toward an ideal; an ideal of knowledge and spiritual expression.
If we have the grit to stick out this early period, we soon gain confidence and take pride in pleasing others in their most desired and requested ways. The drinks get better. Production speeds and intensifies. Customers cease to walk out. Hell, we even get a smile and a good tip once in a while!
So here we are. Hard work and dedication have led to this moment: talented... knowledgeable... creative... trivial?
Let's be honest, there are THOUSANDS of service workers just as there are THOUSANDS of musicians. My friends, I'm in Nashville. There may be more good musicians per capita here than anywhere else in the world. Unbelievable talent. In addition to that, we have a reinforced notion that our contributions to society are minimal as "practical" professions of doctors, lawyers, and businessmen prove to be more inelastic in the market. Many times I laugh thinking about how our jobs still exist against said societal oppressions and pressures.
Yet, I would argue the world runs on both the service industry AND the arts. As machines replace coffee-making hands and computer generated beats render drummers unemployed, individuals STILL crave the personal connection of a knowledgable considerate server just as they crave the emotional connection of an authentic moving song or album. Music gets us out of bed in the morning, just as coffee holds our hand on the way to work. America Runs on Coffee. America Runs On M U S I C.
Servers. Musicians. Bartenders. Artists. Baristas:
We are the many.
We are the downtrodden and ignored.
We are the under-appreciated.
We are the warriors fighting the good fight.
We are the backbone of the world.
So as for Barista? I love you, you trivial bitch.