Welcome back to the Thrill: Kenyon’s Top Investigative Journal. Tonight, I put my sleuth shoes back on to find out who’s in charge of the music at Wiggin Street Coffee.
I rarely study at Wiggins– the urge to spend money would be too great and I prefer to study in the brief period of quiet Mather has in the morning and early afternoon. But my friends who are avid Wiggins studiers seem to bring up the store’s music selection more than I would expect. I am familiar with odd cafe playlists– I work at a bakery at home, and the Spotify playlist made by my boss consists almost entirely of French cafe piano music, including La Marseillaise (that is, the French national anthem, which is a weird thing to have playing in a bakery, but as it is a French bakery I’ll let it slide), with two exceptions: Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys, and Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys. My boss is evidently a big fan. You can imagine how jarring it is when the music shifts from Night in Paris by Cafe Music BGM Channel to Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of. So naturally, I wanted to learn about another allegedly bizarre cafe radio.
After ordering my coffee, I asked the woman at the counter, Lauren, if she happened to know who was in charge of the music around here. She raised her hand, and suddenly I was awe-struck– not an emotion I imagined I would feel during this interview!– to be in the presence of the DJ herself, and the conversation began. Lauren told me the coffee shop music comes from an app called CloudCoverMusic, which offers numerous stations from which businesses can choose a playlist for their stores. The station playing during this interview was called “2010 Pop Hits,” though I didn’t recognize the song. According to Lauren, the two other playlists used at Wiggins are “2000s Pop Hits” and “Blend Upbeat Restaurant.” She described much of the music as “weird stuff,” which is consistent from the statements I’ve gotten from Wiggins studiers, and told me about a few more stations, ones the shop does not use: “British Invasion,” “Coffee Shop Upbeat Pop,” and “French Workout.” She concluded by telling me there are five Halloween stations. Wouldn’t it be fun if they played the Halloween stations all year long? But it is not my job as an investigative journalist to ask such questions– or is it exactly my job?
I researched CloudCoverMusic when I returned to my room, because I was and still am very curious about the French Workout playlist. It’s used by most of the corporations, I can’t even list them all. The app describes itself as “The best way to stream legal music.” “Legal music”? What? Does this mean the Spotify playlist my bakery at home uses is illegal? Are we smuggling Alicia Keys to our customers? Hopefully she doesn’t read this article. But if she does, Ms. Keys, I’m sorry I called your music jarring. You would probably agree with me if you were in my situation.