One of the coolest parts about this company is the importance they place on music in the whole dining experience. Music is such a powerful form of expression–It has the ability to make you feel something, bring you back to a certain place and time, or spark some inspiration from within. This week, I got the inside scoop on how the whole music program works at the ne timeas restaurants and a little more about the two girls who make it all happen!
[name, position, & how long you’ve been with the company]
Maddy Dewitt-Hoeger. Salumeria barista. 1 year.
Leia Layus. Central Kitchen server. 6 months.
& things you love to do outside of work:
M: I like to cook, daydream, play tennis & do yoga.
L: I teach yoga at Moxie and collaborate on various music projects.
2. Tell me a little more about the music program at ne timeas…
L: We’re providing an experience. The food, the atmosphere, the people; it’s all a curated experience provided by central kitchen [or salumeria, or flour + water] –but it’s heightened by music that makes you feel good & conjures up good memories. & music that feels really fresh. and hopefully listening to a song is going to remind you of that moment you had in one of the restaurants.
L: Also, a lot of very specific thought is going into curating and choosing the songs.
M: and even those old tunes are new again because they’re in a different environment. People might not think the music is important but it is, you remember it.
3. Does each restaurant have a certain vibe that you tailor the music to?
L: Yes, absolutely. I think it was a process of experimentation between Katie [the previous music director], David Steele and the GM’s. They started seeing what worked and what didn’t.
M: flour+water is edgy-casual food, dim lighting, it’s fast paced. Electronic works really well but even bands like Fleetwood Mac. It’s an eclectic mix.
L: The vision for Ck was old school but more rock. Lou Reed to The Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground and Motown.
M: Ck is a bit more of a fine dining experience and also attracts a larger pool of generations so we want to keep that in mind. And Salumeria is a mix of the two–indie, alternative, fresh..with some David Bowie mixed in.
L: oh, and I love seeing people dancing while waiting in line at Salumeria!
4. What made you apply for this position?
L: I feel like it wasn’t even a question. I was like, yeah! It was a small dream realized.
M: I was at f+w with my brother and I was like, isn’t the music good? and he’s like, yeah but you should do it! It was an unconcsious dream for me and I happened to step into this company that really values music–& it’s really freaking cool.
5. Name 3 bands you can’t stop listening to right now?
M: I listen to a lot of songs, pop songs too. One is a song by Walter Meego called ‘forever’. Also, Bibio, an older album from 2009-it’s ambient and daydreamy. I’ve also been really into female artists lately like: The Cardigans, Madeline Peroux and Rilo Kiley.
L: Vacationer, Leagues, Little Dragon. Oooh and also, favorite female artist: Feist–everything she does is so tasteful. I feel like we consume and dispose of music so easily now..Her last 3 albums, you can listen to constantly.
6. Have you learned about new genres or found an interest in different genres because of this role?
L: For me, yes, haha. I think for a long time my only experience of classic rock was through a filter of what my dad thought was cool. David Steele encouraged us to explore classic rock of the 70’s that I didn’t look into deeply. I’m very excited about that. It makes me feel much more rooted.
M: It was good for me to discover what already existed– I didn’t know their story. It’s also cool to put the songs into context to now. My dad has always been really into music and that’s how I got into it. I freaking love Steve Winwood and it’s the corniest s*it but I love it. It’s been fun studying. Music today is really different from the old stuff.
L: Yeah, it really has. For Valentine’s Day at Ck, the theme is 1964. Even going back to the 60’s and seeing how much has changed between the short the years of 1964 to 1975-
M: Yeah, exactly. Politically and culturally a large shift occurred, so it makes sense.
L: Even now, there’s no filter with the radio. People are able to experience music in so many different ways.
M: Oh yeah, people experience music so differently now.
7. Do you sing, play any instruments?
L: Yes, I sing & play guitar. I songwrite and sometimes sing on other people’s projects–I used to be in a band.
8. If you could choose a song to have playing as you walked into a party, what would it be?
9. Music makes me feel _____.
Big thanks to Leia & Maddy for such an awesome interview and fun night hangin’.
Articles & Photo by Asta Karalis