Feature: The Anatomy of '1,000 Opera Singers Working In Starbucks' with Wovoka Gentle

Friday, November 16, 2018
Photo by Oxge Cone

London trio Wovoka Gentle shared their single '1,000 Opera Singers Working In Starbucks' late in September, which has been creating waves since appearing on the FIFA19 soundtrack. They took some time out to break it down for us.

We wrote '1,000 Opera Singers Working In Starbucks'… To stick it to the man / for all the haters / to become famous

The story behind ‘1,000 Opera Singers Working In Starbucks' is… Finding yourself in a place that’s hard to see a way out of. It’s essentially about a last cry for help, that’s almost nightmarishly upbeat and joyful sounding - which adds to the effect of feeling out of control and a bit helpless.

My favourite lyric is… ‘And 1,000 Opera Singers working in Starbucks couldn’t sing themselves to freedom, they couldn’t sing themselves into the promise’ - it’s about needing help and needing to rely on someone or something else to bring you out of a dark or frustrating time. It’s also a comment on our current climate and situation in the arts - the amount of real talent that no longer get a ‘break’ and the widening disparity between ‘successful’ and ‘unsuccessful’ artists.

It was made… Over the course of two years, writing and developing a series of demos in many different studios and spaces - firstly in Edinburgh, then London and finally in Pembrokeshire where we finished recording the version that’s out now. I think we have tried the chorus in every key imaginable! It has gone through a lot of very different iterations to end up where it is now, which has been a rewarding journey.

Our main inspiration was… Minimalist composition, old kids TV themes and the sounds of the Pembrokeshire coastline (particularly running water).

It sounds best when… You've just got off your shift at Starbucks, blasting it in your car on the way to rehearsal.

You can listen to '1,000 Opera Singers Working In Starbucks' below:

You can listen to their newest single 'Peculiar Form Of Sleep' below: