When we created this place, two of the most important components we wanted to integrate into our culture were music and community.
We are so proud to say that every member of our team contributes to this. But one of the most important people in creating our music community is someone that most of you know very well; and for those of you who don’t…you should. Officially, Willy O’Riley is our entertainment coordinator at lovin’ cup. But anyone who knows him and has worked with him knows that he is so much more.
If you have seen him perform – he is a musical genius. He can pick up just about any tune upon hearing it by ear and play it on whatever instrument is within his reach. His song writing ability – both musically and lyrically – is astonishingly brilliant and diverse. His humility about his talents is mind-blowing to anyone who knows him. But what I find to be one of his most amazing skills is how he so freely shares his talent by working with up and coming, young vocalists and musicians…nurturing, prodding and pushing them to levels they wouldn’t reach without him. Two tangible examples of this are his Tuesday Open Mic night and his creation and brainchild: lovin’ cup Idol. Both events are living incubators for the talent of Rochester – and Willy is at the center of both.
One of the first examples of a young person that I saw him support and inspire is a young woman who is now one of the most-watched vocalists on you tube. She is a beautiful person, who started gracing our stage in our very first year of business.
I will never forget the day that we met her. It was around the holidays, as I remember, and all of my out of town family was at “The Cup” enjoying the limitless talent of open mic night. I wandered back to the ladies room, where I unknowingly met one of the biggest talents that would grace our stage, Kait Weston.
“Do you work here?” She asked.
“I guess you could say that.” I responded.
Spurred on by her friends, she asked, “Are people nice here? I’m thinking of getting up on stage, but I’m so nervous. Is there someone who could accompany me…I’m so anxious…”
“Girl,” I interrupted her fearful babbling, “You couldn’t find a more supportive group of people. I’m gonna get you introduced to Willy.”
And the musical relationship of Willy and Kait began. He warmly greeted her, calmed her down and encouraged her onto the stage. When she started singing, the usual loud buzz of the restaurant came to a halt. One of the most gorgeous vocalists anyone had ever heard. And to put it in plain terms: the rest was history. Over the next few years, they worked together for hours on end, staying up for late night sing alongs that I was often privy to. Kait became part of our lovin’ cup family. We became her biggest fans through her first few years of college. Willy and Kait had the special bond of music, which made their friendship even more special. A musical match made in heaven. And they are finally getting props for it!
They just co-wrote a song that was picked up by Hollywood, MTV, and America at large. It is part of the official soundtrack of the 2013 film, Romeo and Juliet. The single “Til Death Do Us Part,” inspired by the film. They wrote the song in two hours, up at Kait’s cottage, over wine and dinner, their musical bond at work.
Kait is not only an amazing vocalist, but she is a humble and beautiful person inside and out. I wish her nothing, but success and am so very proud to know her. This girl is going to make it…
When first developing the vision for Lovin’ Cup, we wanted to be certain that we created an atmosphere that supported and encouraged inclusion, diversity, community and creativity. We wanted a place where people could be their genuine selves. Our Customers and Crew have brought that Vision to reality. We are so very proud of the community called lovin’ cup. And no one embodies the culture, creativity and soulfulness of “the cup” more than Willy and Kait. We could NOT be more proud of these two wonderful people and extraordinary talents! They are making waves, boy oh boy. And I can’t think of two people who deserve it more.
For more info on Romeo & Juliet – and Kait – see below!
And hey! Go out and see this faboulous movie! And download the song for gosh sakes!