Singer travels from the coffee bar to the stage 

There’s a good reason rising young folk-popper Angel Taylor situated the video for her lilting new single “Like You Do” in a tiny café. Or why her whimsical, hum-along debut “Love Travels” features an even warmer cut called “Chai Tea Latte.”

Write about what you know, goes the old adage. Taylor, 22, knows coffeehouses, from every possible angle.

The acoustic guitarist — who’ll return to The City on Monday, fresh from her recent Renaissance Hotel Tour, where she performed in several of the chain’s restaurants — cut her creative teeth in such intimate venues back home in Los Angeles.

She also saw the other side of the counter, when she punched the straight-job clock for nearly two years as a Starbucks barista.

Fancy a real Chai Tea Latte? No problem, says Taylor. “Because I was always on bar, always the one making the drinks.”

She and her Starbucks coworkers often referred to each other by their “partner numbers,” Taylor recalls, “Which threw people off when they were ordering, but for us created a sense of, ‘hey, we’re all in this together.’”

The gig she loved. The customers?

Not so much.

“Kids would come in after playing soccer games on Saturday mornings, and each one wanted the biggest Frappuccino in the history of Frappuccinos, so it got a little obnoxious,” she says. “And why a kid is drinking any kind of coffee is ridiculous to me.

And even worse was this rich lady who’d always order the most complicated drink, with 50 people behind her, and then get upset if the temperature was off — she made us test it, and it drove me nuts.”

Aiming for a teaching degree, the college student also found employment at Stonefire Grill, Papa John’s pizza and Chuck E. Cheese. “Yes, I was actually Chuck E. We all had to take turns wearing the mouse costume,” she says. She quit, she says, when “a toddler threw up all over me, the nastiest vomit I’ve ever seen.”

Meanwhile, Taylor had been setting her poems to music, and was strumming for tips on the coffee shop circuit.

When fans started requesting a CD, she boldly E-mailed pop master Mikal Blue, who was so impressed he agreed to produce “Love Travels.”

“Right when I was about to give up on music entirely,” she says.

The singer just bought her mother a new house and BMW. But she can’t shake her food-chain past.

For her 21st birthday, she rented a limo with friends, she says, “and we went through the In-N-Out drive-through. I just love In–N-Out Burger!”

Angel Taylor

Opening for Green River Ordinance

Where: Café Du Nord, 2174 Market St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Monday
Tickets: $12

About The Author

Doug Graham

Pin It

Speaking of Entertainment, Angel Taylor

More by Doug Graham

Latest in Pop Music & Jazz

© 2018 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation