Slowly Slowly band members. From L-R: Albert, Patrick, Ben and Alex.
Ben Stewart is the coolest person I’ve met in a long time. Not in the teenage flavour-of-the month type way, rather in an enduring, old-soul kind of depth and easiness.
He is a walking contradiction in terms: glamorous yet humble, warm yet private, a laid-back go-getter. He has all the good things and none of the bad that you would expect of a musical front man.
Ben is the lead singer and guitarist of Melbourne band Slowly Slowly, who released their third album, Race Car Blues, in February.
This came on the back of a stellar 2019, which saw them sell out a national tour, support acts like The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Amy Shark and play at Byron’s famous Splendour in the Grass festival.
Their track Jellyfish, which explores the beauty and bizarreness of love and life, placed in Triple J’s Hottest 100. Oh, and they also managed to squeeze in a cover of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love for Like a Version.
The music industry has been among the hardest hit by the global pandemic, with venues shut and tours cancelled. But Ben’s not one to dwell or be discouraged, and he’s managed to keep busy these last few months.
In lockdown v1.0, Ben and his old friend Tyler Richardson - who happens to head up Tasmanian band Luca Brasi - were sharing some creative ideas. The conversation snowballed into the two bands releasing a collaborative EP, containing one acoustic track from each band.
Tyler and Ben have semi-matching coffee tattoos; Ben’s a moka pot and Tyler’s a plunger. These were both done by tattoo artist Jordy Hooper, who then recreated the tattoos for the EP cover.
Thinking about creative merchandise, the pair decided that coffee would be a good way of tying it all in, which is where we come in! Ben and I were put in touch by a mutual friend and long-term Padre Coffee customer Jim, and the rest, as they say, is history!
We just knew from the get-go that it was going to be a really special collaboration. What eventuated was the Godfather Brew, which was in reference to both Luca Brasi's namesake from the 1979 movie and Ben's personal love of everything Italian kitsch.
Testament to the bands’ cult followings, the initial run sold out in minutes and we ended up getting to do a second and third run of the coffee.
Flash forward a couple of months and Ben reached out again, with an idea to follow up on the successful merch, this time promoting Slowly Slowly’s album Race Car Blues.
Cleverly, Ben dubbed this coffee ‘Race Car Brews’ and this very limited edition run is due to be sent out very soon to the fans lucky enough to nab one!
Ben has hinted that there might be a second run of the coffee dropping at some point, so be sure to keep an eye on their socials for more information.
This collaboration was a shining example of why we love getting to do what we do. At Padre Coffee, we get inspired by passionate people and we thrive on meaningful and genuine connection.
We purposefully foster a culture and attitude that values collaboration, as we believe this leads to great opportunities for learning, creativity and engagement.