Himera and Petal Supply are good friends, artistic peers and collaborators yet they have never met in-person. For the two young producers, the lack of IRL connection does not delimit their creativity or sense of kinship. In many ways, they see the Internet as a tool for liberating social engagement from the strictures of convention and hierarchy. Talking to the two of them via Discord chat, it becomes readily apparent that online connectivity has helped them develop a strong chemistry and deep mutual admiration for each other’s work.
hologryphic: So to start off, I'm just curious how you two connected originally? Have u ever met IRL or have all of your interactions been online?
Himera: all onlineee. I don't remember exactly how we connected though, i think we just got added to a discord server together & we knew each other's stuff prior to that.
Petal Supply: yeah i think we were mutuals on soundcloud and insta and then i asked himera to play a URL show i was hosting and then we became friends through the group chat for that.
holo: Ok cool yeah I figured as much with you being so far away from each other geographically. Are online relationships/friendships in any way inspiration for this record?
Petal: specifically with "It's U" - the song was basically written about exactly that topic haha.
Himera: 100%, the track was written about online relationships originally, and for my version I focused on an interaction that started online and brought itself into the real world
I wrote the demo for “It’s U” as a super sugar coated/kind of manic take on a long distance relationship and when Himera heard the demo they had an idea for a version of the song to change the context of the track. – Petal
Himera: Yea, I had an idea to turn the track around in a much more sarcastic & dark direction.
holo: Do u feel like your respective versions are yr. personal takes on the emotions of a long-distance online relationship?
petal: I would say that they're both really resonant for both of us. the bittersweetness of long-distance online relationships/friendships is something we've definitely both heavily experienced, with the majority of our friend group being based online.
holo: Do u think URL relationships can be just as strong if not more so than IRL relationships? And do u feel like there's something special about an online relationship that manifests in-person?
I think online relationships are really special because you tend to not have much of the social pressure surrounding new IRL friendships. You can get to know people really well without any pressure or expectations surrounding it. And i haven’t been able to meet any of my URL friends yet but I’m so excited for when i finally can. – Petal
Himera: i think the context of having known one another so well online for a while adds a lot of excitement to the possibility of meeting IRL. While some limitations are erased in an online relationship, it never really is as special as seeing someone in real life. For example, I met up with Dasychira recently, who is probably the first artist I have ever met in real life from only online interaction and it was one of the most magical moments.
holo: I agree and I definitely feel like both of ur music captures that sort of feeling. Seeing as u both are quite young, do u feel like u were 'raised on the Internet' and do u identify as zoomers :P?
Petal: hahaha yeah i definitely feel i was raised on the internet. i grew up playing a lot of MMO's and i have definitely been impacted by the social scene of meeting all of ur friends through group chats. It's always sort of been a constant to me. I dont rly know if im a zoomer or not but im fine with being categorized as such lol.
The internet definitely had a huge effect on me, I wouldn’t have started making music if I hadn’t made online friends. I started talking to people online from the age of 10 and that’s really how most of my friendships blossomed, I still wish I could one day meet all my best internet friends. – Himera
holo: I'm really interested in the way Gen Z or Millennial producers are influencing the music industry and culture at large.Is this something you're noticing at all?
Himera: Definitelyyyy. I have a lot of friends in the scene who are around my age, if not younger, and seeing them get so much recognition lately is super inspiring. They're really the ones doing the most next level shit.
petal: agreed. its super sick how 15-17 year olds are taking control of music right now. It really makes me hopeful for whats gonna come next. a lot of these younger producers are gonna become major influences for the music industry moving forward
holo: What are some sources of inspo for both of u musically/aesthetically?
Himera: A lot of my inspiration comes from growing up in Latvia, where (especially whenever I come to visit recently) I was introduced to the rave/party scene. Also growing up during the peak of radio trance & witnessing the rise of PC music & how it shaped a whole generation of sound
petal: the aesthetics and music of Maplestory are a huge influence on me musically as I've been playing it on and off since i was around 11 or 12. as for other inspirations i've always been super into pop music, i think kesha has had the biggest influence on me musically of any artist. Easyfun is also definitely a huge inspiration for me. in fact easyfun was the reason i originally started producing.
Himera: & of course a lot of my friends inspire me. Not even artist/musician friends, I often write music about the strong love I have for them
holo: well that is a perfect segue bc I wanted to give u both a chance to shout out some of those friends who inspire u!!!
petal: omg. shoutout to murder club, alice gas, sv1, that kid, shyburial, 8485 they're all so massively inspiring to me right now and theyre all going to do such big things and im happy 2 know them all! and of course my biggest inspiration OF ALL is the legendary dj himera who im so so so so excited to be making music with and who im so incredibly proud of for this EP (theres many others as well obv but those are the ones that come to mind immediately)
Himera: Shout out to trance master bean boy, my endlessly talented brothers of OCD and boycultt, my mentor and business partner Kai Whiston, my BRUTALIST partner in crime Gasoiid & my sister, mother, child and my favourite person to work with - Petal Supply<3<3<3
The two artists were clearly fated to collaborate and today, that promise is fulfilled with the release of the 2-part single “It’s U” via Dasychira’s ever-enchanting unseelie label. The track, originally written by Petal Supply, is a take on the emotional ups and downs of a long distance, online relationship. Himera’s version of the track is titled “Pearl” and appears on More Than Friends, their forthcoming EP for unseelie.
As a tribute to the Pokemon game editions, Petal’s version is titled “Diamond” which also works to describe the sparkly sheen of her accelerated pop production. The feelings of giddiness and infatuation that Petal evokes on her version are replaced with wistfulness and yearning on Himera’s version. “Pearl” sounds like a trance daydream – sun-drenched blasts of euphoria that exist only in memories.
More Than Friends is out 04/09/20 on unseelie. Pre-order it here.
Artwork by garonganut.