Photo Credit: Lee Nguyen (@leesphotoemporium)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // December 11, 2020
What else is there to say about artemis orion that hasn’t already been said? This Los Angeles native is quite the best at presenting the dreamiest imagery in her lo-fi electronic discography, and her charming vocals are an absolute cherry on top. After releasing a string of delectable singles throughout this hectic year, orion has finally unveiled her breathtaking debut EP, honey.
On honey, artemis orion explained,
“I created this EP as a collection of songs to convey different forms of love–past, present, and future; its vices and virtues; and other emotions that can stem from it.”
To celebrate the release of her new music, we recently chatted with artemis orion about Greek mythology, lo-fi electronics, and of course, honey.
HH: For those who don’t know, what’s the significance of your name in Greek mythology?
AO: Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, wilderness, moon, and chastity; Orion was a great hunter. There are different versions of the story, but there was a little romance between the two until Artemis killed Orion and casted as a constellation in the sky. “artemis orion” means a lot of things to me, but in relation to Greek myth, it means balance in opposite ideas. There’s even an easter egg in that with the Greek alphabet—the initials also stand for “alpha” and “omega” which means beginning and end.
HH: You have such an effortless charm we’re undoubtedly gravitated towards. What about lo-fi electronics speaks to you?
AO: Hahahah oh my goodness, that’s very sweet to hear! For me, “lo-fi electronic” is a mesh of two worlds into one vs a genre itself. There’s a warm, nostalgic comfort that I chase almost daily, and I find it often in music of any genre with lo-fi elements. The imperfections add warmth, character, and overall life. I’m a melancholic yet blissful person; lo-fi speaks to both of those sides whether it’s dj poolboi or Mac DeMarco. Electronic music on the other hand is such another ballpark – I’ve enjoyed many genres within that realm for the energy/mood they give, but ever since I got into sound synthesis in college, I’ve become such a nerd when I hear unique sounds and stimulating production. My brain meditates on the technical details while my body is just invaded with butterflies.
HH: How does it feel to finally have honey out in the world?! What has the response been so far?
AO: It feels soooo great. It’s my first collective, solo piece of work that I’ve released so there’s like added vulnerability to that, haha, but overall I’m ecstatic. The response has been lovely, really. It lights me up when people connect with my music in any way. My favorite thing is hearing what people resonate with lyrically and/or how they’ve interpreted them.
HH: From “honey” to “visions,” your debut EP spoils us with the most precious melodies and soothing instrumentals. What inspires your lovely soundscape?
AO: Ahh, man. There’s a plethora of things that inspire soundscapes. In a nutshell, the EP was inspired by memories, and the soundscapes followed the concept. For example, “honey” and “you are your own home” were inspired by pictures. I wanted to translate the colors, composition, and mood of the photos to music. Once I got a song concept, the production came to life. For example, “honey” was inspired by a photo session that the cover art came from. The photos embodied fragility so I translated that into the production with a repetitive, soft-spoken mallet melody and trinket-like percussion. “you are your own home” was inspired by a photo I took of my friend (which was the single cover art) while she spun around with the sunset beaming behind her – a peaceful day. Fast forward to the day I made the track. I was feeling a bit down and far from myself, yet so optimistic. I pulled up the picture I took and felt that optimism. I wanted to repaint the picture and up and down emotions in song: the instrumental paints the sunset; the rhythms and cadence are my spinning friend; the descending and ascending synth melody in the chorus sings the emotional rollercoaster ride. This method goes for each song, and naturally I portray real life experiences with a dream-like aesthetic, so I tend to gravitate towards sounds that paint that.
HH: You’ve shared that honey revolves around different forms of love. Whether it be self-love, romantic, or platonic, why do you think it’s so important to let ourselves experience the highs and lows of these emotions?
AO: You can’t have one without the other. Without the lows, we wouldn’t appreciate the highs as much — nor would they exist. It’s not easy talking about the lows because we feel that we should only share our brightest moments, but the truth is that they exist just as equally. Suppressing the more negative side to it is like suppressing half of yourself. How you chose to soak in those experiences affect how you grow as a person and your ability to empathize.
HH: We’ve had “midnight thoughts” since it was first released. Do you have a favorite track on the EP?
AO: Such a tough question! I love each song for its own unique reason… BUT If I absolutely had to choose, I think it’d be between “you are your own home” and “visions.” “YAYOH” is like my version of Whitman’s “Song of Myself” — And the story behind producing it is so dear to me. “Visions” is the newest experience of mine on the entire EP. It’s a conceptual, yet quite literal story of my stream of consciousness and mundane doings during a pandemic. Even though the world is restricted, fate is still doing its thing. The pandemic allowed me to explore new and rediscover old creative concepts and connect with other artists who were on a similar journey as me. Everything happening now paints the future, and I fall in love with that concept more everyday.
HH: If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would you pick?
AO: AHH, another toughie. Um. Well, I absolutely epitomize Jack Antonoff in almost every project he’s ever done, so collaborating with him would be a dream.
HH: What are your hidden hits?
AO: “It’s Ok to Be Lonely” – Mothe
“Monday Blues” – changing cleo
“Tough” – Stevie Kin