When Athena started Twitch streaming it was for one sole purpose: she wanted to play Rocket League online. The idea of streaming anything else was a non-starter for her because she loved it that much. The game about rocket-powered cars playing soccer is an addictive escape from reality for some, but for her, it changed her entire life. That love has grown from a hobby to a career, and has led to some pretty amazing opportunities. It also eventually put her on the path to meet music duo smle, made up of Grammy-nominated electronic duo Ruben Cardenas and Lewis Martinee.
The pair love video games themselves, with Cardenas putting 2000 hours into Rocket League himself, and Martinee being a regular streamer on Twitch playing games like Overwatch and Valorant. It’s that love of video games that pushed the three to make a music video together, with Athena moving past streaming into singing on the track. It just made sense, with gaming being the bridge between worlds, as it often is.
Uproxx Edge got with all three to discuss how the song came together, their love of gaming (especially Rocket League), their Mad Max themed video, and more.
Chris Barnewall: What does this song and video mean to you?
Athena: Creating “Eternal” will forever be a pivotal moment in my life. Music has always been a huge passion of mine, and to be able to create something that has never been done before is unforgettable. I hope everyone can feel how much heart we have put into this song. Get excited for more future releases!
Cardenas: “Eternal” is a pretty special moment for us, Athena, and the music and gaming worlds. It’s the first time a Rocket League content creator pairs up with an artist who’s had in-game music to make a song specifically for the game. It’s been so fun getting everything together for this – from having some of the other top Rocket League content creators cameo in the video, to working closely with Monstercat and Psyonix to make this a major moment, has been nothing short of exciting. We hope those listening feel as energized as we are, because this one’s really special to us.
What led the three of you to decide to collaborate together?
Cardenas: So [I’m] a big fan of Rocket League and I’m always, you know, keeping my ear to the streets as far as all the creators and stuff and I would watch Athena here and obviously she’s into Rocket League but she sings as well. And I was kind of like, whoa, she sings well. One night I was popping in to [her Twitch] chat and started talking about music right when she was talking about music and she recognized us from our music before because she liked some of our music. And then we took a shot like “hey you want to do music together?”
Athena: Honestly, it was just a mix of two worlds that I have always been extremely passionate about, and to be able to kind of work together, you know, with Ruben and Lewis. And to do something that I know a lot of people will hopefully enjoy. It was absolutely insane. It was just, it was just the perfect moment on how we met and how we were able to, you know, just dive into the whole, the whole song. It was unbelievable.
Have you always wanted to sing?
Athena: Music has always been a huge part of my life. I’m sure you can ask anyone. It’s been such a factor in everything that I do, whether it be, you know, warming up for basketball in high school or playing games on Twitch, and having that in the background. It’s just something that people can bond to and just relate to one another with the lyrics. And I have always wanted to take that extra step and really dive into it, but I never really had the opportunity. And so when this arose, and Ruben and Lewis went and contacted me. I couldn’t let this pass up.
Did you take any singing lessons before this?
Martinee: She’s a complete natural. She’s amazing.
Athena: Okay, you are being way too kind.
Martinee: I’m not!
Cardenas: It’s for real dude.
Athena: I just never really thought I’d be singing on a song, just like, as a collaboration, I always found singing was something that I just like to do in my spare time and granted, singing lessons would be great and I hundred percent should take them. But no, this is kind of my first step into the music world and I haven’t really done voice lessons.
What kind of music does everyone like to listen to when you’re not streaming or making your own music?
Martinee: I have a wide variety of genres. I really like pop a lot, and Indie, sometimes folk music. That’s usually what I’m listening to.
Athena: I think for me, I often say that I was born in the wrong decade. I absolutely love Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel and I often find myself listening to oldies and just classics and my parents listened to them growing up. So I listened to them growing up and have very fond memories tied to them.
Cardenas: Yeah, and I grew up rock and roll and blues and stuff like that my parents listened to and also a lot of pop. Yeah, just kind of like all over the place. Go through phases, you know?
Why Mad Max as the inspiration for the video?
Martinee: Well, because one the aesthetic is super cool. A lot of lyrics are based and literally taken from a Rocket League map called Wasteland, which has that whole Mad Max aesthetic.
Athena: So it was I think an element of the music video is to have it in some way tie back to Rocket League. Because of course, Rocket League has had such a huge impact on my life and that’s how I met Ruben and then Lewis. So I think it was really important for us to have some car some race element to it and we found that having a race that was just Mad Max style was the perfect combination and just a kind of paid homage to the game that impacted us so much.