Half an Orange features two Ohio natives, Andrew Spellman and Michael Maloof. The duo’s odd name comes from a Portuguese expression that Michael learned while living on a beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a year. The expression, “metade da laranja” (translated to “half an orange”), means that everyone is half an orange looking for that one person, thing, or purpose that completes them (or the other half of their orange). If you’re still only half an orange then you’re still lonely and lost in the world. The duo liked the name because they always felt a little lost or out of place in the world.
Michael and Andrew released their first song under Half an Orange, “Downtown,” a month after returning from Brazil. In less than 30 days it was streamed over 300,000 times across the internet. They then released their next four songs (“Far from Young,” “I Need U to Stay,” “Stems,” and “Catching Fireflies”) with help from Electro Posé, one of the biggest music labels in France. That summer their music combined for over 2 million streams across all platforms.
They have since released music through CloudKid Records, Lowly Palace, and Monstercat. Half an Orange music has been featured on some of the biggest Spotify and Apple playlists, Sirius/XM Radio, iHeart Radio, and their single “Old Friends” was premiered on the world’s biggest Twitch Channel (Ninja). Most recently they released the third and final chapter of their Mostly We Grow EP series, on Monstercat.
The talented duo are set to perform their biggest hits at pro-esports organization Team Liquid’s Alienware Training Facility in LA Thursday January 14th at 3PM PST. The show will be hosted by pro Smash Melee & Team Liquid player ChillinDude, featuring interviews from FIber (Fortnite), Ronaky, Speed & Fruity (Rocket League), and Hungrybox (Smash).
Be sure to tune in: twitch.tv/teamliquid
Celebrating their upcoming performance for Team Liquid, Half an Orange join us for our Game Time feature, exploring their gaming lives and everything in between.
What is your favorite console, either current or from the past?
Michael: When I was a kid, we’d spend summers with my family in Brazil. Consoles are really expensive there so all we had was this old Super Nintendo my cousins bought at a market. We would play countless hours of ‘Super Mario World,’ ‘Donkey Kong Country,’ ‘Star Fox,’ anything we could get our hands on. The games were decades old but felt brand new to us.
What’s your favourite game soundtrack?
Andrew: ‘Hyper Light Drifter.’ It has such a cool blend of synths and piano. It creates a surreal sense of harmony that has you on edge because of the ingenious use of static within the songs.
Do you follow any pro-gamers, and which esports teams do you follow?
Michael: I’m a huge fan of ‘Smash Melee.’ Whenever I’m working on stuff, I’ll have Melee tournaments or streams playing in the background. Some of my favorites are Mango, Zain, Hbox, Chillin, Hugs, Amsa, Axe, Leffen, Plup, and plenty of others. We got to work with Mew2King for our End of the Moon music video. In terms of teams, we’ve built a great relationship with the staff and athletes at Team Liquid. Watching them grow and change esports has been incredible.
What music do you listen to while gaming?
Andrew: We’ve been trying to get better at ‘Rocket League’ since we have some songs in there. The game has an incredible soundtrack with new music constantly being added. Some of our favorite artists in the game include Throttle, Stephen Walking, CloudNone, Tokyo Machine, WRLD, Conro, and Grant. Whenever we play ‘Rocket League’ in the studio we’ll blare the music through our speakers.
What was the first video game you remember playing? Which device/console?
Michael: Santa Claus left me a Nintendo 64 under the Christmas tree. I about peed myself. I’d play ‘Super Mario 64’ with my mom. I was too young to read so she’d have to sit there and explain what I needed to do.
Do you watch any gaming streamers/youtubers?
Michael: I spend a lot of time watching Twitch. One of our first breaks in music was Ninja starring in our music video Old Friends. We try and tune into his stream whenever we can. Whenever I need a good laugh, I’ll pop on TimtheTatMan, Ludwig or Slime. There’s some really weird stuff on Twitch that I find myself watching. Therapy Gecko is this guy who dresses in a cheap gecko suit and has random people on the internet call him to talk. He’s always streaming at crazy hours so I’ll have him on when I can’t sleep and need something to distract me.
What do you think the biggest future gaming advancement will be?
Andrew: VR and gaming are going to change how people interact with music. We’ve done virtual shows with Sansar and VRChat. We were blown away with how personal and live they felt. Sansar created an entire Half an Orange themed stage for our VR show. It allowed us to build an entire world and experience for our fans from scratch.
What game do you think you’re best at overall?
Michael: I had an S ranking in ‘Splatoon’ and an 8,000 rank in ‘Mario Kart 8’ (before the update). I had a lot of time on my hands and got really into the Wii U. None of my friends had a Wii U so I’d end up playing with random people from Japan that I’d meet on discord. Those games are really big in Japan (especially ‘Splatoon’). It’s tough being any good at games now with our music schedules getting so full.
If you had to live in the world of the last game you played, what world would it be?
Andrew: ‘Dead by Daylight.’ That is terrifying.
Which game soundtrack would you want to have your music in?
Andrew: Writing all new music for a video game soundtrack is on our bucket list. Some of the best music is coming from gaming. I couldn’t pick just one game.
What upcoming game releases are you most excited for?
Michael: I’m not showing up to the studio the entire month ‘Breath of the Wild 2’ comes out.
Be sure to tune into Half an Orange’s performance on Thursday Jan 14th 3PM here: twitch.tv/teamliquid