Superfruit started off as a comedy YouTube channel on which best friends Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi, of the Grammy-winning a cappella group Pentatonix, goofed off, played games, and vlogged about their crazy lives. But now the project has evolved into a decidedly non-a cappella electropop duo with the release of the fun and fancy-free EP Future Friends – Part One. The music is the perfectly party-ready summer soundtrack — think Jamiroquai, Scissor Sisters, Phoenix, Daft Punk — but it can still convey a serious message. Case in point: Superfruit’s buzzy, gender-flipping video for “Worth It,” starring a young male dancer in a pink gown and a girl rocking a tailored suit.
“It all started from a photo that we took together; we posted it on our socials. It’s me in the pink dress and [Scott] in the suit,” Grassi tells Yahoo.
“We just thought that photo was beautiful, and we wanted to make a bold video that broke gender norms,” Hoying elaborates. “We found these amazing kids, these really talented kids that were down to do it. That’s the most emotional song on Part One, so we wanted to do something bold with the video.”
Grassi says response to the clip was “overwhelmingly very good,” but admits, “I mean, there’s always going to be backlash,” and trolls did come out in force to criticize.
“Yeah, every single [Superfruit] video post always has a lot of homophobic remarks, but that just always happens. We’re not fazed by it,” shrugs Hoying — who, like Grassi, is openly gay. “But there’s way more positivity than negativity, so we don’t really give them the time of day.”
As for any advice Superfruit might give to anyone experiencing online harassment for being queer or just plain different, Grassi says, “I think the best advice would be to just ignore it, because when you engage, it fuels them, and then it keeps going. It’s never going to end.”
“Yeah, and they don’t matter to your life,” Hoying adds. “You have your people in your life that care about you and what makes you happy. So why even entertain [trolls]? Just block them if you don’t want to see it anymore. I always learn that you just have to own who you are, because then no one can tell you what you are.”
On a positive note, Hoying says Pentatonix and Superfruit regularly receive feedback from fans who say Hoying and Grassi have emboldened them to be themselves. “Oh, yeah, there’s a plethora of them, and that’s one of the most rewarding parts of what we do,” says Hoying. “I feel like in meet-and-greets it happens all the time. Someone will come by, and the mother and the daughter will be like, ‘Y’all helped us figure this out in our family.’ They’ll be crying. That just brings us so much joy and makes it feel like, ‘Wow, if anything, this was worth it for me.’”
Hoying and Grassi aren’t a romantic couple, although they have plenty of shipper fans who like to dub them “Scomiche.” Laughs Grassi: “It’s fun to watch them read into every subtlety we have together. They’re like, ‘Oh, this must mean that blah, blah, blah. They must be getting married or something!’”
“Yeah, and the fanfics are just so good,” Hoying chuckles.
“Scomiche” may only be fanfic fodder, but the bond between these two guys is the real deal. “The first word that comes to mind is ‘authentic.’ I feel like our friendship is really real,” says Hoying. “I think that that translates when people watch us. We’re laughing at each other, and we’re having fun, and we’re hanging out. It’s always been like that. … It’s anxiety free when we’re around each other, which is nice. ”
Adds Grassi: “It’s just the most comfortable bond. The most accepting, comfortable thing. We can just be around each other and be totally ourselves, talk about whatever we want, vent, laugh. It’s amazing.”
While Superfruit aren’t going to stop posting hilarious viral videos (check out their Tiger Beat-neon, ’90s-tastic “Heartthrob” vid, above) or making upbeat dance music anytime soon, they do say their next EP, Future Friends – Part Two, will “delve a little deeper and darker.”
“It’s a lot of breakup songs,” reveals Hoying. “Yeah, melancholy and insecure,” says Grassi.
There’s no doubt that fans will continue to connect with the serious, bittersweet side of Superfruit.
Watch Superfruit’s entire Yahoo Music Facebook Live chat below.