After releasing a "happier version" of the track earlier this year, Fern. goes back to share his original vision for "Whatever This Is" with a Side B release, in collaboration with Nouvul.

/ 24 May 2021

Music producer and songwriter Fern. has a distinctive style. His use of lo-fi pop beats and vulnerable lyricism never fails to connect with music lovers.

Fern. is known for releasing soul-baring songs, and “Whatever This Is – Side B,” his new single under Island Records Philippines, is no exception. He released a different version of the song earlier this year, but he says this remix—a collaboration between him and Indie/R&B artist Nouvul—is closer to his original vision.

“The previous version turned out to be ‘happier sounding’ than I intended it to be, even if the lyrics and overall vibe of the song was more on the opposite side of what a happy sound is. So I decided to release a Side B for it, which is a more accurate reflection of what I felt during a certain time in my life. The song is about a personal experience, and I wanted to properly convey what it felt like,” he explains.

Whatever This Is – Side B art, Image courtesy of Island Records Philippines

His more modern sound and Nouvul’s slow jam-inspired musicality (which has been described as “post-R&B with an ethereal, experimental twist”) are a match made in heaven, as proven by their collaboration on the remix of the latter’s newest release.

“Whatever This Is – Side B” is slower, compared with the more mid-to uptempo original. While the previous version was backed by a skittering beat reminiscent of today’s Pop/R&B hits, Fern.’s new version opens with a short piano intro, which quickly gives way to his voice, this time backed by a slower arrangement that features some nifty finger-snapping and a sparse beat. Overall, this new version is more angsty and brooding, which is the effect Fern. was going for in the first place.

Fern. has always seen his music as an extension of himself, which is why he’s very meticulous when it comes to the songs he releases. According to Fern., his creative process is a quest for perfection, but he’s still very much committed to staying as honest and raw as possible. 

As far as Fern. is concerned, “perfection” doesn’t mean releasing songs that are too studied and therefore boring. For him, to be perfect means to make sure everything he releases is true to who he is as an artist and a person.

Fern.’s songs are inspired not only by his personal experiences, but also by movies he’s watched. Sometimes, he also draws inspiration from good conversations with other people and long walks. This approach has helped him write songs from a place of empathy, which is why many people can relate to what he releases. They’re drawn to the heartfelt, intimate vibe of his music—a vibe that’s present in “Whatever This Is – Side B.”

Watch the “Whatever This Is – Side B” performance video below:

“Whatever This Is – Side B” is out now on all digital music platforms.