Before he was Baby FuzZ, Brandon Lowry was on his way to becoming one of the most sought-after writer/producers in pop music. As part of the production duo Robopop, Lowry had a huge launch with the one-two punch of producing Gym Class Heroes‘ hit “Stereo Hearts”, and then Lana Del Rey‘s perfect debut single “Video Games”.
Following this, Lowry left Robopop and took on the pseudonym Sterling Fox, where he write with and for artists such as Madonna, Britney Spears, Avicii and Cash Cash, as well as writing and releasing songs under the Fox name. Upon the election of Donald Trump, Fox moved to Canada for a year, later re-emerging as Baby FuzZ, and releasing his debut album Plastic Paradise in 2019.
Not letting the momentum let-up, Baby FuzZ are preparing to release their next album Welcome to the Future this Fall, and Fox took the time to answer some questions for us about its incredibly addicting first single “Weekend Blues”:
IR: The track has been described as “written from the point of view of a lonely person who goes to a party and dissects the universe in their head instead of having fun.” Was there a specific incident or experience that led to this inspiration for the song?
BF: I wrote most of “Weekend Blues” around 8 years ago. I think at the time I was kind of floating through New York City, not able to really find any meaningful attachments with other people. I think to be completely honest, the song is pretty autobiographical. When I resurrected the idea for this current album I’m making, it felt really incel and whiny, but part of me still thought it was special. So I guess I’ve reimagined it with a completely over the top production to convey some absurdism so it doesn’t feel too heavy handed. I think hopefully now, it recognizes feelings of loneliness, failure, and isolation, but also allows people to understand that these feelings aren’t novel. We all experience them to varying degrees, and that’s something we can kind of rally around when we’re dealing with them.
IR: Can you tell me about the writing process for the song? What was the first part you wrote, and how did it eventually develop into its final iteration?
BF: Yeah, it was a really long process for this song. Like I mentioned, I started it 8 years ago. It was played live a lot as more of an emo acoustic guitar rendition. I’ve tried it with a full band. It just took this long until I finally had a recorded version that felt somewhat right to me. All the previous versions always felt a little off. I think what cracked the code for me was having it be absurd and over the top. Like now I imagine that it’s a character on my concept album having those feelings and singing it, not me 8 years ago. So that helped me to kind of be at ease with putting it out there.
IR: The track’s lyrics are delivered in an upbeat, jovial manner but I definitely felt a sense of sadness in them as well, as the narrator describes the depressing scene he’s experiencing. Was this a dynamic you were looking to capture with the track?
BF: The final version of “Weekend Blues” is dada or absurd for sure. The shoutouts at the beginning are easter eggs for hype tracks with big egos behind them. But they are like “Depression!” “Ramen Noodles!” “2020!” So yeah, from the get go you know it’s gonna be a lowbrow song. I think if were to just present the lyrics musically with the same depression as the lyrics, it would come off as entitled complaining, so I just went as far in the other direction as I could.
IR: I love the mariachi horns. They almost act as a co-vocal. Was this something you envisioned as part of the song from the get-go? Were the horns recorded live or produced digitally?
BF: Originally the horns were a vocal part inspired by “How Bizarre” by OMC. I love the horns on that tune. The song was kind of a model for “Weekend Blues”. It’s dealing with some heavy issues like police brutality etc but sounds like a careless summer jam. I wanted to channel that approach, and I think the horns were helpful in that regard.
IR: The song opens with the sounds of someone walking up the stairs, breathing heavily and then entering what sounds like a party. Was this included to help communicate the narrative of the song?
BF: Yeah the intro bit is a bit of a narrative. It will tie in more with the full album once it’s done, but there will be a story to follow that will contextualize the walking a bit more in the future.
IR: What is the story behind the surreal single artwork, featuring the unhappy flower man?
BF: The artwork is a piece by Benjamin Cabral. I met Ben at an art fair in LA called Spring/Break. I find their work to be aesthetically a really nice match for Baby FuzZ because it’s got these childlike qualities while addressing heavier personal and societal issues. I also love Ben’s media – ranging from beads to sculpture. It feels very homemade and has this great sense of nostalgia about it, which I share.
IR: Your upcoming album Welcome to the Future is a concept album about the environmental crisis; how do you see “Weekend Blues” fitting into that concept and conversation?
BF: Welcome To The Future is conceptually going to be an album that’s actually going to be set about 10 years in the past up to the present. That kind of spans the range of time I’ve been working on some of the tunes. Anyways, the idea is “Here we are! It’s the 21 Century! We still have widespread racism, sexism, there’s a complete lack of empathy among most Americans. Isn’t it exciting!? Flying cars! Oh wait! Those are just airplanes and cars destroying the environment. The world is dying! WooHoo! We did it! Go Humans! H-U-M-A-N-S!” You get the idea haha. Dystopia for the win