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American Idol’s Fritz Hager On A “one-night-stand gone wrong”

Pop/alternative star Fritz Hager Depicts “A One-Night-Stand Gone Wrong” In His Dynamic New Single “Caroline”

Out Now On All digital platforms

On his dynamic new single “Caroline,” out now on all digital platforms, the pop/alternative songwriter and American Idol star Fritz Hager spins a fictitious tale of a one-night-stand; a sitcom-esque drama wherein the main male character forgets the name of his heroine acquaintance. Confronted by the light of day on the “morning after,” the singer tries to discern whether he’s experiencing apathetic amnesia or a not-so-funny nightmare. Co-written by the multi-platinum producer/songwriter Drew Pearson and the pop/alternative songwriter Francisco Martin – and also featuring Martin on drums – the song is out today on all digital platforms, alongside an animated lyric video.

“With my first single after Idol, I felt like I had an opportunity to experiment and fine tune my sound,” Hager recalls. “I think that ‘Caroline’ is a culmination of that. Whenever I write I try to play with the relationship between comedy and tragedy and figure out the best balance for each song. I like to describe ‘Caroline’ as a sitcom cold open put to music. It’s a story about the morning after a one-night stand and the narrator trying to find a clever way to remember her name. In real life, this guy is an asshole for sure, but in a sitcom, the audience is rooting for him. I think that this song achieves the same thing.”

Hager grew up a typical preacher’s kid, not just in the pews but in the stands with the choir. It was there that he developed his voice, and in sixth grade he picked up his first guitar and started writing, influenced by his heroes AC/DC, The Killers, Oasis, Ed Sheeran, James Bay, and John Mayer. He took a mental health hiatus after dropping out of college, which proved to be a period of growth and creativity, but like all people during the pandemic, he was faced with the choice of either putting his career on hold or indulging his dreams by whatever means possible. This led to his audition for American Idol, where he became a fan favorite, peaking at Top 5.

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Hager is an “indie guy” in his own words – a rock n’ roll maverick. His Texan upbringing unequivocally fostered his love of music, but his cultural milieu began to evolve with an introduction to the theatre. Hager went on to study the form at Oklahoma City University, but realized after one semester that he was not the conventional college type. Whatever he conjured during this time became an essential part of his ingenuity and brand.

“I write for two reasons,” Hager reflects, “to bring sincerity into the mainstream—making observations about the world, personal struggles, universal struggles—and escapism, which is to simply zone out and have fun. There’s a need for both, and I like finding the balance.”

During his time on American Idol, where he made his mark as a judge and fan favorite, Hager released selections from his debut EP, which topped the iTunes Charts. True to his independent nature, the self-titled project was entirely crowd-funded. This success story was quickly followed by his single “Hearts Align,” which reached #5 on the Alternative Charts. He wrapped his Idol career with a performance of the song on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

Since then, Hager has taken to the road, performing alongside Maddie Poppe and Leah Marlene, and embarking on the all-Idol “Don’t Blink Tour.” He’s also been hard at work in the studio, and plans to release several other tracks following “Caroline” this year. In all of his writing, Hager expresses the attitudes and anxieties of Generation Z with humor, breaking down silos and bridging the gap between the serious and the silly.

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