Fritz Hager is an “indie guy” in his own words, a rock n’ roll maverick who spans pop, punk, and whatever Matty Healy is.
Hager’s Texan upbringing unequivocally fostered his love of music. He grew up a typical preacher’s kid, not just in the pews with the parishioners but in the stands with the singers. It was there with the choir that he developed his ear; and soon he would find his voice. Hager picked up his first guitar in the sixth grade and started writing. 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.
Hager took a mental health hiatus, which proved to be his own microcosmic Muscle Shoals—a period of growth and creativity. Whatever he conjured during this time became an essential part of his ingenuity and brand. Says Hager, “I write for two reasons: 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.” Certainly, the influence of his heroes—AC/DC, The Killers, Oasis, Ed Sheeran, James Bay, John Mayer, and others—cannot be overestimated.
Like all people during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hager was faced with the choice to either mothball his dreams or indulge them by whatever means possible. He auditioned for Season 20 of American Idol where he made his mark as a judge and fan favorite, peaking at Top 5. While on the show, music from his debut EP 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. Hager has supported Maddie Poppe and Leah Marlene, and embarked on the all-Idol co-headline “Don’t Blink Tour.” He’s also been hard at work in the studio, writing and teasing new music. In January of 2023, Hager will release his second single, “Caroline,” which tells the fictitious story of a one-night-stand, a sitcomesque drama wherein which the main male character forgets the name of his heroine acquaintance. This comedic rendition about the world’s worst hangover is like if 3OH!3 wrote the score for Dude, Where's My Car?.
Whereas, broadly speaking, indie music is often described as angst-filled and abrasive, Hager expresses the attitudes and anxieties of Generation Z with humor, breaking down silos and bridging the gap between the serious and the silly.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Fritz Hager over Zoom video! Fritz Hager released his latest single "Caroline” on Friday, January 12th. The song followed the release of Hager’s self-titled EP, which hit #1 on the pop charts, and his …