Interview with Daniel Fox

In this interview, we jumped on Zoom with Daniel Fox! Daniel Fox has cut his teeth as a producer, and has only just started releasing music under his name. Throughout his career, he’s worked with big names such as Slow Hollows, Tyler the Creator, and Beach Fossils. He also releases music under the name of Stella Borsella, his alter ego named after a great-grandmother. Throughout our hour together, we discuss Daniel’s alter ego, Stella Borsella, as well as the hoops you can sometimes need to jump through to make it in the industry. We also touch on fun tangents, like Daniel’s encounter with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer in a cab on the way to a show, and his love of Topo Chico. Daniel’s first single, “Listen Up!” dropped November 8th.

By Austin Anderson

What is your go to gas station order?

Oh my god. Well, it really depends on a lot, actually. I guess it depends on where I’m at in the country. But I say it also depends on how long I’ve been in the car for. If I’m just going on a short three-to-five-hour drive. I’d say that I keep it pretty minimal with a sparkling water and maybe a bag of gas station popcorn. That’s on a short trip but if it’s a long trip I’ll do…I mean sparkling water’s always on the on the docket if they have it, a little Topo, Chico little Perrier, what have you. They got the Topo Chico in the in the plastic bottle at some gas stations now. And they got the twist of lime flavor and the grapefruit flavor. Depending on where you’re at in the country, a lot of places, I feel like Southwest in Texas has a lot of Topo Chico. But if I’m really trying to do some damage on myself, if I’ve been in a car for a long time, and I’m trying to do damage to my body. I try to stick with Bugles. Weird. I know. And Nerds ropes.

Your alter ego, Stella Borsella, is gearing up for some new projects in the near future. I appreciate the creativity in taking an alternate route to promoting these projects and who you are as an artist by focusing on a series of websites as opposed to today’s typical method of using social media. I’d like to hear more about what you’re planning to do with these platforms and your decision to back away from social media.

Yeah. I wish I had a locked and loaded answer for this. Because it is such a big part of what’s going on right now in my life, I guess. I have always felt really bad about how I use social media and it’s always made me… it’s never made me feel good. I’ve never had that thing with it. And that’s totally fine. I know some people do, some people don’t, you know, whatever. Whatever you got to do to make yourself happy, do it. I don’t care. I hold no judgments to anyone that does any of that stuff.

That being said, it just doesn’t work for me. And I feel I couldn’t be vulnerable, or I couldn’t necessarily share things the way that I wanted to. I couldn’t make things look the way I wanted to on a screen. I didn’t like it. I don’t like anything about it, it just makes me feel bad. And I don’t feel I can get my point across properly as an artist. And I feel a lot of what artists struggle with now, and something that I’ve struggled with for a really long time, is knowing how to promote yourself. And a lot of people think that oh, I gotta have an Instagram, I gotta have a Twitter, I gotta have whatever. I think I’ve I hit a point with it where I was like, I need to do things how I need to do them. And if people want to follow me, that’s awesome. I love that. But I’m not doing it to try and be different or edgy. I guess it is inherently different.

I guess it’s not a new idea. Because it’s just a blog, really, at the end of the day. It’s gonna be a blog, essentially. But stuff that I have planned for it. I don’t know. I’m already I’m going to be interviewing the guy who did the remix for the first single that I’m putting out, “Listen Up.” Andrew Sarlo, who’s a good friend of mine, and just a wonderful, wonderful person. So I’m doing an interview, podcast style with him. And I’m just gonna put that up on the website. I have tips and ideas and this guy has tips and ideas. I know because he’s worked consistently in the industry and I’m lucky enough to have the resources to have met him and be able to share my thoughts with him, and he can share thoughts with me about just what it’s like to work in the music industry these days, or what it’s like to stay creative, or, you know, just really anything. I didn’t feel my ideas or desires fit the format of what was typically out there right now. I just want to do more. And I want a place that feels safe for me to be vulnerable. Without the judgment of the world. You know what I mean? So that was a long-winded answer.

These websites have a very 2000s vibe. What 2000s artists or old message boards were you seeking to channel most with this fun and interactive site?

Maybe subconsciously, I think that I missed when the Internet was fun. You know it is fun. The internet is so crazy. It’s insane that it exists. It’s insane that all this information can access us at any time. And web development. I’m not good at it. I can make things the way that I make them because templates exist. I see a template, and I’m like, “Oh, I’m gonna make that mine by doing this. I’m not an artist in terms of being able to make a dope website. But I remember when I was a kid, I used to go on to bands websites to check their schedule and do all this stuff. And it was this cool thing that I got to interact with and do. A lot of times, it never changed until Myspace changed that. And that’s when it all went downhill. I mean, it didn’t go downhill. It helps a lot of artists. They’re all tools, and we wouldn’t have the musical landscape that we do now, if we didn’t have those. I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in right now if none of that shit existed. Well, I don’t know where I’d be if it didn’t exist, because I’ve used it and it’s benefited me.

One that I remember so vividly that I kind of make a call back to on the Stella Borsella website,, that is, is Fleet Foxes, all the website was used just be was really nice, pretty footage. And stuff would be on top of that. And I was like, “Man, that’s such a nice thing to have.” It’s just, you play your music. And it’s just a nice visual. It’s just another statement that you can make in your box. And it’s direct to you. And something about the intent of having to click a link or follow to someone else’s page is barrier to entry of someone that will genuinely at least be interested in what you have to say already.

More modern influences, I guess, the biggest one that comes to mind is Frank Ocean, obviously, he used to use Tumblr for forever. Yeah. And that was how he communicated with people. And he could do it how he wanted to, and he could share what he wanted to. When I first started seeing that I had the complete opposite reaction, as I wish I would have, where I saw that and I was like, “Oh, man, I wish I could do that.” instead of just doing it. Because there’s no reason I couldn’t have just started right then. I was scared that people were gonna think, you know, certain things about me. It’s all just fear. And I kind of I just kind of stopped caring. Or at least the scale tipped to the point where I was just like, I need to do this for me. I’m still a little bit scared of what you’re gonna think about me, but that’s never gonna go away. So I might as well just do what I want to do.

You’re from all the way out in Boise, Idaho, but clawed your way up to working with a lot of big names including Slow Hollows, Tyler, The Creator, and Beach Fossils. If you could pass on any advice to people from less-than-connected places looking to get into the world of music, what would it be?

I guess I’d just sit you down, and be like, “Look, it’s not gonna be easy. This is gonna suck. And you’re going to have to take a lot of shit. Because I’ve taken a lot of shit over the last, you know, 10 years that I’ve been living in Los Angeles. But don’t let your own ideas of what you think you are stop you from expressing yourself.” I don’t know, that’s the best I can say because I, in my own experience, I grew up in Boise, Idaho. And it’s changed a lot since I grew up there. It’s kind of a cool place now. People are singing about it in songs. People talk about Idaho in popular music now. I’m just like, “That’s my state! Don’t come for it.” Even though there’s a lot of problems with Idaho. Politically. I don’t want to get into it. I don’t submit to those ideas. And for anyone that’s in a place like that, there’s hope. Just know that if you’re feeling like you don’t fit in or belong, or whatever, you can always go somewhere else. And I don’t know, I just I grew up when the only kind of music education there was, was jazz or classical. That was all you could do. People would tell me that I was good at jazz. But in the back of my head, I was always like, “I kind of know I’m not ever going to be a jazz musician. But I’m gonna play it. I am.” Because that’s what I’ve gotta do to make it as a musician. I made compromises on my own creative voice to get forward, and get out. And that was how I got out. And as soon as I got to Los Angeles, I was like, “Oh, shit, the world is big. And there’s so much that I can do, and I can do anything I want.” And I know that that was 10 years ago. And I feel I’m just now 10 years later being like, “Oh, I’m actually doing what I want to do.” So, you know, it just takes time. Everyone says that it takes time. But you know, if you if you do something long enough, someone’s gonna start listening somewhere.

When I was a junior in college, I was studying jazz. I was just like, “Man, I do not know what I’m gonna do when I get the fuck out of here.” And it was really starting to stress me out. And it was just the middle of the summer in Los Angeles, which sucks. I hate it here in the summer. But I think it was in between, junior and senior year, some kid just hit me up, completely out of the blue. He’d never heard me play before. But we knew each other because we were in jazz program. And he was like, “Hey, I’m playing with this band. And the trumpet player dropped out and it’s really last minute, but we’re leaving for tour tomorrow. Can you come?” And you know, I was just like, “Okay, I’m not doing anything, I might as well.” And then I ended up touring with that band for a year and a half and I wouldn’t have met anyone that I would have met without being in that band. I wouldn’t have learned that I could be in the rock world, or the indie pop world, or whatever. I was just like, “Oh, I don’t have to do jazz only.” So I owe a lot to that one person who had never heard me play and was just like, “Hey, you’re cool. You play trumpet and we need that for tomorrow.”

And we ended up opening for Weezer on that tour. I had no idea. We played we played four really shitty shows and a van that didn’t have any air conditioning. And then we ended the show by opening for Weezer at a massive venue in Vegas, at the Cosmopolitan, and it was just so much weird shit happened that night. It was insane. But that was the first time I was like, “Whoa, there’s a whole world out there and I’m just dipping my feet in.” I wasn’t even 21, I couldn’t drink. I had to have a wristband. It was insane.

Did you hit it off with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer?

I did not hit it off. But something that I thought was so fun—they were just playing baseball, throwing a baseball back and forth before the show, just a little buddy time. And after the show he was icing his knees. I’m not sure if I share that but here I am. Rivers Cuomo has to ice his knees. I think it’s because one of his legs was longer than the other. It was either he was icing his knees or in an ice bath. I don’t really remember. It’s fuzzy. It was so long ago. It was like eight years ago. It’s all a little fuzzy. But I remember there was ice involved. And he was talking to fans. And I was like, “I’m just gonna go.” So I didn’t say anything. Unfortunately, did not say anything.

Oh, actually, you know what I did? In Chicago? Oh, my God, this is crazy. This is really funny. So I was with the band. And we got into Uber, and we were going to a bar. And we had played a show opening for Weezer. And somehow Rivers ended up in the Uber with us. He did not say a word to us the entire time. It was so awkward. We always used to go to this place in Chicago. Because the owner was a big fan of the band. I wish I remember what it was. But they had the best lobster deviled eggs. We’d always go there. And they’d be like, “It’s on us.” And we’d be like, “Whoa.” And I was 20 or 21. And I was just like, “Whoa, this is crazy. This is what it’s like, being a rock band

But here’s what I will say. For those of you that do find success early. What could be a fruitful year could lead into a very unfruitful year is what I will say. So, you got to ride that wave. You got to ride that wave and just know that even if it’s a tough time you’ve got to keep chugging through it. Life’s a ride.

You’ve built relationships with these aforementioned artists and established a reputation as a producer before fully diving into Stella Borsella. How has the transition between producer and solo artist allowed you to grow personally and professionally?

That’s a good question. Okay, so I’ve always found it very hard to shift the mindset of playing live and recording. And that’s a lot of what I was doing for a long time. I would go on tour, and then I’d come home. And in the meantime, I would work on a passion project or work on whatever.  Whatever room I found myself in. And it always felt really bad, switching off between the two, because when I was on the road, I’d be like, “Man, I wish I was in the studio.” And if I was in the studio, I’d be like, “Man, I wish I was on the road.”

And so then, when I kind of had some time to slow down and work on some of the bigger projects that I’ve worked on, and really sink into the recording world, I kind of found that I liked doing that a lot. And I started learning a lot from other artists and I’d always written songs and I’d always record them myself, but I’d never been like, “These are good. I want to share these.” Or “This is what I sound like.” Because I didn’t really know what I sounded like because I was just kind of trying to figure it out.

And I got lucky a few times with people that just were very quick to trust me with their music, and I’m really fortunate that I got to work with a lot of the people that I did, and a lot of people trusted me. Because, like I said before, it’s every step I’ve made, I can directly trace back to this one moment in my life where I was like, “Yes, I’ll say yes to that.” And then it all expanded from there. And all those people that I’ve crossed paths with along the way, and had influenced me, musically as a person. Just in knowing how I want to navigate the world as a musician, as an artist, but also just a person, because a lot of the time when you’re in a session with the person, really 50% of it, if it’s a good session, I’d say that 50% of it is actually making music and 50% of it is just hanging with a person talking to them, learning stuff. And stretching yourself.

And I think that ties back to why I kind of want to start my own situation, because I just want there to be space where that can come across, because it doesn’t come across well. And there’s so much more to a song than just the audio file of that song. There’s a whole story about how it got made. And all this stuff. And I think that I finally got to a point, especially during this pandemic, where I was like, “Man, I have so many things that I’ve half started, why don’t I just finish them, I know that I can finish them.” And I think that was a big problem. At first I had a hard time finishing my own songs, because if no one is there to tell you that it’s done, you can keep working on something forever. And as a producer, it’s my job to help an artist realize when something’s done. And that’s really hard sometimes, to just be like, “We’ve given it our all, this is it. This is where we’re at now.”

And how all those things have influenced me in my own music, is all of the things, all those lessons I learned as a producer for someone else, I was able to just apply those on myself and be like, “Okay, well what do I actually need to do to finish this song?” And so the collection that I made is actually all songs that I wrote probably over a year and a half ago. And I just took the time to finish them because I was like, “Man, I am proud of this stuff and I’m even prouder of the stuff that I’m working on right now.” But why don’t I just put the shit out that I already did finish, so I can get on with my life and feel I’m doing something important with my time and if it can, speak to someone, great. If it doesn’t, also fine. You know, this isn’t for everyone.

I think that just knowing, just trying to take any lessons I can learn out of any situation to help me with my own music, but also with the next person that I work with, every lesson is a good lesson. If you know what to do with it. Let’s just learn, let’s keep learning, you know?

Do you see Daniel Fox and Stella Borsella as two different entities that you transition between, or do they weave in with each other?

I mean, they weave in and out. But I kind of, as an exercise to myself, which might make me sound a total crazy person is, I’ve given myself the license to accept a thought as a Daniel thought versus accept a thought as a Stella thought. And I think the distinction for me has actually helped me with just living my life in general because I can be like, “Oh, this thought isn’t necessarily something that I should just share instantly, you know, this is just the most basic state of my reaction towards something, or how I feel towards something.” And then figuring out what that is and how to communicate that appropriately would be a Daniel thought, does that make sense?

So, it’s more of an exercise for myself than anything else. But I just kind of wanted to create an alter ego so that if I did ever feel I could just get into a room and air out my grievances in a certain way, it didn’t have to feel it was me that was doing it, even though it is me that’s doing it. It doesn’t have to feel so I don’t have to feel guilty about having those thoughts because she’s just a crazy bitch and she’s gonna do some shit and get into some shit and that’s just happening, just how it works for me. And I created that alter ego years ago when I was in a pretty crazy part of my life. You know, a lot of shit changing. And it really helped me. It helped me…compartmentalizing has such a negative connotation, but I think that if you’re compartmentalizing things, and then noticing all those things in a vacuum and addressing those problems, that’s the only way that you can learn from a situation. Because if you’re gonna have a feeling, you’re gonna have feeling, you might as well accept it. And that’s just my way of accepting it. And listening, listening to myself is getting someone else to listen, too.

I think there’s a famous quote, “Write drunk, edit sober.” And I think the idea is that you can be your most unfiltered self when you’re writing, and then you edit it when you have the technical wherewithal to do something.I’m not getting fucked up to write songs. That’s not what I do. I mean I do that sometimes, but that’s not what I do to become a certain person. It’s just a different way to write a song, I guess.

I like the quote from your site that says “The only person to impress or battle with was myself. I learned how to make music as me, but also love the things that aren’t and can never be perfect.” After taking this time to better find yourself musically as a solo artist, has the way you look back on your past production/collaborative work changed?

I guess inherently when you grow, and just as time goes by, you’re able to have perspective on projects, you’re able to listen to things more objectively, because you’re not hearing them a million times in a row. You know, when you’re writing an album, it’s…I actually have no idea what normal people think writing an album looks like, what being in studio looks like. But it’s maybe not as glamorous as people think. It’s you know, you’re in there. And you’re just like, “Why isn’t this working?”. And you’re listening to something for sometimes eight hours straight, one song for eight hours straight. Imagine doing that with anything at all, you’re gonna get sick of it. And the problem is that you love this thing that you’re making. And you’re like, “I love this, but I’m sick of it. And I hate it. But I love it. And I need it to be perfect.”

But yeah, like I said, nothing is ever going to be perfect, because perfection is only something that you can strive for, because you’re gonna feel different about it every day. You don’t wake up feeling the same every day, so you can’t feel the same about a song every day. I have songs that I’ve been listening to, since I was a kid that I’ve been like, “Oh, I love that.” And then you know, you get to middle school and you’re like, “That’s a little iffy.” And then in high school, you’re like, “That’s wack.” And then you come back to it as an adult, and you’re like, “Man, I really did like that and I still do.” I have the same feeling about some of the other music that I’ve put up, some of it I’m just like, “Ah, I wish that wasn’t that.” But I don’t delete it or take it down because it’s all part of a part of how I got here and there’s so many different theories about how you should present yourself to the world and how you should present your catalog as an artist, and I think that if I’ve learned anything in the music industry, it’s that I just want to at this point, be as honest with those who consume my shit as possible because I’m so tired of artists playing the game. Instead of artists reinventing the game or making new games or you know, cheating it. I don’t even care if you cheat at the game, at least make it interesting, if at the end, you’re like “You got me!.” That’s our fault as consumers for buying into a system that can be manipulated.

I sound like a fucking psychopath sometimes, I sound preachy. I hate some of the shit that I’ve put out. I love some of the shit that I’ve put out. I don’t speak to some of the people that I’ve worked with. I am best friends with some of the people that I’ve worked with. I am sitting on albums that we’ve never put out. There’s so much that goes on.

I’m all about a visible repair. I could show you my apartment. I think that carrying your past with you is just as important as reinventing. When you’re reinventing yourself, if you can’t look back and be like, “Oh, this is what I got better than?” or “This didn’t work this time, but I want it to work this time.” You’re just gonna keep making those mistakes. And  I don’t want to do that.

With the furniture that I make, I find scrap wood and I make furniture out of it. Because , you know, I can’t afford a table. But if I make something that I like enough, it’s gonna remind me of a time when I didn’t have enough money to buy a table and I needed a table. Or that time where I bought a really cool chair for a good deal. But the leather was split, and I was sitting in a session. And someone was like, “Hey, I’m going to fix this for you. I know how.” And then they fixed it. And now I get to look at that chair and be like, “Wow, someone that I was just working on music with fixed that chair for me.” And we got to have that moment. I don’t know, there’s so much about music that brings community together and I’m so tired of it feeling a game that that only certain people can get into because there’s weirdos out there. And there’s always a weirdo for another weirdo.

What I hate the most about this industry is how inaccessible it is to people who are genuinely interested in it. The barrier to entry is so hard, because there’s so much and a lot of times, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t try to pay for things that happen, you know, you got to pay for stuff to happen, you got to get PR person you got to get management, you got to do all this shit. And at a certain point… What I can speak from my own experience that I kind of had to let go of trying to stick to the man and do different. But even though that’s what I am doing, I’m trying to present myself differently. But I still have to exist in this world. I’m not trying to shake it from the ground up. I still have to play by certain rules. I just have to hope that what I’m saying and what I’m doing is interesting enough for people to care about. And if you believe in yourself to that point, then put yourself out there.

I believed in myself like that before and I failed in the past, I’ve succeeded in the past and it feels really bad when you fail, especially when you put money behind something. I’m not gonna knock any platform or means by which anyone chooses to navigate anything. But there’s these platforms that are set up for people to try and get an edge in, places that you can submit your music and you know, you’ll get a response back “guaranteed” if you spend certain money, and sometimes as a small artist, those things hurt so bad because you’ll send your unit to someone and people will be like, “Oh, this sounds too much like this.” And you’re just like, “Fuck, what? Why does it matter?”. I’m just trying to share what I do, who cares? And it feels really bad. And you know, I’ve been through that, I’ve been through the part where you feel you can’t do anything at all, and that you’re not gonna get anywhere. And I’m tired of that feeling. And that’s a really hard thing to navigate. Because finding emails for people, it’s impossible, and you can’t guarantee anyone’s gonna respond.

These rules are very unspoken. Within the structure of any business or any corporation even, I would consider the music industry in general, as a corporation, you know? There’s just a power dynamic. And that sucks, it’s there. And no matter what we say or do about it as artists, as gatekeepers to, I don’t know, media, pop culture, whatever it is, if there’s this crazy power dynamic, it’s impossible to ignore. But no one really talks about it. But we all complain about it, you know, and it’s just this system that, you know, is perpetuated by late stage capitalism that we’ve gotten to this point where it’s like, music equals money. As opposed to being like, music equals good, maybe we can make money off of this, you know? It went from being a piece of art that can make money to a way to get rich.

I don’t want to come off as someone that hates the music industry, because I’ve been navigating it for 10 years, I have a love hate relationship with it. Because , you’re definitely not alone in that. Yeah. And if I if I hated it enough that it was that important to me, I wouldn’t be doing it anymore. But it’s more important to me that people get to share music and share in that experience then the greater woes of the music industry. I don’t know. I’d rather there’d be a shot for music then than anything else. And we’ve already hit this point where it’s like, “Oh, shit, we’ve gone too far. We can’t go back.” It kind of feels like that.

Sometimes you just have to accept that there are things that you got to do, just cut your teeth on and just do forever until it finally pays off. And luck is a lot of that and some people don’t get as lucky as I’ve been. I have friends that are amazing musicians that just didn’t stick with it because it got them down. It makes me so sad that these people that have so much to give on an artistic and just human level get thrown aside because they don’t fit in the mold of how it works now. And it’s sad and I’m so fortunate that I’ve been able to do it for as long as I can. But it’s hard. It’s a struggle. And yeah, I’m just trying to at this point, I’m just trying to be as honest as I can about it. I used to think that “Oh, you know, I gotta quietly play the game.” Now I can just be honest about it. It’s just like, “Yeah, it happens. I do what I got to do to.” But I’m only I’m only ever going into a situation with good intentions, and being honest and a genuine interest in the media, I’m obsessed with it. I literally went to college for jazz music, I’m a fucking nerd. I could talk to you for the rest of the day about my signal routing on my computer. I could talk about my Dropbox organization system and get really excited about it. We’re fucking nerds, we do this. We’re sensitive nerds. And we just, we just want to have other sensitive nerds to talk about and share in this sensitive, nerdy, stupid thing that we love.

I’m honestly in the process of figuring it all out too right now. The management company that I’m on has a social media coordinator. Like that’s their job, is social media. My manager was like, “Do you want to talk to this person, I think it’d be a good idea.” And I was really stressed, this was like two weeks ago, because I was like, in my head, “I don’t want to use social media.” And how do I go into the social media strategy meeting and tell the person who’s literal job it is that I don’t want to do it. And so I went into the meeting and the first thing she said was like, “I really love your websites.” And we all came up with ideas together and it felt so honest, and I could just be like, “I really don’t fucking like social media, I don’t wanna do it.” If I’m gonna engage with people, which I do want to do, there’s one person out there that will fuck with my music, and that’s enough for me.

If I can get to that one person, and they can be like, “Oh, I saw your website, that’s dope.” Then awesome. I had the person in the social media meeting be like, “I like your website” and that was all the positive reinforcement I need to be like, 100% with it. I made these websites a year ago and they’ve just been sitting on the internet. I haven’t been doing anything with them, I haven’t been sending them to people. I just did it because I was bored one day and wanted to do something. I’m doing a thing, that’s for sure. Which is better than doing no thing.

Your first single, “Listen Up!” drops November 8th. To me, the song sounds like a departure from the traditional song structure of verse, pre-chorus, chorus, etc. How does this release showcase who Stella Borsella is, but also who you are with your production experience?

I think that for a long time, I thought that in order to be interesting I had to be really different and take influence from the more avant-garde or experimental things I like listening to. And I thought that because I was interested in that I was the music I was supposed to make. So for a long time I made this really intense experimental music. And I thought it was what I liked to make, but it never felt wholly authentic to me and it never felt good when I thought I was finished. I’d be like, “That’s cool, but it doesn’t mean anything, really.” I think that with this, I just kind of started playing some dumb chords on an open tune guitar, the easiest thing so I could just strum it. Just like here’s a chord, here’s another one.

I don’t play guitar, I didn’t until I learned to play guitar on tour with a band. Every night the main guy would be like, “Here’s another song,” and he would teach me how to play it at soundcheck before the show. By the end of the tour, I was playing six songs on guitar, and I loved it, it was like this new instrument that I didn’t know how to play. When I was in my studio, I would play these chords on guitar, and just let myself be okay with a really simple idea and really simple sound. Because I don’t need to be different or interesting, because guitar is cool, I like the way it sounds still. I like how this sounds next to each other and maybe once I produce it, it’ll come out differently. The very original guitar I recorded ended up being the guitar that stayed in the song. It ended up kind of being me stripping myself back to this instrument that I really don’t know how to play, playing some shit that I couldn’t overthink because I’m not technically good enough to be able to overthink it. And I just tried to rely on making something that sounded different with the tools that I had that were accessible and easy to me and there from the start.

A lot of the production work I had learned up until that point was like, “It’s okay to do stuff simple.” The beginning of an idea especially doesn’t have to be difficult, it can just be like, “Boom clap boom clap.” And if it’s like a cool stick and snare, then like, “Fuck yeah, let’s go,” on this simple idea. And I think that just letting myself get to a point where I was doing something that was so simple, I could really allow myself to hear it in my head and be intentional with what I wanted to do, instead of throwing a bunch of shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. And I never would have gotten there if I hadn’t been in other production sessions, because I’d be in my own little bubble making weird experimental music no one would listen to except myself. There’s also things I want to say, I had never really screamed on a song before in my own recording. Because I was like, “Oh, you don’t do that.” Well why don’t I do that? I can try, I’ve never heard it before. So I did that, and it was the first time I did that, and I was like, “Oh, I should do this more.” It was kind of me learning what my new rules were. The first song that I made out of that collection, I made that song two years ago I think. I started it two years ago. Did I answer the question? I forget what the question was.

What other upcoming projects do you have in store for 2022 that you can share today?

I don’t know. I’m always working on music. I’m doing a film score on my first real documentary score. It’s a short. Doing a film score that I started this week. I’m watching the World Series. I’m making a birthday present for my manager, but I can’t tell you what it is. It’s important to have hobbies that are outside of music as well. I’m hanging out with my cat Judy, she’s amazing. Musically, I’ve got people that I’m working with all the time. A song I produced just came out today actually, by an artist named Alex Pachino. He plays guitar with Noah Cyrus and Troye Sivan, tours with them. He started a solo project. I’m really proud of the music we made together, it’s really cool. You should check that out if you have the time.

Daniel Fox’s Websites:

Professional, production, and press:

Stella Borsella, Daniel’s alter ego:

Cowboy, Still- a fun, interactive message board: 

Check out “Listen Up!”:

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