Exclusive Track Premiere: ‘Freak Caroline,’ Sterling Fox

With a Facebook post from December 2014 boasting “I wrote and produced the #1 song on iTunes right now,” Sterling Fox should be a familiar name. However, it’s more likely that you’ve instead just heard songs for which he was the mastermind and his name was left behind. After coproducing and co-writing “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine, Fox (born Brandon Lowry), coproduced Lana Del Rey’s breakout hit “Video Game.” From there, he quickly ascended, writing songs for Madonna, Charli XCX, Niia, Avicii, Benny Blanco, and more. Aside from ghost writing, though, Sterling Fox took on a life of his own last year, and here we are pleased to premiere his latest single, “Freak Caroline,” out via the label that he founded, Silver Scream Records.

“‘Freak Caroline’ is loosely based on people I’ve worked with or written for,” the New York-based musician explains. “The lead character is a trustafarian who blows a lot of Adderall and hangs out at the SoHo House. She pretends to take meetings about a nebulous fashion line and posts selfies to prove to the world that she exists,” he continues. “I think we all have a friend like her.”

With lyrics like, “she soaks in champagne…the night is young and so are you…straight to high when she drop it low…slave to the night,” what Fox says is true. We all know a Caroline, be it from afar or up close and personal. Although, rather than being vindictive, the underlying instrumentation and Fox’s vocal tone seem to simply be stating the facts: these types of people exist and they always will.

“The song is a narrative and Caroline is neither a protagonist nor antagonist, just a tragic character,” he says. “My solo project is a reaction to [pop stars’] narcissism, which is quite inspiring artistically because it’s so ridiculous. I feel less depressed about what I do for a living if I can use the bad moments as artistic fodder for my own work.”

When not producing his own work, Fox continues creating songs for others, but regardless of the endeavor his end goal is clear: “I don’t want my music for a car commercial. I don’t want to contribute to mindless consumerism. I want to tell stories and distract people from self-absorption for a few moments of their day.”