Nov 29, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Next month, L.A. producer and songwriter Daniel Fox is sharing his debut EP under his moniker, Stella Borsella. Fox’s debut EP, Stella, was written over the course of three years, in between stints producing and performing with Benny Blanco, Tyler the Creator, and Ian Sweet. Stella blends together the wide range of genres Fox has dipped in and out of over his career, with inspirations ranging from jazz greats, indie rock pioneers, and hip hop touchstones. Fox has already shared “Listen Up!” the record’s first single, and today he’s back with his latest track, “Love Me,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Love Me” is Fox’s latest marriage of styles, opening up on spacious production and anthemic synth chords. The track runs through breakneck electronic percussion and chilled melodies, all anchored by a passionate vocal performance from Fox. Meanwhile, Fox has also shared an accompanying remix of the track, courtesy of multi-instrumentalist and Vampire Weekend member, Brian Robert Jones. The remix puts Jone’s trademark guitar work front and center before transitioning into a jaunty piano-led finish, all while retaining the track’s fundamental anthemic allure.
Check out the song and remix below. You can also read our accompanying Q&A with Fox, where he explores the inspirations behind Stella Borsella. Stella is due out December 13th.
What drew you to the name Stella Borsella for your solo music?
Stella Borsella is my great-grandmother’s name. The name and idea were part of my own process to address some underlying genetics/behaviors that I share with her. Plus I just like the way it sounds.
How has it been different working on your own music as Stella Borsella rather than as a producer?
I love to wear both hats. When I’m working as Stella I really only have to impress and entertain myself. I can let my guard down and if I’m lucky let my ego go, which allows me to make whatever type of thing I need at that time. Working as a producer for others, while I have similar techniques I reach for, the session is always very artist-dependent. As a producer, I want to inspire the artist to create the best version of what they have to offer and vice versa.
You’ve said the music on your upcoming EP was written over the course of three years. What do you see as some of the creative throughlines that unite the work?
It’s been a big transitional phase for me. My life now is very very different than it was three years ago and really the only constant I’ve had is my music. It’s how I’ve processed and dealt with a lot. But beyond the emotional aspect, this EP I made with the intention of making something that was mine.
Before this EP, I feel I’ve spent a lot of time making music that didn’t come naturally to me. It never sounded how I wanted it to, so I never put it out. At the very least this album sounds exactly how I want it to and I’m really proud of it. The creative throughline is that the process essentially allowed me to start figuring out who I am, and want to be.
You’ve listed a lot of inspirations, ranging from Miles Davis and The Pixies to Schoolboy Q. How do all these influences translate in your music?
When I say I’m inspired by Miles Davis, I’m inspired by his ability to make one note sound like the most important note you’ve ever heard
When I say I’m inspired by the Pixies, I’m inspired by the dynamics and the creativity of the songwriting/lyrics.
When I say I’m inspired by Schoolboy Q it’s the energy, and the emotion. The production is so hard, and the shit he’s saying bounces between making me laugh and making my heart drop.
This is a long answer, but we’re all so inspired by so much around us. I’m constantly ingesting music and while my music may not sound like any of these people directly, I’ve learned so much from listening.
What inspirations did you draw on for “Love Me?”
<^_^> This song is Stella, singing to Daniel. She just wants to be loved.
Why did you decide to share the track with an accompanying remix?
I think I like the idea of working with a producer on my own music, but I’ve always been so afraid to share that space with someone (which is exactly what I ask other artists to do all the time. I know I should take my own advice but hey I’m only human). Having my friends do remixes for me was a really fun way to hear how someone would reinterpret my ideas. That and I miss community in music. I love the idea of being able to show anyone paying attention to me artists and producers that are friends of mine that make really great music. This particular remix was done by Brian Jones. I went to college with Brian and he now plays with tons of people including Vampire Weekend and Lorde. I’ve always been really inspired by his production and playing and I feel lucky to have had him lend his talents. 🙂