Michael Fitzpatrick (musician)

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For other people named Michael Fitzpatrick, see Michael Fitzpatrick (disambiguation).
Michael Fitzpatrick
Michael Fitzpatrick 2014.jpg
Fitzpatrick in 2014
Background information
Birth name Michael Sean Fitzpatrick
Born (1970-07-21) July 21, 1970 (age 46)
Montluçon, France
Origin Los Angeles, California
Genres Indie pop, neo-soul
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano
Labels Dangerbird
Associated acts Fitz and The Tantrums

Michael Sean "Fitz" Fitzpatrick (born July 21, 1970) is a French-born American musician who is the lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the neo-soul/indie pop band Fitz and The Tantrums.

Fitz and The Tantrums were heralded as a "band to watch" in an April 2011 profile in Rolling Stone.[1] Their 2010 debut full-length album Pickin' Up the Pieces has received critical acclaim and reached #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.[2] They have performed their hit single "MoneyGrabber" on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, on TBS' Conan and on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. They have also performed their song "Don't Gotta Work It Out" on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Life and career[edit]

Born July 21,[3] 1970 in Montluçon, France,[4] Fitzpatrick grew up in Los Angeles, California. His father, Robert Fitzpatrick, is Irish-American and his mother, Sylvie, is French. He attended the L.A. County High School for the Arts, studying vocal music, and then studied experimental film at the California Institute of the Arts,[5] where he met fellow band member James King. Although he now composes primarily on the piano and organ, he only had formal piano training later in life. He has said, "I'd always been a decent singer, but I got frustrated by my inability to play piano by anything more than by ear. I took piano lessons when I was 32, and it opened up a whole new vocabulary for me."[6] Fitzpatrick grew up mostly listening to classical music, as he was discouraged from listening to other music styles in the household. One concession, however, was being allowed to listen to a local oldie radio station in the car driving to and from school.[7]

After college he worked for many years behind the scenes as a sound engineer for producer Mickey Petralia, who produced Beck, Ladytron, Flight of the Conchords, and The Dandy Warhols.[8]

In late 2008, Fitzpatrick received a call from an ex-girlfriend to tell him about a neighbor who needed to unload a church organ for $50.[1] Fitzpatrick told her to pay the neighbor the $50 and arranged to have the organ moved to his apartment that same day. That evening, inspired by the organ, he wrote the song "Breakin' the Chains of Love". He has stated, "I immediately knew it was the best song I'd written. I could astral plane out and hear myself, like, 'wow!' Not bad!".[1] Fitzpatrick decided to form a band, and contacted friend and saxophonist James King. Through phone calls they assembled the band, with King recommending singer Noelle Scaggs and drummer John Wicks, and Wicks in turn bringing in bassist Ethan Phillips and keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna.[6] The band met for its first rehearsal a week later and instantly clicked.

In interviews he has emphasized his eclectic musical tastes. He has said, "We [the band] all have a love affair with soul and funk music. For me, it’s obviously Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, all that stuff. My musical taste runs the gamut from Radiohead to Zeppelin to Major Lazer. My older brother was really into '80s new wave, so a lot of the first records I got to borrow and steal were his."[9]

In May 2013, it was announced that Fitzpatrick was expecting a child with his then girlfriend, actress Kaylee DeFer.[10] DeFer gave birth to their son, Theodore Ignatius Fitzpatrick, in September 2013.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Band to Watch: Fitz and the Tantrums Put a Modern Spin on Motown". Rolling Stone. 12 Apr 2011. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011. 
  2. ^ Fitz & the Tantrums at Billboard.com
  3. ^ "Its Fitz's Birthday Today! Send him your Happys !". Twitter/FitzAndTantrums. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "File-O-Facts: Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz And The Tantrums". AltSounds. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Method of modern love - Deconstructing the soul-fueled fervor for Fitz & the Tantrums". Colorado Springs Independent (Colorado Springs). 2 Jun 2011. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Fitz & the Tantrums: Finding plenty of soul mates". Buzz Bands (Los Angeles). 17 Jun 2010. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011. 
  7. ^ "Fitz and The Tantrums Interview With UTARadio.com". 6 Dec 2009. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011. 
  8. ^ Korina Lopez (February 13, 2011). "On the verge: Fitz & the Tantrums channel the Motown spirit". USA Today. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011. 
  9. ^ ""Fitz and the Tantrums' Music Draws a Lot from Motown." - Interview". Zoiks Online. 22 Jun 2011. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011. 
  10. ^ Eggenberger, Nicole (May 8, 2013). "Kaylee DeFer Pregnant: Gossip Girl Actress, 26, Expecting First Child With Boyfriend Michael Fitzpatrick, 42". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  11. ^ Takeda, Allison (September 21, 2013). "Kaylee DeFer Gives Birth to Baby Boy With Boyfriend Michael Fitzpatrick!". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]