FITZ (from Fitz & The Tantrums) is gearing up to drop music on his own, but his life at home has been far from tantrum-less.
With the release of his solo debut "Head Up High," the 50-year-old, born Michael Fitzpatrick, talks to PEOPLE about the "crazy ride" of quarantining with his wife Kaylee DeFer and their three boys: Theo, 7, Sebastian Danger, 3 ½, and Rémy, 18 months.
Staying home during the pandemic became the first time that he was able to spend lengthy quality time with his Gossip Girl wife and his three boys.
"It's been stressful," he admits. "We've got a family here at home, so we're 24/7 trying to take care of the little human beings and keep them sane and keep us all happy."
The musician says he's been able to bond with his children in a "way we would have never experienced otherwise."
"They're all so unique and amazing and challenging," he says about his boys. "As any parent knows, you just go through phases with these little humanoids."
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"We try to go on hikes and connect with nature," he says. "And the thing is the world has gotten smaller for all of us, and I think it's also shown us what's really important and what we need."
The Fitzpatricks also have a perfect nightly ritual for the creative family: "We just blast some music to just shake off the stress and the anxiety, and just the constant wear and tear of being in a lockdown scenario."
The "HandClap" star also says that he's been able to see his kids' personalities. His youngest is definitely the "singer" of the three boys.
"My wife always says he's the singer of the band because he never stopped singing and screaming and being loud," he says, laughing. "And he's the third one. He's got to make sure his voice is heard above his two brothers."
Oh, and his 3-year-old is in the "tantrum phase."
"He's an amazing human being, and we're just getting to know his personality more and more as he grows up," he says of their second child, aptly nicknamed Bashy Danger. "But he's definitely been known to throw a tantrum or two."
Fitz adds that his wife is an "amazing chef" and that the family has even spent time making their own sourdough bread.
"It's non-stop for us all day, every day," he says about being with the kids (his oldest is dealing with attending school from home). "I think it's really pushed myself and my wife to [go] deeper in terms of having patience and understanding. I think it's really taught me patience and empathy and sensitivity to these kids and to our friends."
"My wife used to be on Gossip Girl and she's finished that show. She's been another amazing example of going from being a TV star to a mother full-time and doing it with such grace and love," he adds.
"And in this pandemic, it's pushed us even to a whole 'nother level of having to be present and being keen together as a family."
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Along with bonding with his family, FITZ says the pandemic has allowed him to relate to other people like never before.
"I talk to anybody on FaceTime, I even just look at somebody standing on the corner of the street and I can feel the weight of everybody around me," he says. "I can look at a stranger on the street and relate to them in a way that I wouldn't before."
"I think it just also reminds us all that we're all in this together and we're going to come out of it together if we all work together," he adds. "There's something really powerful about us all being reminded that we are one species trying to make it through on this planet together."
FITZ’ new song "Head Up High" is out now.
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