Nico Fazio, aged 18, calls himself “unteachable,” as he pushes the envelope of creativity through music.
The young producer began making music when he was just 13-years-old. He mentions that while in tenth grade, “I talked to more producers than I talked to friends.”
Since then, he has worked with dozens of industry professionals in order to make a name for himself and to be creative in his own right.
“I just didn’t want to play ‘Hot Crossed Buns,’” says Fazio about taking music lessons as a kid. “I didn’t want to play what somebody else was telling me to play, I wanted to play my own stuff.”
He follows a motto similar to that of Alec Baldwin in the film, Glengarry Glen Ross, in which he preaches to “always be closing,” a term used in retail which means to constantly look for new prospects. Frankly, Fazio says that he needs to keep busy: “I can’t not do anything. I always have to be occupied in terms of creativity, I always have to be doing something.”
The musician is defined by his persistence to create, and continues to push the boundaries often seen as limiting to youth in the industry.
The discovery of his place in the music scene came to him while switching between stations on the radio. “I wasn’t paying attention to the lyrics, I was paying attention to the beat behind the vocals,” he explains.
Fazio calls the current state of the music industry “brutal.” The biggest drawback being notable singers using his work without providing him with credit.
To combat this, he now releases music under his own name, while listing collaborators as “featured” in the titles of his tracks. In order to make these connections, he prefers “meeting people and forming a relationship with them,” rather than doing so online.
Now a business student at The University of Windsor, Nico attributes his interest in this area of study to his career in music.
“As a producer, I was making deals online, even if it was for a few dollars… I’ve learned a lot about people, and how I should do business with them.”
Though not his main focus, Fazio harkens a clothing brand featuring his namesake that he has witnessed grow into something he never thought possible. His apparel has circulated so deeply within his hometown of Windsor, that, as his own distributor, he says, “it’s like people are buying [the apparel]off of each other now.”
Fazio has previously joined forces with artists like New York City resident, Creative Gold, and The X-Factor alum, Astronomical Kid. He is signed with Esot3rik Distribution, where his music is published to online streaming platforms, iTunes and Spotify.
Future projects include a music streaming app for producers, and a collaboration with local Windsor vocalist, Dante Marra.
The beat-maker’s ultimate advice is to go against the dollar: “if you’re going to get into music, don’t do it for the money. Do it for the passion.”
Story by Joe Steiner, @Interestein
Follow Nico Fazio on Twitter: @NF_ZIO