As a record producer following the enormous success of Lady Gaga, I was left a bit stumped. How could I ever follow this project up with something that would not only measure up with the commercial success of Gaga but that would more importantly bring my creative journey to a new level.
I would sit some days in the studio and stare at the four white walls as the emails of countless new artists submissions would pour in. It was as if I was condemned to "new artist" purgatory. They all looked the same. They all sounded as if their musical palette was comprised of nothing pre-autotune. Everyone was singing completely on the beat, or even worse; they were ahead of the beat.
What happened while I was locked down in development mode with Gaga from 2006-2009? Was my time up? Had I peaked and was it time to close up shop?
Sure I fought it. I would try to convince myself that I could supplement the missing pieces of all the newcomers who claimed they were the next one.
A thousand meetings. Hundreds of recording sessions. New songs. New tracks. Countless studio hours.
I needed a wake-up call. No I needed a wake-up sledgehammer!
And one evening it came! Cary Nokey was born on February 26, 2013. And in one night I was reborn.
The morning of the 26th. A song appeared from nowhere. Straight into my soul right out of my fingers into my laptop recording software.
"Master of None" was the track.
I felt that Depeche Mode had taken over my body, kind of like the scene in Ghost where the "stuck" Patrick Swayze steps into the body of Whoopi Goldberg. "I could be a king, queen, night... Master of none..."
I could hear the whole thing in my head... Clear as day.
But could I pull off the vocal. That night I decided to bring it all to life. I booked a studio in downtown NYC.
Words that someone said to me a few weeks prior had been ringing in my ear, "Do you remember the time back when New York City had a pulse ?"
Where was the music of New York? CBGBs was gone. Nothing came close to even resembling what we knew as Studio 54. Where was the 80's culture, community, fashion and diversity that decade had gifted us with?
It wasn't time for me to reinvent the wheel... it was time for me to live again. Through the music, through the love and the pain. It was time to tell my story... In song.
This time it couldn't be writing for someone else. This time the story and the music had to come directly from me; it had to be from my lips to your ears!!! It was time for Rob Fusari to take the stage. It was time to accumulate all the years of cultivating his artists into superstars and turn the table.
But Rob Fusari wasn't the name... As I named Lady Gaga after what was my favorite song of all time "radio gaga," I too needed to be reborn; 8 Bit was so obvious that it didn't take a second thought.
I have produced records for 15 years and the one thing that had remained consistent was that I always needed to distort certain elements in my productions. It was my way of finding analog in an overly immerse digital world.
I would degrade many elements in the mix to 8 Bit, usually taken down from 16 or 24 bit, the reduction would cause a smearing warm effect over the particular audio elements I would apply the reduction to.
It became my own little go-to "trick" and I used it on everything. Vocals, drums, bass... everything. Sometimes I would even put it on the entire overall mix! I was 8 Bit.
My life has been love and distortion. I am warm but blurred. Nothing has ever been clear or precise in my life. I was a walking bit reduction... I am 8 Bit!