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Marty Khan: Outward Visionary

By Published: July 5, 2011
AAJ: Regarding knowing what to do, traditional wisdom would suggest that you would shop the album around to a label. What is your strategy now?

MK: To tell you the truth, this is something of a crapshoot. This was our goal, to complete the album. Out of the Box is more in line with an old LP because of its length, which is why we're selling it at a lower list price. My concern with shopping it is that there are really only one to three labels I'd really want it to be a part of. The primary label, of course, was Nonesuch Records, because to me they're the best on every single level. I'd say that 90 percent of the records I've bought in the past five years were Nonesuch releases. They have incredible business mechanisms and an amazing sense of devotion to their artists. In my experience, my three artist dealings with them on every level were the best business experiences that I'd ever had with the recording industry. To me, it would have been ideal, but the chances of getting hooked in were one-tenth of one percent of a chance, and didn't work out. We have a couple of other ideas we're looking into, but we're forging ahead on our own anyway, knowing we can always pull up the stakes if something viable should materialize. Plus, Rahe has dozens of other songs as great as the ones on the CD and is writing new ones consistently.

So we all decided to release it on Outward Visions, and I'm extremely proud to have it be our first release. Also, I enjoy starting a record label as the entire business is falling apart, which is that same contrary nature I mentioned earlier. The idea is that we're going to approach this organically. We're getting excellent response here in Tucson already, with good radio play and nice focus in press and record stores. Now we are approaching other geographically accessible cities like Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Phoenix, and laying further groundwork in radio play, et cetera, and also reaching out to other fans throughout the United States by what we used to call "The Drum" and [what] is now operating as social networking. We just began working with Ariel Hyatt, the prime innovator in Cyber PR, to build our base further.

Outward Visions has helped to launch a number of careers over the years, so we have people in a lot of fields in the industry that we're reaching out to. We've also nurtured a lot of professionals in the business, and now we're calling on them, not to do us a favor, but to listen to this unique artist who is the first client we've taken on in 15 years. And we're developing step by step. You can't replicate the successes of other artists, and so everything will happen in a different manner by necessity.

Since we are directing the traffic to our sales mechanism to buy the album, we can track everything clearly. That allows us to build a committed fan base, develop performance opportunities and so forth, in much the same manner as we did for our artists back in the 1970s and 1980s. Technology changes, but the essence stays the same. Every piece of promotional material directs people to our website, where the profit margin is the greatest. As she resonates with people more and more, I expect that people will knock on the door and ask to start carrying the product. As that happens, we'll take each call as it comes and develop it as organically as we developed the music.

It's a different kind of approach, but that's how we've always approached things.

Photo Credit
Pages 1, 5: Courtesy of Rahe
Page 6: Courtesy of Marty Khan

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