10 Questions with ... Larry Khan
September 23, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) Before you got into the music industry, didn't you try stand-up comedy?
Yes. I did stand-up in Atlanta and NY in the '80s. While I never was able to make a living doing it, I did have some mild success and it was a great experience. You realize that the funny Uncle at Thanksgiving is NOT what makes a good stand-up. It's noticing the oddities in life and being fearless in making fun of your own life that makes you funny. Of course, a funny mannerism or voice will help but ultimately it's about letting your guard down. You also realize how hard it is to write funny material. It takes six months to come up with 15 good minutes.
2) How did you get your start in the music business?
My passion for music drove me and I had excellent family connections
3) What do you think the foundation of your business success has been?
Strangely enough, I would say my family upbringing had a lot to do with it. My parents instilled in me traits that help me even to this day. Punctuality, follow-through, attention to detail, completing a task, common courtesy can all be traced to doing your homework on time or taking out the garbage without being asked or just being responsible for walking the dog. I know it sounds crazy, but I didn't get that in college and those are some of the most basic business skills.
4) Interscope continues to give us great music; what do we have to look forward to from you for the rest of this year from Urban?
Kendrick, Rico Love, Rae Sremmurd, K Camp, Keyshia Cole, Tiara Thomas, French Montana, Schoolboy Q and Jasmine V. We are on course to build an Urban roster to rival that of any label
5) A know there is a list, but who are some of the people that have influenced and mentored your career?
Of course, my father -- Luther Terry, Scotty Andrews, Barry Weiss, Varnell Johnson,
6) I know you love baseball and golf, tell us why and could you share some of your favorite memories of both?
The competition. The fun. The memories. Sports and music can be markers in your life. Little league, stickball. Sixth-grade cutting school to go to a matinee Yankee game and sneak down from the bleachers to the box seats. At 20 years old, a Chris Chambliss HR to win the Yankees a pennant. Being there to see the Yankees win the World Series in '96 against the Braves. And then stinking up many, many golf courses in my late 30s until I finally broke 90 well into my 40s.
7) How have things changed for women in the music industry?
That mirrors real life and society. I started watching "Mad Men" recently and it's stunning to really remember and see the transformation of the office place from the '60s to today. Harassment in the office was common and not even behind someone's back. I'm sure there is still work to be done but Sam Selowane and Juliette Jones are as good as it gets
8) What does a typical work day entail for you?
- Analyze MB numbers
- Make calls
- More calls
- Go home
9) How do you see the future for Urban Music and what would you like to see Urban radio do?
I've seen enough to know that all genres have their ups and downs. Urban is always there at the top consistently. From rock to disco to grunge and now rap in one shape or form, Urban always and WILL ALWAYS be competitive.
As far as Urban radio and radio in general, I'd like to see more personality. The public can get music anywhere nowadays. What's in between the music can help radio survive. Make me laugh, make me angry, make me think ... entertain me. That's what a WAV file can't do.
10) Could you tell us what you are most proud of? Career and or personally.
- My kids
- My integrity and good karma
- My longevity
- The long list of artists that I've worked with
What is the most important thing for someone wanting to get into music promotions?
Can you tell us some of the myths about the record industry that are not true?
We all do drugs
Could you give us some of the most important lessons you have learned along your career path?
- Stay true to who you are. Be yourself. The personality that worked for my father could not have worked for me.
- Basic qualities of good business never get old.
- Embrace change
- There are more records that peak at 20 than go #1. Survival. Live to fight another day