Watch HNHH's extended interview with Strange Music CEO Travis Oguin.
HNHH sat down for an illuminating interview with Strange Music CEO Travis O'Guin to discuss his history with Tech N9ne and what it takes to be successful as an independent artist or label.
A successful businessman in the furniture and real estate industries, O'Guin recognized that Tech N9ne's talent was being mismanaged and partnered up with him to form Strange Music around 2000. A believer in the Japanese business philosophy that the middleman should be cut out, O'Guin built a Strange Music studio and started making all merch in-house.
"The times in which we had a middleman, somebody between us and our money, were the times that weren't so pleasant," he said.
O'Guin detailed the difficulties of being an independent rap label, which were much greater in the early '00s than they are today, and laid out a template for what it takes to be successful as an independent.
"This is more than about money, liquor, weed, bitches," he said. "It's about music first... When you are truly and wholly in control of it, and you care about it, and you won't take no for an answer and you won't give up and you won't fail, that's really what Tech and I are all about."