A Santa Fe newcomer and musician, Alley is putting together local musicians and filmmakers for a project dubbed Right Outside Records. What sets Right Outside apart from mainstream labels is its mission: musical quality, not monetary quantity.
“Anyone is welcome to get in on it, but they can’t expect to have us do all the work,” Alley tells SFR. “It’s a collective, and you get out what you put in.”
In other words, Right Outside—“The name comes from my desire to be just outside the mainstream but still do right by the artists,” Alley explains—will work with musicians, but musicians must be willing to give back to the collective.
“Say, for example, we record a piano prodigy,” Alley says. “That’s great for the pianist, but now I want them to be on my album.”
This idea emphasizes community and also creates a hub for musician networking and cross-promotion. These benefits would ring throughout the scene by helping bands realize that supporting local music extends beyond self-promotion. I mean, you’d have more incentive to promote other acts if you appeared on their albums, wouldn’t you? A scene divided cannot stand and, once musicians give up self-centered notions about who deserves what or who is better than whom, the talent and support can only expand. Plus, these benefits are passed directly to the life-blood of every scene: the fans.
One of the coolest aspects of Right Outside is Alley’s main goal to support music and community. Instead of claiming the bulk of the profits, Right Outside will only recoup costs and will split the rest of the proceeds equally among the artists. I almost choked on this info, especially given how unfair the mainstream record industry is to musicians.
“Ideally, we’d be able to garner enough support to reach nonprofit status,” Alley says, “and maybe even offer some kind of health insurance, similar to what Health Alliance for Austin Musicians does for artists. That would be amazing.”
Right Outside currently has several tracks recorded for its upcoming debut release, a sampler of local bands—including The Family Coal—involved with the collective.
“Santa Fe has been amazing in terms of everyone being more than willing to offer help and time, but getting people to commit to recording has been kind of challenging,” Alley tells SFR.
Though the bands and musicians involved thus far are of the Americana/country/folk persuasion, Alley says Right Outside is open to anything.
“We’d do metal if the band was good, and willing to be part of something and help the collective.”
In addition to the sampler, Alley has plans for a documentary about Santa Fe music.
“I want to do what Buena Vista Social Club did for Cuba, but for Santa Fe. There’s an endless wealth of talent, and not only do we deserve the attention, but people out in the world need to hear it,” Alley says.
Santa Fe musicians absolutely deserve recognition. Though a handful of bands from Santa Fe have made it big, that wasn’t until they moved elsewhere. Right Outside Records is on the cusp of something brilliant; it’s not the solution but it’s certainly a progressive stepping stone on the path to getting Santa Fe’s scene to where it ought to be.
Follow SFR music news on Twitter: @SFRsA_Sharp