Big Machine Label Group
Location: Nashville, TN
Scott Borchetta started Big Machine Records in 2005, certain that he could run a record label more efficiently than he had seen others attempt before him. The first to sign as an artist under the new label was a young singer/songwriter Borchetta had met in 2004.
- Big Machine Records
- The Valory Music Co.
- Republic Nashville
- Music licensing
What to Expect
While still at Universal, Borchetta received a demo record from a young female musician—he was fascinated. Though there was a risk in signing an unknown teen country artist as the first to his roster, the gamble has paid off considerably. Taylor Swift’s self-titled debut album hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums list and No. 5 on the Billboard 200. Big Machine’s new artist followed up with her second album, Fearless, which received four Grammys in 2010, including Album of the Year. Billboard named Swift the most financially successful music artist of 2011, earning more than $35 million. Not bad for a gamble.
Since the label’s inception, Big Machine has added several more artists, including Rascal Flatts, Edens Edge, and Ella Mae Bowen. In 2007, Big Machine Label Group expanded to include a new imprint: Valory Music Co. Seven months into its life, Valory had its first #1 album with Jewel’s Perfectly Clear. The label later signed artists such as Reba McEntire, Justin Moore, and Brantley Gilbert. In association with Universal Republic, Borchetta founded Republic Nashville, the first imprint under Big Machine Label Group, signing major country artist Martina McBride.
Headquartered on Music Row in Nashville, Big Machine has the feel of a boutique label. The company intentionally keeps the artist rosters short, insisting on personal attention. Borchetta was once fired from a record label executive gig for spending too much time on the road with the bands, but that hands-on approach is exactly why Big Machine succeeds. A senior leadership of about 50 people oversees all aspects of operations for the three labels, including areas of A&R, creative services, promotions and marketing, publicity, and interactive media.
Unpaid college internships are frequently offered to juniors and seniors eligible for college credit. Structured programs are available during fall, winter, spring, and summer semesters and are segmented into areas that include radio promotions, A&R, creative services, and new media, among others. Interns are guided through an opportunity to gain hands-on experience within one of three record labels, observing and participating in a wide range of label activities under the mentorship of the staff. Big Machine looks for students who demonstrate a strong interest in the music industry and possess a strong work ethic. Particularly important to the label staff is the internship applicant’s ability to keep their fandom in check when artists are roaming the halls. No geeking out.
Those interested in opportunities within the Big Machine Label Group can visit the company’s official website for specific information regarding current available positions and internship application requirements.
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