When CTV’s highly anticipated new music series The Launch premieres in January it will be thanks to a collaboration between Bell Media and music maverick Scott Borchetta. As the head of Big Machine Records, Borchetta has been responsible for discovering and launching the careers of some of country music’s biggest artists. Actually, country and pop. Taylor Swift can do it all.
With one of the best ears in music, it makes sense that not only will Borchetta be behind the scenes on The Launch, but he’ll also be on camera working as a mentor to up and coming Canadian musical acts. But before we get to see Borchetta in action on The Launch, let’s get to know the talented A&R executive.
Don’t miss the series premiere of The Launch on Wednesday, January 10 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV and CTV GO.
1. The first artist he signed to Big Machine Records was Taylor Swift
After spending years working in the Nashville music industry, Borchetta decided to branch out on his own and start Big Machine Records music label. While most labels struggle for years under the big budgets of major labels, Borchetta’s label was able to quickly thrive thanks to his discovery of a 15-year-old singer from Pennsylvania. Borchetta not only signed the then-unknown Taylor Swift to a record deal, a move many other labels had passed on, he also agreed that the teen should be the lead writer for her material, a deal largely unheard of at the time for a such a new and young artist. It worked out well.
2. Taylor Swift isn’t Big Machine Records only major artist
Although Taylor Swift is the name most synonymous with Borchetta’s music label, Big Machine Records has several impressive country artists on its roster. The label previously worked with Tim McGraw and The Band Perry and is home to Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and Brantley Gilbert.
3. He isn’t new to music shows
Before taking his place as a mentor on his new series The Launch, Scott Borchetta spent two seasons as a mentor on the uber successful singing competition series American Idol. During his time on American Idol’s 14th and 15th seasons, Borchetta was the in-house mentor and worked with finalists on song choices and performance.
4. The Launch is not the next American Idol
After announcing The Launch, Borchetta spoke with Billboard about how the new CTV series will be different than the reality singing competitions currently on the air. “I think the fact that we’re starting with a song. That’s the game-changer. The reason that Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood worked is because the songs they did on the finale were not the hit singles. The singles from the albums and properly A&Red were the hits, so we’re going to add the A&R first. It’s an A&R-first mission. Great production team, great song and very specific genre, celebrity mentor. Because we’re going to do multiple genres, so we might have one show that’s country, one show that’s pop, one that’s urban and one that’s rock because it’s six shows and all closed-ended. So we’ll launch a single from every episode. All six episodes we’ll launch a single.”
5. He started his career as a musician
Before learning the business at MTM Records and later MCA Nashville Records, DreamWorks Nashville and Universal Music Nashville, Borchetta was an aspiring musician and played in several bands around Nashville.