Archives For Scott Borchetta

Now that I’ve had a few days to process everything, some news and notes from my first ever GRAMMYs red carpet…

– The GRAMMYs red carpet is reminiscent of one for a big movie premiere in that it’s quite expansive, filled with top level stars, chaotic in spurts and covered by outlets of all shapes and sizes. Jayde Donovan and I were holding down the fort for our radio network, Westwood One. We were towards the end of the media lineup – to our left were The Garden social media team and WWD.com. To our right? A Japanese TV outlet that is clearly big across the Pacific because seemingly everyone stopped or attempted to stop and say hi to them.

– Always appreciate Scott Borchetta, the head of Big Machine Label Group, making a few minutes for us. He joked that NARAS had quite the wildcard on their hands sitting country group Midland in the front row. On a more serious note, he thought Taylor Swift had a good chance in both categories she was nominated, especially Best Country Song for writing Little Big Town’s “Better Man.” She came up empty for that along with “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” from “Fifty Shades Darker” in the Visual Media category, one that Borchetta believed is a “flip of the coin.”

– When we flagged Victor Cruz over and he revealed to Jayde that he was presenting the “Despacito” performance, my first thought was, “Oh, the irony!” Of course, it was two seasons ago that Cruz along with Odell Beckham Jr. and other Giants players flew to Miami the week before a playoff game to hang with Justin Bieber in Miami. Not only would the G-Men lose to the Packers, but some would point to the incident as the reason why Cruz wasn’t brought back to the team.

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– Speaking of “Despacito,” I think anyone and everyone who had anything to do with that song and wasn’t named Justin Bieber was on the red carpet. The producers, the artists, the principle songwriter, the guy who opened the studio door… it was incredible!

– The white roses Jayde and I wore were donated by 1800Flowers.com and the whole movement was championed in part by one of our colleagues, Melony Torres – very cool.

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– It always amazes me that sometime the biggest stars are the ones most generous with their time. With that said, it was cool to see Tony Bennett spend a few minutes chatting with Jayde.

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– Loved catching up with Long Island’s own Hoodie Allen, who told me he knew about his buddy Ed Sheeran’s engagement for a whole and to him and those around Ed it came as no surprise. I wonder if Hoodie is in charge of the bachelor party…

– Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife told us that city officials worked hard to get The GRAMMYs to The Garden. Later, when I asked Recording Academy President Neil Portnow about New York as a host city, he went out of his way to mention the administration sang a rather different tune, stating tonight wasn’t the time to address the challenges working with them.

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Although for me, the best part of our interaction with Mr. Mayor was after I shook his hand, when I told the Boston-born lifelong Red Sox fan, “Let’s go Yankees.”

I’m sure the Mayor appreciated it as much as Mr. Portnow’s comments.

She had never released an album with no country music singles. She had never sent seven singles, all which charted in the top 20 or higher, to pop radio from one album. And now, according to Big Machine Label Founder Scott Borchetta, Taylor Swift is about to do something else for the first time in her career: wait more than two years before releasing her next album.

“I think that if Taylor was standing right beside us… I think everyone knows, her fans especially know that she never stops writing,” Borchetta replied when I asked him if Swift’s most recent LP cycle was finished. “Now is no different than ever. But as far as the album cycle, this will be the first time that we break that “every-two-year” album cycle, and there’s not a time when I call her and say, ‘Hey, pal it’s time to get a record.’”

To say Swift accomplished a lot with “1989” would be an understatement: the seven aforementioned singles including a handful of number one hits, her third straight LP to debut platinum, a GRAMMY for Album Of The Year and a world tour that sold out the biggest venues on the planet.
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“Yunno, she’ll call me. She’ll know when she’s ready,” Borchetta continued. “And then she’ll be the one to announce to the world when the next music is coming.”

The singer broke the norm and called her own shots from start to finish. She revealed details about the album and debuted the single “Shake It Off” with a live-stream from New York on Yahoo. Swift took on one of the biggest companies in the world when Apple didn’t want to pay royalties to artists for the trial period of its new streaming service. Not only did the “Blank Space” artist compel Apple to change its stance, but she then partnered with the company for one of the more hilarious commercials in recent memory.

And don’t forget, before Apple, Swift defined the conversation around streaming services when she pulled her catalog from non-premium sites such as Spotify’s free, ad-supported version.

“#Taylurking” became a thing when the LP dropped and with it, Swift redefined how artists in this day and age interact with their fans. She commented on their Tumblr posts, replied to them on Instagram, mailed them gifts and invited them to her house for secret listening sessions.

But perhaps most profoundly, in the era of the “selfie,” she showed her fans that having a group of friends (“squad goals”) is cool. This notion was even on display with the album cycle as well: the cameo-filled music video for “Bad Blood” featured many of her “squad-mates” and won the top categories at both The GRAMMYs and The MTV Video Music Awards.

Right to the end, Swift attempted to delineate how albums (which she stressed to me in 2014 are still something of both importance and value) are marketed. “New Romantics” was the seventh single from the LP. It wasn’t even on the main album listing as it served as a bonus track, yet still cracked the top 20 on pop radio.

So yes, Swift has dropped an album every two years since her 2006 debut and we’re probably not getting one in 2016. But even if her “Swifties” have to wait a little longer than normal for Swift’s next project, it’s not like this last one will be going out of style anytime soon.