I was fired from one job when I got too involved in the creative end. I was spending time on the road with the artists while the executives were staying in their offices. But you can’t stay in an office and know what’s going on in this industry; you have to be on the street and see what moves people.
I started Big Machine Records in 2005 because I thought I could run a record label more efficiently than I’d see others do. If you look at the people who started the big labels, they all gambled. The first artist I signed was Taylor Swift. I met her in 2004 when I was still at Universal. The Swift family sent me a package with a demo record, and I was fascinated. Shortly afterward, I signed Danielle Peck, who had been dropped by another label, and Jack Ingram, a Texas artist.
Not everyone in the industry would have taken a chance on a young female artist like Taylor. I was not getting calls from country radio stations saying, “Do you have any teenage female singers?” But I felt there was opportunity in country music for talented young women.
Congrats, Scott. A wonderful profile.
Country music is blessed to have you helping to guide us through these exciting times in our business.