(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) – Country superstar Toby Keith and Nashville record exec Scott Borchetta have come together to form a joint label venture under the slogan, “The only thing we take seriously is the music.” The new company will launch September 1st.
The label, which will remain unnamed until a press conference on Wednesday, August 31, has already assembled an A-list staff, signed a handful of artists, and secured a major distribution deal, according to Billboard.
Keith has sold 21 million albums throughout his career in the U.S., but the new venture marks his departure from longtime label DreamWorks records. After losing their biggest selling act of the time, major changes are also being predicted for DreamWorks in the coming days.
In an unusual set-up, the new project will be structured as an umbrella company housing two separate labels: Keith’s and Borchetta’s. The latter will be known as Big Machine Records. The labels will share office space and resources in a Music Row building owned by Borchetta, and will also share most of their staff, including the promotion team.
Each executive will sign their own acts to their respective labels. Keith has already signed bandmate and songwriting partner Scott Emerick, who also previously had a deal on DreamWorks. Keith told Billboard that he’s received numerous phone calls from other “major artists in play” who are interested in joining his roster. Keith will also record for the label himself.
Borchetta has signed Jack Ingram, who previously recorded for the Rising Tide and Lucky Dog labels. Big Machine will release a live album from Ingram on November 1.
Also on Big Machine already are singer/songwriters Danielle Peck and Taylor Swift.
Borchetta predicts that the combined roster for the two labels will eventually top out at seven to ten acts. He also told Billboard that while they will focus on primarily being country labels, neither he nor Keith will rule out branching into other genre’s for the right acts.
“We’re going to be an independent,” Keith told the magazine, “but smell, walk, talk, look and record like a major.”
He said he weighed his options, and decided that in starting his own label, “We could do some groundbreaking stuff in the music industry. We’re looking forward to getting it on.”
The magazine noted that Keith still owed DreamWorks one more album under his contract with the label. Asked how he got out of making it, Keith said, “I made them an offer they couldn’t understand.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers