Rising Women On The Row Spotlight: 5 Questions With BMLG’s Sandi Spika Borchetta

Sandi Spika Borchetta

MusicRow Magazine’s eighth annual Rising Women on the Row event will be held Tuesday, March 26, at Omni Hotel Nashville.

This year’s honorees include Sandi Spika Borchetta (Big Machine Label Group, Sr. VP Creative), Janine Ebach (Curb|Word Music Publishing, VP), Kelly Janson (Kelly Janson Management, Manager), Meredith Jones (Creative Artists Agency, Agent), Lenore Kinder (Paradigm Talent Agency, Agent), and Jennifer Turnbow (NSAI, Sr. Director of Operations).

Leading up to the event, MusicRow is spotlighting each honoree with a brief Q&A.

Sandi Spika Borchetta oversees all visual elements for the Big Machine Label Group including more than 25 music video releases in 2018 alone, which garnered seven No. 1 CMT clips. Big Machine Label Group music videos overseen by Borchetta have garnered over 4.5 billion views. With more than two decades of experience in the music industry, she may be most noted for designing Taylor Swift’s 2009 “Love Story” gown, in addition to Reba McEntire’s “Red Dress,” worn during the 1993 CMA Awards and revived at the 2018 ACM Awards, now a part of the permanent collection at the Country Music Hall of Fame. That artistry recently found her inducted in the Tennessee State Museum Costume and Textile Institute for design work with additional artists including Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Rogers, LaToya Jackson, Carly Pearce and Sheryl Crow. Honored in 2014 as Billboard’s Women in Music. Charitably, she oversees the Music Has Value brand and Fund, which was part of the 2017 Starkey Hearing Foundation Humanitarian of the Year honors, and serves on the board of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She additionally contributes to the TJ Martell Foundation, American Cancer Research, City of Hope, MusiCares, and General Mills’ Outnumber Hunger initiative.

MusicRow: What is the biggest lesson on leadership you have learned in your career?

Luck is 95% HARD WORK…encourage your team to stay focused and work hard. Select good people. Don’t be afraid of someone more talented than you to be on your team.

Help others achieve their goals, their course of action, and to believe in themselves and their future. Teach others to write down goals but most importantly etch them onto the inside of your eyelids. Every day, every hour…every time you blink… there they are… etched on your eyelids! Recognize the finish line and celebrate success with your team….then hit “repeat.”

MR: Who has been one of your biggest mentors and what has he or she taught you?

I was fortunate to tour and work side by side with Reba McEntire for over 13 years as her designer and stylist. Reba has been a huge influence in my life in many ways. Her drive, work ethic, down-to-earth nature and ability to make everyone feel comfortable is the best in the business. I appreciate and love her so much.

Scott Borchetta is a significant mentor. One of his notorious mottos is, “Start with crazy and work backwards.” He encourages you to think big and don’t stop trying until you have exhausted all avenues! I love our life, working relationship, and journey together.

MR: Describe a time that you took a big risk in your career, and how did it pay off?

Every time I pitch a creative idea, I’m taking a risk! Designing creative elements required within the entertainment industry means constantly pitching ideas. I’ve never been afraid to dedicate time and money toward a project I believed in, and I’ll work endless hours to make it work. It means putting your heart, mind, and talent on the line. One of my favorite risk-taking challenges is designing custom garments for film, music videos, live performances, red carpets, and award shows. Many factors contribute to the success such as lighting, staging, fit, materials, motion. It all has to work together. You’re putting your skill on the line and risking acceptance. Success of a production, be it a live performance, music video, etc., is magical. The payoff is priceless not just for myself, but for the entire team, the artist and fans. Creating visual collateral is very rewarding and if done right, your art lives forever within videos, film, packaging, photographs. I enjoy the risk, the challenge, and the opportunity to work with talented performers and our amazing team at Big Machine Label Group to create experiences that touch hearts and contribute to entertainment and music history.

MR: As Nashville continues to grow and evolve, what changes in the music industry excite you the most?

Production companies and various trades I deal with outside of Nashville now believe that our creative teams here are just as strong and talented as they are anywhere. Nashville has always had amazing video directors, directors of photography, photographers, stylists, glam teams, graphic designers. Now, with Nashville booming, production teams from other cities believe it and everyone wants to move and work here! Nashville is hot. It’s always been a special place to the country music industry but now it has the attention of the world. It’s very exciting to see the growth and talent of new business platforms. The accelerated speed of networking, social media, and content sharing is very exciting and presents an open highway to creatively invent new methods to share music and art.

MR: Favorite Nashville place to hold a business meeting/lunch?

Honestly…my favorite place is the backyard at our house! The history of the architecture is very surreal and enchanting! Bring food in and breathe the fresh air! I also love Taco Mamacita. I’m a sucker for chips and salsa.

(City National Bank, Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, and Loeb & Loeb are again the Presenting Sponsors for the 2019 Rising Women on the Row.)

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at jnicholson@musicrow.com.

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