After Nick Fradiani prevailed over fellow Final 2 contestant, Clark Beckham, for the American Idol crown Wednesday night, mentor, Scott Borchetta sat down with Billboard to talk about Nick’s win, his upcoming album, and more.
Scott elaborated a little on the game plan for Nick’s post-Idol debut. It appears that a record WON’T be rushed out to the public. This is a markedly different strategy 19 and Interscope took with last year’s winner, Caleb Johnson. The season 14 winner wrote and recorded songs in a few short weeks for a record that was shipped out in August. No single, no tour. Scott, on the other hand, has already sent Nick’s single out to radio. And he’s busy looking for more songs like it.
Well, I think right now, the single is already out. We’re literally sending the single out tonight to all radio and it’s on. So as far as the album goes, we want to make sure that it’s about the music first. We could rush in … [but] that’s not how we roll. We’re going to make sure that we have great songs and we’re going to do our best. We’re going to do what we always try to do at the Big Machine Label Group and make sure the music comes first. I really think we have a great single to start with. I think “Beautiful Life” won him the competition. As JLo and Harry said, “This is absolutely a wash — that Nick sang that original song like he’d been singing it for years.” It sounded great and thousands of people have already downloaded it. So we’ve got to find more songs like that. Chris Carrabba who is the writer from Dashboard Confessional, he’s going crazy. He’s sending me songs and just texted me, “Oh my God. My son won American Idol.” I talked to Stephan Moccio this morning. I don’t’ now if you know who he is but he’s the writer of The Weeknd’s song ‘Earned It.” And he’s got songs. I’m going to go everywhere I can. My team is going to be on a mad song hunt to make sure that we have great songs. The mission really is just getting started for Big Machine.
But will Nick have the opportunity to write his own songs?
Nick is actually a really good songwriter and I’ve heard a couple of things that are absolutely recording worthy. So I think that there’s a good possibility. And believe me, we’re always drawn towards singer/songwriters. If you look at most of our roster, we’ve got great singer/songwriters. I’m always attracted to that. So we’ll definitely encourage him but at the end of the day, the best song wins.
It will be interesting to see how that pans out. Nick said in an interview with reporters today that he feels his strength lies in songwriting. I don’t think he’ll be happy singing other people’s tunes for very long. There is always the opportunity to collaborate, however.
And it looks like bad news for Jax and Clark Beckham, 3rd place and runner-up respectively, the focus will be squarely on the winner, Nick. It appears that they WON’T be signed to label deals. At least not right now.
At this point right now, it’s all about the winner. We do have an option with the entire Top 10 with 19 Entertainment, our partners, but right now we are going to focus on Nick and the tour.
Scott also reiterated to Billboard what he told Taste of Country about returning for American Idol’s 15th and final season. “If the show’s going to be about nostalgia, then really it’s not going to make sense for us to be a part of it.” Scott says he’d only consider a return if the show wants to find “One last great American Idol.”
“If I come back, that means that I put my time and money on the line to find a great artist,” he said.