40 Under 40 2019 | Jake Basden

Jake Basden joined Big Machine in 2011 as a publicist who could take the music label to the next level. The results speak for themselves. Today, Big Machine is the No. 1 independent record label in the world, earning multiple No. 1 records and over 100 award nominations.

In his current role as Big Machine’s SVP, publicity and corporate communications, Basden leads a team of five people who collectively run corporate and talent relations for over 35 artists, including Sheryl Crow. He’s also been instrumental in positioning founder Scott Borchetta and the label itself as leaders in the space, including helping Big Machine become the first label to make Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list. Recently, Basden produced the music video for Jennifer Nettles’ I Can Do Hard Things, which aired on Today in March 2019.

During his eight-year tenure at Big Machine, Basden helped launch the careers of a number of emerging artists, such as Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett. A natural mentor, he enjoys and excels at helping new artists understand the world of communications and media, taking the time to educate them on ethics, policies and best practices. 

He has also worked to promote a range of media-trained superstars, from Reba McEntire to the queen of country and then pop, Taylor Swift. He was on the communications team behind Swift’s last three record-breaking albums: Red, 1989 and Reputation.

In 2018, the Country Music Association named him Publicist of the Year. 

  • After working as a freelance PR consultant while attending the University of Oklahoma, Basden took home second place in PRWeek's coveted Student of the Year competition in 2006. 
  • In addition to his demanding day job, Basden found the time to develop a gym bag built around "tactical fitness," which is expected to launch December 2019. 
  • Basden is actively involved with his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, and sits on the journalism school's board of visitors. He gave the school's commencement address in 2017.

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