Tuesday 12 November 2019

Taylor Swift: It’s imperative that songwriting is not tied to my own misery

The US star said that manoeuvring within the music industry as a young woman had been an ‘interesting dance’.

Taylor Swift attending the MTV Video Music Awards 2019 (PA)
Taylor Swift attending the MTV Video Music Awards 2019 (PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Taylor Swift has said it is “imperative” her own “misery” does not become the sole root of her songwriting.

The star, 29, is known for using her friends, lovers and rivals as the basis for songs.

Fans have speculated that some of the US musician’s tracks take aim at Kanye West, who she has publicly feuded with, or lovingly address her relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn.

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Kanye West (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Speaking to Music Week, she said: “I think a lot of writers have the fear of stability, emotional health and happiness.

“Our whole careers, people make jokes about how: ‘Just wait until you meet someone nice, you’ll run out of stuff to write about.’

“I was talking to (Cats director) Tom Hooper about this because he said one thing his mother taught him was: ‘Don’t ever let people tell you that you can’t make art if you’re happy.’

“I thought that was amazing.

“Lover (her latest album) is important to me in so many ways, but it’s so imperative for me as a human being that songwriting is not tied to my own personal misery.

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Joe Alwyn (David Parry/PA)

“It’s good to know that, it really is.”

Swift recently released her seventh album, Lover, and appeared in the film Cats alongside James Corden, Idris Elba and Dame Judi Dench among other stars.

She began her career around 2004 while she was in her teens, meeting music producer Liz Rose after school each week to record country songs together.

Swift said her experience of the music industry as a young woman had been “an interesting dance”.

“It always was and it always will be an interesting dance being a young woman in the music industry,” she said.

“We don’t have a lot of female executives, we’re working on getting more female engineers and producers but, while we are such a drastic gender minority, it’s interesting to try and figure out how to be.”

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Taylor Swift on The Graham Norton Show (Matt Crossick/PA)

“When you’re a new artist you wonder how much space you can take up and, as a woman, you wonder how much space you can take up pretty much your whole period of growing up.

“For me, growing up and knowing that I was an adult was realising that I was allowed to take up space from a marketing perspective, from a business perspective, from an opinionated perspective.

“And that feels a lot better than constantly trying to wonder if I’m allowed to be here.”

Read the full interview in Music Week, out now.

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