5 good reasons to love Taylor Swift

International star, she is a singer, composer, performer, musician, actress… Known for her pop hits such as Shake it Off and Blank Space, many people do not really know who is behind Miss Americana. Here’s a fun way to learn more about this music icon.

1. For his writing talent

If Taylor Swift is known for her polished American image, her model physique and her popular melodies, it’s not all about that. She is above all a renowned lyricist. Before even taking an interest in music, she was drawn to writing. She also confides:

“I always knew it was the backbone of my sanity. For me, writing has always been a kind of protective armor. Which is strange because, when you think about writing about your life, it’s usually seen as a vulnerability, but for me that’s what helps me understand my life ”.

In primary, Taylor shines in the poetry competition in which she participates. At only 15, she was hired as an author at RCA Records, an American label. At 19, she writes the entire lyrics of her album on her own Speak Now. Throughout her career, she is praised by the press and artists: Neil Young describes her as “an incredible lyricist”, The Times is full of praise for her “sublime lyrics”. Today, she says:

“Everyone in music has their specialty which sets them apart from others. Storytelling is my thing. I know that if I didn’t write my own songs, I wouldn’t be here ”.

The release in 2020 of his two folk-style albums Folklore and Evermore, widely acclaimed by the international press, once again proves his writing skills. Taylor Swift is therefore known and recognized for her talents as a lyricist. She writes all of her songs, alone or accompanied. These often tell a particular story with precision and are based on the singer’s personal life, and primarily her love life. However, she also writes fictional stories, inspired by readings or movies.

“Back when you fit in my poems like a perfect rhyme”
(“At the time when you entered my poems like a perfect rhyme”)
Holy Ground from the album Red

“Your faithless love’s the only hoax I believe in”
(“Your unfaithful love is the only hoax I believe in”)
Hoax from the album Folklore

“You call me up again just to break me like a promise. So casually cruel in the name of being honest”
(“You’re calling me again just to break me like a promise. So carelessly cruel in the name of honesty”)
All Too Well de l’album Red

“Please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere”
(“Please never become a stranger whose laughter I could recognize no matter what.
New Year’s Day from the album Reputation

2. For his musical talent

Banjo, drums, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, ukulele, piano… Here is an overview of the instruments Taylor Swift can play. In terms of composition, she almost always writes her songs acoustically on guitar or piano, before producing them in the studio. Because in addition to writing her lyrics, she also composes her melodies.

In terms of interpretation in studio and live, she easily alternates emotion session on piano / voice with rock riff on electric guitar.

Taylor doesn’t have a great voice like Adele, for example, but she isn’t weak. It is hoarse, soft, deep and shrill. Non-follower of playback, she always sings live.

3. For its eclectic musical genres

If Taylor became known as the youngest country singer in the United States, she did not remain confined to this musical style. The composer first rose to prominence in the late 2000s with her album Taylor Swift, in a very country style. Fearless, released in 2008, reaches a wider audience and presents more pop melodies, just like his third album, Speak Now. Red confirms this transition while keeping an instrumental base based on country. It is 1989 that mark Taylor Swift’s heyday internationally. It’s a purely pop album influenced by 80s synth-pop, with the hits Shake It Off, Blank Space or Wildest Dreams. His sixth album Reputation, remains pop, while approaching rap, trap and electro sounds. Lover, released in 2019, is also pop with acoustic influences. Folklore and Evermore, both released in 2020, are experimental and instrumental albums, with folk and alternative songs. All these musical styles have always given him great success, demonstrating once again the plurality of his talent.

4. For the way she managed her career

Taylor Swift was born into a modest family, living on a farm in the Pennsylvanian countryside. Very interested in music, she learned the guitar and composed her first pieces at a very young age. It multiplies the performances in local festivals, fairs, cafes, karaoke competitions, clubs and hospitals. At only 12 years old, she managed to convince her family to move to Nashville, the capital of country music:

“My parents saw that it was really an obsession, that I was not going to let go and that it was not a teenage whim. They were thrown in there. We had no idea what we were doing. ”

She was rejected many times by several labels, and realized at this time that:

“Everyone in this town wanted to do what I wanted to do.”

But it was in 2005, during a show case in a cafe that she caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, a producer about to found his own label, Big Machine Records. She then became one of his first artists. His perseverance allowed him to start his career.

Another key moment in his career was his return to the stage with the album. Reputation : following disputes with Kanye West, Taylor was at the heart of the tabloids. The story begins in 2009, at the MTV Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift who is only 19 years old, recovers the prize for the best music video. Kanye West then arrives on stage and grabs the microphone to declare that Beyoncé should have received the Award. Then, in 2016 Kanye West released the song Famous in which he claims to have made Taylor famous, calling her a “bitch”. She then assures that she has not given her consent for her name to appear in the title. What Kim Kardashian, the wife of the rapper, responds by revealing the excerpt of a conversation between Kanye West and Taylor Swift, calling it a “snake”. Being harassed on social networks, Taylor is forced to leave the public scene. It was not until a year later that she would reappear with Reputation, featuring the snake as its emblem, a nod to Kim Kardashian’s words, and which will sell more than 1 million copies in the first four days of its release in the United States. Taylor Swift has since managed to prove that the audio broadcast by the latter was a montage.

Finally, it is recently that Taylor has shown tenacity. Scooter Braun, who had bought his old label, then sold it to an investment fund, without the singer’s consent. She then loses all rights to her first six albums. After several negotiations, she finally decides to re-record them, also allowing to offer a new interpretation of her pieces, years later. So far, she has re-recorded and released two of those six albums, which are hugely successful. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is thus the first album re-recorded at the top of the Billboard 200 chart in history. A very nice revenge. (read the article dedicated to the re-recording of his albums).

5. For many other reasons …

Because she is a committed woman. She is recognized as an important figure in feminism and LGBTQ + rights. You Need To Calm Down is a true hymn to the community. It is the source of many donations for education, for disadvantaged populations or victims of natural disasters. She is also involved with sick children and composes Ronan, a song she wrote in memory of a 4-year-old boy who died of neuroblastoma. Finally, in politics, she publicly opposes Donald Trump’s remarks and encourages her listeners to vote.

Because its success is immense. To date, Taylor Swift has won 11 Grammy Awards. Time ranks her among the 100 most influential people of 2019. She is the only woman to have won the album of the year three times as well as the first artist whose three different albums have sold over a million dollars. ‘copies the week of their release. She broke the record previously held by Michael Jackson and became the artist having won the most American Music Awards with twenty-nine awards. In 2011, Taylor Swift became at age 21 the youngest artist to receive the Woman of the Year award. She remained that way until 2019, when it was handed over to then 17-year-old Billie Eilish. Taylor Swift was once again named Woman of the Year in 2014, being the first artist to have received this award twice.

Marjolaine Dutreuil