Yes, Taylor Swift writes her own songs
Taylor Alison Swift, one of the most decorated singer-songwriters and best-selling musicians of all time, would like to make a correction.
The entertainer came to his own defense on Monday after fellow musician Damon Albarn was quoted in the Los Angeles Times snooping Swift who, as anyone who has followed her nearly 20-year career probably knows , is categorically false: “She doesn’t write her own songs,” the 53-year-old British musician joked when The Times music critic praised Swift’s songwriting prowess.
Swift, 32, responded on Twitter, identifying herself as a former Albarn fan before posting a disguise worthy of one of her best diss tracks.
“Your hot take is completely wrong and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs, but it’s really crazy to try and discredit my songwriting,” wrote Swift, who has a long list of CVS songwriting credits to her name and the accolades for prove it.
Like anyone who has been in the spotlight for most of their lives, Swift has received criticism: for her aversion to politics, for some shameful lyrics on old albums, for fetishizing African colonialism in a music video. Some might call his dance moves trustworthy. But blame him for not being a songwriter? Let’s review.
In 2004, at the age of 14, Swift landed a songwriting contract and became the youngest person ever signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Then, in 2007, a teenaged Swift became the youngest person ever honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association as Songwriter/Artist of the Year. In 2010, the Songwriters Hall of Fame awarded him the Hal David Starlight Award recognizing young songwriters. In 2015, she became the youngest person ever recognized on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
She’s “a songwriting savant,” Rolling Stone acknowledged years earlier, in 2008.
Swift is credited as songwriter or co-songwriter on all of her 11 albums. She wrote her third studio album, Speak Now, without any co-writers, in direct response to people who denied she could do it.
“I had several upheavals in my career. When I was 18, they said, ‘She doesn’t really write these songs.’ So I wrote my third album on my own as a reaction to that,” Swift told Rolling Stone in 2019.
Perhaps more than any other artist of her generation, Swift is known for churning out songs about her most personal life experiences and relationships (and her harshest reviews won’t let you forget that.) If anyone else was secretly writing these songs, it might be one of the biggest downsides in the history of the music industry.
An hour after Swift responded to the interview, Albarn posted a tweet apologize. But he blamed the Times for his framing, saying he and pop music critic Mikael Wood “had a conversation about songwriting and unfortunately it boiled down to clickbait”.
The interview, which was released as a Q&A, doesn’t give Albarn’s claim much credence. Here’s how he responded when Wood corrected him about Swift’s writing.
Wood: Of course she does. Co-wrote some of them.
Albarn: That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different from writing. I don’t hate anyone, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. That’s not to say the result can’t be really awesome. And some of the greatest singers – I mean, Ella Fitzgerald never wrote a song in her life. When I sing, I have to close my eyes and be there. I guess I’m a traditionalist in that sense. A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker – less endlessly optimistic. Much more minor and weird. I think she is exceptional.
Swift probably wouldn’t call her bloody 10-minute version of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” an “infinitely upbeat” song, but haters will hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
And there is one more thing she would like to add to the record.