Role Models, Spotify and Anxiety: Taylor Goes Full Swift for Time


Golden girl Taylor Swift gets very up-close (see image above) in the latest Time magazine cover story. Ooh, Tay-by, Taaaay-by! Ooh, Tay-by, Tay-by!

The piece—written by former Deadspin staffer Jack Dickey (we’re very proud of him!)—explores Swift’s place (love her or hate her) as a trendsetter and groundbreaker in today’s music industry, as well as her finely-honed business acumen. 1989, Swift’s latest work, had the biggest first-week sales of any album since The Eminem Show was released in 2002 and, according to Time, she is “the only artist to have three albums sell a million copies in their first week since 1991, when SoundScan started keeping track.”

Along with her impressive track record, the Time story (which is behind a paywall) also delves into her recent decision to remove her music from Spotify, the challenges she faces when looking for role models in the music industry, and how she plans to never be seen naked by her future grandchildren. Below are the stand-out excerpts.

On Spotify:

[Taylor] believes that Spotify’s particular model devalues her work. “With Beats Music and Rhapsody,” Swift says, naming two competing services, “you have to pay for a premium package in order to access my albums. And that places a perception of value on what I’ve created. On Spotify, they don’t have any settings, or any kind of qualifications for who gets what music. I think that people should feel that there is a value to what musicians have created, and that’s that. I wrote about this in July, This shouldn’t be news right now. It should have been news in July when I went out and stood up and said I’m against it in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal.”

When talking about role models, Swift cites Mariska Hargitay and Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa), but struggles to name anyone in the music industry:

No one in music has captured Swift’s admiration in the same way. It’s not for lack of talent: it’s instead a matter of the challenges that female artists face as they age. “I just struggle to find a woman in music who hasn’t been completely picked apart by the media, or scrutinized and criticized for aging, or criticized for fighting aging,” Swift says. “It just seems more difficult to be a woman in music and to grow older. I just really hope that I will choose to do it as gracefully as possible.”
She likes to think, she says, about what her grandchildren will say one day—it’s easier than worrying about her millions of fans. She knows that one way or another, the grandkids will teaser her. “But I’d really rather it be ‘Look how awkward your dancing was in the ‘Shake It Off video! You look so weird, Grandma!’ than ‘Grandma, is that your nipple?'”

(If the latter scenario somehow ends up playing out, Old Lady Swift would be wise to remind her grandchildren that her nipple not only fed their mom or dad, it also assured that no one in the family would have to worry about paying for college for the next several generations.)

A small Carly Simon tidbit:

Simon has recently purchased Swift’s old tour bus, since she doesn’t care much for flying. She says Swift gave her a discount (“the price you’d charge your sister”) and even left all her linens onboard.

On her always perfect appearance:

“If I’m in the mood to be held accountable for every single article of clothing on my body—whether it matches, if it clashes, if it’s on trend—then I go out. If I’m not interested in undergoing that kind of debate and conversation—regarding how I’m walking, whether I look tired, how my makeup is right, what’s that mark on my knee, did I hurt myself?—I just don’t go out.”

“FAN” is “GOD” spelled backwards:

From [her fans], Swift says, she has enjoyed “extreme, unconditional, wonderful loyalty that I never thought I’d receive in my life, not from a best friend, not from a boyfriend, not from a husband, not from a dog.”

Taylor Swift, ladies and gentleman.

Image via Time.

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