There’s no doubt that Taylor Swift is 2014’s “Woman of the Year.”
Many music executives doubted her when she mentioned she would sell 1 million copies of her new album, but the young starlet did just that. Swift, who is about to turn 25 on December 13th, became the first artist to hit that million-mark not once, not twice, but 3 times.
The Grammy contender for “Record of The Year” recently sat down with Billboard magazine to discuss her current ventures, selling 3 million copies since the release of 1989, and more. Check out some of the interview highlights below:
Did you want “Shake It Off” as the first single for the sound or for the message?
Both. This album is not about boys. It’s not about something trivial; it’s not about revenge or breakups. It’s about what my life looks like now. And that song is essentially written about an important lesson I learned that really changed how I live my life and how I look at my life. I really wanted it to be a song that made people want to get up and dance at a wedding reception from the first drum beat. But I also wanted it to be a song that could help someone get through something really terrible, if they wanted to focus on the emotional profile, on the lyrics. Because I’ve had people say things to me like, “When my mom died, I listened to this every single day to help me get out of bed.” And then I’ve had people say, “I danced to this drunk at a wedding reception.” If they want to forget about the lyrics, they can, but if they want to hang on every word, they can do that, too.
What was your biggest challenge this year?
Convincing members of my team that [the pop move] was a good call. People seem to love the album, and we’re all high-fiving each other, but I remember all the sit-downs in the conference rooms, where I would get kind of called in front of a group of people who have worked with me for years. They said, “Are you really sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to call the album 1989? We think it’s a weird title. Are you sure you want to put an album cover out that has less than half of your face on it? Are you positive that you want to take a genre that you cemented yourself in, and switch to one that you are a newcomer to?”
And answering all of those questions with “Yes, I’m sure” really frustrated me at the time — like, “Guys, don’t you understand, this is what I’m dying to do?” The biggest struggle turned into the biggest triumph when it worked out.
You have been criticized for the tone of the 1989 song “Welcome to New York.” Has it made you think any differently, hearing people say that this is a difficult time to afford to live in the city?
Absolutely. But when you write a song, you’re writing about a momentary emotion. If you can capture that and turn it into three-and-half minutes that feel like that emotion, that’s all you’re trying to do as a songwriter. To take a song and try to apply it to every situation everyone is going through — economically, politically, in an entire metropolitan area — is asking a little much of a piece of a music.
I’m as optimistic and enthusiastic about New York as I am about the state of the music industry, and a lot of people aren’t optimistic about those two things. And if they’re not in that place in their life, they’re not going to relate to what I have to say.
Read more of her interview here. You’ve got to love Tay Tay!