Taylor Swift Talks the Importance of 'Ownership Over What You Do' as She Covers British Vogue
Taylor Swift's comments for British Vogue come amid an ongoing public feud with her former label Big Machine Label Group and Scooter Braun
Taylor Swift is involved in every aspect of her music — and she realizes how important that has been to her success.
In an interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber for British Vogue‘s January issue, the 29-year-old pop powerhouse opens up about how her career to date, spanning over a decade, has been partly shaped by her dedication to her work behind the scenes.
“I think [writing] is really important — also from the side of ownership over what you do and make,” says Swift who, notably, has been embroiled in an ongoing public feud with her former label Big Machine Label Group and record executive Scooter Braun over the rights to her music.
“Even if you aren’t a natural writer, you should try to involve yourself in the messages you’re sending,” she adds.
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While Swift did not call out her feud with Braun, 38, the singer previously shared a message on Tumblr accusing him and the CEO of BMLG, Scott Borchetta, of blocking her from performing her pre-Lover hits — which were recorded while under contract with BMLG — at the 2019 American Music Awards. (She was eventually granted the right to perform the songs during the show, which took place on Nov. 24.)
Swift also revealed she has been working with Netflix on a documentary about her “life for the past few years,” but that Borchetta and Braun — who purchased BMLG for $300 million earlier this year — have “declined the use of my older music or performance footage for this project.”
According to Swift, Borchetta tried to negotiate and offered to let her perform and use her music if she agreed not to re-record “copycat versions” of her old songs and “stop talking about him and Scooter Braun.” In a statement, a spokesperson for Swift said that “Scott Borchetta, CEO and founder of Big Machine Label Group, flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix,” and alleged BMLG owes the singer “$7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years.”
BMLG responded in a statement on their website and denied Swift’s allegations, accusing the star of “false information” and adding, “We do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere. Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.”
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Webber — who composed the musical Cats, which has been turned into an upcoming big-screen adaptation starring Swift — asks the singer in their chat for British Vogue about how she felt about her future in acting.
“When I was younger, I used to get questions like, ‘Where do you see yourself in 10 years?’ ” she recalls. “I’d try to answer. As I get older, I’m learning that wisdom is learning how dumb you are compared to how much you are going to know.”
“I really had an amazing time with Cats,” Swift reveals. “I think I loved the weirdness of it. I loved how I felt I’d never get another opportunity to be like this in my life.”
See the full Taylor Swift feature in the January 2020 issue of British Vogue, available via digital download and on newsstands Dec. 6.