Taylor Swift got very honest about the importance of owning her own music during an interview for the newest issue of British Vogue magazine. The "Shake It Off" singer has been in an ongoing battle with Scooter Braun over the rights to music from earlier in her career.
The 29-year-old sat down with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and discussed working together on the song “Beautiful Ghosts” for the cinematic version of Cats, which Lloyd originally composed in 1981.
“I think [writing] is really important – also from the side of ownership over what you do and make,” Swift said to 71-year-old Weber. “Even if you aren’t a natural writer, you should try to involve yourself in the messages you’re sending.”
“I was really singing a lot at that point – I’d just come from a stadium tour, and then did Cats, which was all based on live performances – so a lot of that album is nearly whole takes,” Swift said while talking about how she approached the recording of her new album, Lover.
“When you perform live, you’re narrating and you’re getting into the story and you’re making faces that are ugly and you’re putting a different meaning on a song every time you perform it.”
Ownership of her music has become especially important after her feud with Braun and Big Machine Records, her former record label. It started when the label allegedly was refusing to allow Swift to perform her old songs at the American Music Awards
“I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show,” Swift said on her Instagram Story on November 14. “Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year. I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it.”
Big Machine Records and the producers of the AMAs did eventually reach an agreement to allow Swift to perform “Shake It Off” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” during the show on November 24.
Swift wrote about leaving the record label in a Tumblr post over the summer.
“I walked away [from my former label] because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future,” Swift wrote. “I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”