Pop music magnate Taylor Swift’s most recent album “Lover” is a far cry from her early work, but fans of teen-country Taylor are in luck: the artist recently revealed she will be re-recording every single one of her previous albums. The news comes after the singer wrote a heated Tumblr post expressing her dismay at the recent sale of her old label, Big Machine Records, to another label, Ithaca Holdings, which is owned by talent agent Scooter Braun. In her post, Swift labeled Braun as a bully and expressed frustration over his newfound ownership of nearly her entire music career’s work with the sole exception of “Lover.”
Once Swift has re-recorded the albums, the master records will once again belong to her. One might think that the move was monetarily motivated, but for millionaire Swift, who famously sued a man who sexually harassed her for $1 in 2017, money does not seem to be the issue. The issue is a violation of principles, Swift’s life’s work being in the hands of a man whom she does not trust.
Swift’s extremely open handling of this issue is just the latest of numerous occasions when the singer was strikingly candid with the public. It is no secret that behind the glitz and glamor of fame and stardom lies a toxic culture of misogyny and sexism. In an industry largely dominated by men, Swift has refused to stay silent time and again. She has been involved in drama after drama, both during her rise and during her reign. When Kim Kardashian famously called Swift a “snake” on social media, launching the infamous “#TaylorSwiftisOverParty,” Swift appropriated the snake imagery used against her and made it one of the themes of her album “Reputation,” most notably in her music video for “Look What You Made Me Do.”
Swift again took the power back into her own hands regarding her feud with Katy Perry, stating in a recent “Vogue” article that she personally reached out to Perry to rewrite the narrative which the media had spun about the two starlets. In Swift’s video for “You Need to Calm Down” the pair share a hug dressed as a burger and fries, a clear takedown of the trend of pitting female artists against one another.
Reclaiming her power and doing as she wishes is a powerful move for Swift, but it’s also the natural thing to do. The music is hers. She wrote it, she has the artistic rights to recreate it and she doesn’t want the men of the industry to have complete control of her, so they won’t. Swift has earned the rights to her work. Really, given her past, it would be more strange if she were to just give up and leave her music to Braun.
Fans can expect Swift to begin the re-recording of her past work in November 2020, which is speculated to be when her contract with Big Machine ends. Until then, both fans and naysayers can expect her to keep creating new art and speaking up for what she believes in.
A version of this article appears in the Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, print edition. Email Sima Doctoroff at [email protected]