Don’t mess with T-Swift


Graphic by Jessica Mouton

Taylor Swift has announced that she will be rerecording her first six albums.

This news comes about two months after the announcement that Swift’s label, Big Machine Records, previously owned by Scott Borchetta, was purchased by Scooter Braun for $300 million.

Swift made it no secret that she felt betrayed by the ordeal for several reasons.

Swift took this to her Tumblr page to address the situation and to share her side of the story.

She allegedly asked to own her work for years, only to be given an opportunity to renew her contract at Big Machine and ‘earn’ each album back with the new albums she would make.

Swift theorized that as soon as she were to sign the new contract, Borchetta would go and sell the label out from under her, jeopardizing her future. She decided to walk away.

Now that Big Machine has been sold to Braun, he has control over her masters.

Swift alleges that both Borchetta and Braun knew what they were doing to her when this deal was struck up; they both knew it would hurt her deeply.

It is well known that the pop singer has had bad blood with Braun for years now.

Swift has feuded with his clients over the years, most notably Kanye West and Justin Bieber, said to be provoked by Braun himself.

In her Tumblr message, Swift says that Braun subjected her to “incessant and manipulative bullying” over the years. To Swift, this is her worst case scenario.

So after all this uproar, why rerecord her six albums?

In response to the selling of Big Machine and the loss of her previous masters, Swift feels not only cheated out of her hard work, but on top of that, by someone who has continuously hurt her.

Rerecording her old music makes a statement; she gets the opportunity to own her work.

Now that Braun owns her masters, he can essentially do whatever he pleases with her music. He can license it to just about anyone without her consent.

Now signed into a deal with Republic records, Swift will have ownership of her new work.

With Swift’s immense dislike for Braun, it seems as though she would do anything to prevent any future benefits to him from her music.

Swift is a powerful figure in the industry, after all.

With all this being said, is it actually worth the time, effort, and money necessary to record these albums again?

Arguably, Swift seems to have the funds necessary, but would her new label allow her to devote such a great amount of time to rerecording old material instead of providing them with new content?

It’s doubtful, though it can be said that it is doable with her great influence.

Swift has transformed throughout the years from America’s country sweetheart to a pop music powerhouse.

In 2005, Swift was discovered by record executive, Scott Borchetta, while performing at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. She became one of the first artists that was signed to the label.

Her first album, “Taylor Swift” was released in 2006 and spent 157 weeks on the Billboard 200—beating out all other U.S. releases that decade. 

On her subsequent albums “Fearless” and “Speak Now,” we saw her maintain her country image.

It was her 2012 album, “Red,” that saw her deviate from her previous sound. The album in turn grossed the highest opening sales in a decade in the U.S.

This trend continued with her 2014 album, “1989”, credited as her “first documented official pop album.” The first week of its release 1.28 million copies were sold. The “1989” tour grossed over $250 million .

Swift was also named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in 2014—she was awarded this title twice.

2017 saw Swift successfully sue David Mueller, the radio DJ who sexually assaulted her at an event.

That same year, her album “Reputation” was released. The album topped the charts and the subsequent tour broke both venue attendance and gross earnings records.

This was her last album recorded with Big Machine Records.

With Swift’s success and influence, it isn’t hard to believe that her rerecordings would do well in sales.

Swift is trying to claim ownership over her previous works in the only way she knows she can. It is the principle of the matter; it is not being done purely for sales or to rehash old content.

After all, Swift has been very vocal in promoting feminism and girl power.

By making this choice, she is indirectly teaching her young fans to take pride in and stand by their hard work.

It may seem a tad excessive at first glance, but Swift is continuing to show her strength and resilience by rerecording her old work.

She is taking back what has been taken from her.