She's a regular on Forbes 'Celebrity 100' list, a country/pop Grammy winning sensation, a CoverGirl, America's sweetheart, a self acclaimed optimist and now Taylor Swift can add published writer to her never-ending resume. This month, the 24-year-old superstar wrote an essay for the Wall Street Journal’s 125th anniversary edition. Titled ‘For Taylor Swift, the Future of Music Is a Love Story’, the singer-songwriter talks about how she believes artists and fans will continue to form deep bonds in new ways regardless of what society thinks. She begins her article by acknowledging her optimism despite the majority of those in the music world who believe it’s a dying industry.
This is a common assumption particularly in recent times with the rising and growing use of technology. Musicians have a love-hate relationship with technology. On a positive note, they can connect directly with fans from all around the world. They’re able to stay in the press (whether it be for good or bad reasons) as their whereabouts, clothing choices etc. are documented on a daily basis. They’re able to also get added publicity on upcoming projects through facebook and twitter, keeping fans in the loop at all times. Fans know when to get excited for new singles, videos and even new albums – (with the only exception of Beyonce’s latest secret music/video album – how she managed to pull that off I still can’t comprehend – only Queen B!) Alternatively, there’s a negative side to the growing use of technology. Today, it’s so common to illegally download new music. It can go from a site such as YouTube to your phone in as little as 30 seconds, and it’s free – so why wouldn’t you?
Taylor rightly quotes; “music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.” Whilst I’m in full agreement with this, I have to admit I’m just as guilty as the next person for illegally downloading music – ripping musicians of their art and well deserved royalties. I do like a physical copy of a CD or record. I have it in my hands and feel an emotional connection to the artist and honestly appreciate their efforts and time to create the sounds. Music moves people. Whether it wants to make you dance, relax, cry or even scream, it’s still giving you something and forming a connection and experience for you. That’s why it’s so special and I truly feel that it’s a vital part of everyone’s lives.
We all know that Taylor Swift is my favourite artist. In my eyes, she’s an incredible lyricist and exceptional musician and performer. I’ve formed a connection and bond with her and seriously feel like I’m living in a parallel universe! In her essay, she supports this idea by saying “There are always going to be those artists who break through on an emotional level and end up in people’s lives forever. The way I see it, fans view music the way they view their relationships. Some songs and albums represent seasons of our lives, like relationships that we hold dear in our memories byt had their time and place in the past. However, some artist will be like finding ‘the one’.”
I’m not one to voluntarily sit down and read an essay. But of course, for Taylor I’d do anything – and glad this is the case because it was an amazing read. Her view on Twitter, fan power as well as the ‘selfie’ phenomenon is quite insightful. She ends the article with a image from that compares the likes of famous artists looking at the comparison between the amount of album sales and their Twitter followers.
Keep up your optimism Taylor and I hope you get that nice garden you’re after!