It’s been about two months since Taylor Swift‘s seventh album, Lover, graced fans with romance and political statements, and on Wednesday (Oct. 30) Zane Lowe of Beats 1 caught up with the songstress to dive deep on the album, the #MeToo movement and her favorite artists.
On the comparison of Lover to 2017’s Reputation, Swift noted that her sixth album was “out of my wheelhouse.” “I knew I was doing a thing. For the first time ever I was playing with the idea of a character and playing with the idea of sort of like, I kind of wrote the album a bit like a musical. I knew it would really come to life when I played it live.”
“And I knew with [Lover] it was something that was almost a return to form in a lot of ways,” she continued. “And in the way that I was just me as me singing about my life in the way that I actually experienced it. Not through a filter of these extremes. You know, like Reputation was like you put an extreme filter on everything- like if I was mad, I was extremely mad. If I was feeling defiant, I was extremely defiant. If I was feeling low, I was extremely low.”
She added that Lover was “the first time I’ve written about love that was very real rather than a song like Love Story that I wrote when I was 17.”
“A lot of that was like stuff I saw on a movie, like Shakespeare, like stuff I read mixed in with some like crush stuff that had happened in my life,” she continued. “And so as a writer you try to expand moments. You try to take a micro emotion or a feeling you had for two minutes in the day and you take that and you zoom into it and you try to explore it. And I was wondering if I could be in this place where I’m finally in a very healthy place in my life. I feel like my priorities are in order, done some growing up, feeling good about it. And I was like, you know what’s that going to be like to write from that place? But I didn’t even have long enough to think about that before I was writing this record.“
As someone who, in the past, has dealt with being reduced to “making slideshows of my dating life and putting people in there that I’d sat next to at a party once and deciding that my songwriting was like a trick rather than a skill and a craft,” Swift says she’s thankful for the #MeToo movement and the shift to end slut-shaming.
“Anybody who puts anything out into the world, if it has a bit of success now that comes with scrutiny,” she explained. “And that’s something that I tell a lot of new artists and a lot of people who I ended up talking to who are like, ‘Hey, so you’ve been through a lot of things. I’m freaking out, I’m getting my first wave of bad press, what do I do?’ And I’m like, ‘Do not let anything stop you from making art. Just make things.’”
The songstress also called out her pal Selena Gomez, calling her new music “the best thing she’s ever done.” She also shouted out Halsey as “an amazing writer and she speaks up for what she cares about.”
She also revealed that Pete Wentz and Lana Del Rey are her favorite lyricists, and had a chance to talk to Wentz at a party at Brandon Urie?’s house. “It was really formative for me to hear all of [Pete Wentz’s] zingers and that’s when you see, when I would then have … ‘Blank Space’ is a song that’s just zingers, one after another after another, which I definitely learned from listening to Fall Out Boy.”