Despite coming out in October 2014, Taylor Swift’s massive pop statement 1989 will be eligible for the 2016 Grammys. And in a new Grammy Pro talk, billed as a “listening session” with the Nashville Chapter and the Producers & Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy, the pop star opens up about the production and songwriting process behind the album.
First she gives a quick rundown of her entire discography, discussing her excitement at working with Swedish pop guru Max Martin on Red, which was nominated for an Album Of The Year Grammy. “When they announced the Album Of The Year winner,” she says, “it was like, ‘And the album of the year goes to…Reeeeeandom Access Memories, Daft Punk! And they really dragged out the ‘reeee.’ And for a second there, I kinda thought we had it, and we didn’t. I remember not going to after-parties, I went home and I cried a little bit, and I got In-N-Out Burger and ate a lot.” She woke up the next morning and decided that she was going all-in on pop, coming up with the name and concept for 1989.
Interestingly, unhappiness at awards shows also led to the inspiration for “Blank Space.” Swift explains:
“Blank Space” is a song that I wrote as kind of a satire. The media decided that I dated too many people. You know, you’re sitting at an awards show, and you know there’s gonna be a joke about you being a serial dater in the monologue, and you’re just sitting there like, I’m 22, and this is rude. But instead of writing a song like “It’s so rude, stop picking on me,” I kind of sat back and thought about how complex this character was that they’d drawn up for me. Like, she’s jet-setting all over the world, collecting men! And like, oh, she’s so clingy once she gets them, but she can get any of them, but then they run because she’s so crazy. And she moves in, day two…like, crazy stuff like that, and I just thought…this is amazing. I need to write a song from this girl’s perspective. If you want to play this way, we can play this way. I just decided to be her for one song.
This talk is the first installment of a three-part series, and you can watch it below.
Here also is Swift at her recent NME cover story shoot talking about “Blank Space”: