Yes. I’ll happily admit it. I’m pushing 26, and I’m an unashamed Swifty (Noun: Taylor Swift fan).
But chatting with a few friends this past weekend, I realised that many people are under the wrong impression with regard to Miss Swift and her music. The popular songstress, it seems, is commonly mistaken for “just another Disney product”.
I feel that, as an accidental yet devout fan (for reasons to follow), it is partly my responsibility to set the record straight (ahem… so to speak).
Firstly, and most importantly, she has a kitteh named Meredith. Who is awesome. This makes Miss Swift awesome. And my logic is flawless – so don’t even go there.
And with the important stuff out out the way, I can move on to further justification for my previously expressed opinion.
I happen to quite like the catchy, commercial stuff that plays on the radio.
Not all of it, mind you. But the super catchy stuff, with relatively clean lyrics and upbeat tempo. (Yes. I’m that person. Deal with it).
I’m also particularly partial to the grammatically correct stuff. I find shady men yelling at me through my speakers to “get all up in here” linguistically offensive. Come on. Really? What do you mean, shady man? Are you asking me to climb the walls in this venue? Is that what you are trying to communicate?
Baffles me. Every time.
Back in 2009, I heard this catchy tune about Romeo and Juliette on the radio. This was a tune I quite enjoyed (enough to provoke an involuntarily head bop and a hearty attempt to sing along to lyrics I clearly don’t know). Months later I headed overseas for Christmas, and my mother sent with me a small, square-ish, flat item, fiercely wrapped in sparkly festive paper. Inside was a copy of Miss Swifts latest CD. (It travelled better than a salad bowl).
Come Christmas day, I enthusiastically freed the CD case from its layers of sparkly wrapping, and slotted it in to my old-school macbook CD drive (Apple – note sponsorship opportunity here… #justsaying)
Turns out, I liked every track on the CD. So I bought her other albums.
And enjoyed them too. A lot, in fact.
So, then I did what every gen X kid who enjoys an artist to the point of shamelessly belting out angry ballads whilst flying down German highway’s in their rental car would do:
I googled her.
And what I discovered left me in awe. And overwhelmed with respect.
(And maybe even a little bit jealous).
Turns out that Miss Swift, from Philadelphia, wanted to someday “broke stocks” like her dad, when she was younger. Thankfully that phase was short lived, and by second grade she had decided her calling was to become: a country singer.
For those who aren’t familiar with American culture or geography, this is about as weird as an englishman pursuing a career in boeremusik. Or gangster rap. (The hardcore, slightly frightening kind).
Swifty soon realised that singing was not enough to get noticed in the industry. Perhaps a teeny – tiny bit of an over-achiever, she proceeded to learn six different musical instruments. Including the 12 string guitar. And the banjo.
After years of incessant nagging, the young lass also convinced her family to move. To a different state. To be amidst all the country music action, down in Tennessee (you know, as your run-of-the-mill 12 year old does).
Note: Her parents were somewhat befuddled as to who this person was, and where on earth she came from.
T Swizzle then started working as a part time songwriter for a local record label after school hours. (This chic makes me feel like I’ve failed at life – I’ll just say that right now). Eventually the label signed the singer / songwriter / musician (…go figure). But due to logistics, she would be unable to release any music with them until she turned 18.
Which, when you’re 14, is, like, you know… forever away.
Seems Miss Swift isn’t much for patience. She left the well established record label, and signed with a small, independent, start up record label. As their first artist.
As one does.
But I guess when you are this talented, you can do that.
Together, the Miss Swift and her recording team sat on the studio floor into the early hours of the morning casing and labelling their first single on their release date. And the young lass, in a genius strategic and equally sneaky menouver, decided to title her first single to hit public radio: Tim McGraw.
And just like that, the attention of every single country music fan, ever, (ever) was instantaneously captured. And focused. On Taylor Swift.
(And in a pre-Twitter era – now that’s impressive game play).
And well, as they say… the rest is history.
Best part? Not only does the girl write, sing and play all her own stuff, but she is ballsy enough to bare all (ok, most) in her embarrassingly honest lyrics.
And I’m not the only one who thinks this is cool.
Yup. Miss Swift writes about personal experience. From personal experience. In an awkwardly personal fashion (you get the picture here). Which really only makes her material that much more, shall we say… interesting.
Oh, and judging by her interviews – it seems the girl has a pretty decent sense of humor as well.
Go on. Smirk. You know you want to.
Kudos to you, T Swizzle.
So the next time you ask me about my taste in music, and then proceed to sigh, and mumble thinly disguised insults under your breath about “that Disney rubbish” in an all-knowing fashion… I’ll just send you this link.
And a small, flat, square-ish item, smothered in sparkly wrapping.
Oh yeah. And glitter.
Lots of glitter.