The NPR interview: The Queen of Sparks will not put up walls

(Source: Taylor Swift via NPR Staff)

Hello Taylor Nation,

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who wishes he’d have the skills and the credentials to interview the Princess in Red, we know I’d just mumble and not be able to speak in complete sentences. I’m glad there are professionals out there who, besides knowing how to ask the right questions, have the charisma and the presence to make her feel at ease.

Guy Raz from NPR got her to open up about success, setbacks and her well known preference of writing about love and heartbreak. Have a listen, it’s good:

Listen on Soundcloud

When asked about the letters in the liner notes that are capitalized – her secret messages – the Sparkly Dressed kinda shifts the focus around back to the lyrics. She’s good at doing this, she did it once to me too. She has a reason for that, in the end it’s just a better question she’s choosing to answer.

The first thing that I think about when I’m writing my lyrics is directly communicating with the person the song is about. I think what I’ve learned recently is that it’s not … heartbreak that inspires my songs. It’s not love that inspires my songs. It’s individual people that come into my life. I’ve had relationships with people that were really substantial and meant a lot to me, but I couldn’t write a song about that person for some reason. Then again, you’ll meet someone that comes into your life for two weeks and you write an entire record about them. When I first started writing songs, I was always scared that my songs were too personal — like, if I put someone’s name in a song, people won’t relate to it as much. But what I saw happening was, if I let my fans into my life and my feelings and what I’m going through — my vulnerabilities, my fears, my insecurities — it turns out they have all those things, too, and it kind of connects us.

– Taylor Swift via NPR

Another very revealing answer was her whole take on the Grammy performance with Stevie Nicks. I don’t know how NPR got away with asking this one. I’ve heard her say a word or two about it before, but she actually answered in great detail this time.

Absolutely. My confidence is easy to shake. I am very well aware of all of my flaws. I am aware of all the insecurities that I have. I have a lot of voices in my head constantly telling me I can’t do it. I’ve dealt with that my whole life. And getting up there on stage thousands of times, you’re going to have off nights. And when you have an off night in front of that many people, and it’s pointed out in such a public way, yeah, that gets to you. I feel like, as a songwriter, I can’t develop thick skin. I cannot put up protective walls, because it’s my job to feel things.

The kind of magical way that criticism has helped me is that that’s another thing that I put into my music. I ended up writing a song called “Mean” about that experience, and about this one particular guy who would not get off my case about it. To stand up at the Grammys two years later, to sing that song and get a standing ovation for it, and to win two Grammys for that particular song, I think was the most gratifying experience I’ve ever had in my life.

– Taylor Swift via NPR

Read the full story at NPR.

The Sparkly Dressed will switch on the Christmas lights at Westfield Shopping Center on Tuesday, November 6 at 6pm (London time) in London, UK.

I’m guessing she will remain in Europe for the 2012 MTV EMA on November 11. However, I can’t say for sure about her whereabouts between these dates. You want to see the Queen of Sparks win some awards? VOTE! She’s nominated for:

(Photo: Sarah Barlow/13 Management)

Coming up on the Calendar!

(Source: NPR)