News Update: Taylor Swift appears on the cover of May’s edition of Vogue

(Photo: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Vogue)
(Photo: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Vogue)

Yes, she’s taking a break, Taylor Nation. Honest.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy that wishes he could take a vacation, we think that Taylor’s idea of a ‘taking a break’ might differ from yours or mine. I guess the idea of a couch and a TV is old fashioned. For the Sparkly Dressed, it’s fine to squeeze in a photoshoot and an interview with Vogue. I’m teasing, I know she did both of these a while ago. Most of the interview takes place in Reading, Pennsylvania when Taylor revisited her childhood home for Britany Maack’s wedding. According to the article, it was hilarious to see the flower girls keep it together in front of the Enchantress.

“It’s such a surreal, emotional thing,” T-Swizzle tells Vogue‘s Jason Gay. “When you’re a little kid, you’re riding the same roads to school every single day, hundreds of times. When you come back, you snap into that strange nostalgia.” Apparently, the Queen of Sparks almost became a horseback rider until she got the nerve to tell her mom that she didn’t want to do it anymore. “I just wanted to make music and do theater,” says Taylor. “So I’ve been a big disappointment.” Andrea points out she’s over it.

So what is Taylor up to? What are her future plans? Well, she doesn’t have any. WHUT?

“I have no idea. This is the first time in ten years that I haven’t known. I just decided that after the past year, with all of the unbelievable things that happened . . . I decided I was going to live my life a little bit without the pressure on myself to create something.”

Chill your rockets, she’s still doing the music thing.

“I’m always going to be writing songs,” Tay points out. “The thing is, with me, I could very well come up with three things in the next two weeks and then jump back into the studio, and all of a sudden the next record is started. That’s an option, too.”

You can read more in the original article in Vogue.

On other news, Taylor Swift and Idris Elba have been revealed as the two celebrity co-chairs alongside Vogue’s Anna Wintour for the 2016 Met Gala to be held on Monday, May 2. Also participating will be Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive, and designers Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquiere, and Miuccia Prada. The theme will be Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. Sponsored by Apple.

Coming up next in the Calendar:

  • May 2: The 2016 Met Gala. Taylor Swift and Idris Elba have been revealed as the two celebrity co-chairs alongside Vogue’s Anna Wintour.
  • May 10: The first-ever Taylor Swift Award will be given at the 64th annual BMI Pop Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
  • May 22: The Billboard Music Awards are broadcast LIVE at 8pm ET on ABC from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Taylor Swift is nominated for eight awards.

(Sources: Vogue)

Taylor Swift at Vanity Fair’s Oscar party. Caitlin Evanson performs with the Weeknd. Lady Gaga’s Till It Happens To You.

We got a bad case of the Mondays, Taylor Nation.

(Photo: Mark Seliger for Vanity Fair)
(Photo: Mark Seliger for Vanity Fair)

Here at the Swift Agency, we couldn’t help but miss Oscar stuff here and there because frankly, it’s a bit hard to stay awake. No, the Blonde With The Sparkly 1989 Microphone was not in attendance to the 88th Annual Academy Awards (a.k.a. The Oscars). She did make a stunning appearance at the Vanity Fair’s Oscar party along with brother Austin and fellow artist Lorde. I’m pretty sure there were other members of the Squad inside.

Did you know that Caitlin Evanson, former member of the Agency, did take the stage during the Oscars? She was one of the violinists during The WThe Oscarseeknd’s performance. Here’s one screen capture via @_Jencita_ and a big shoutout 🙂

Here’s the Sparkly Dressed, throwing one smoldering look during her entrance to the Vanity Fair event:

And finally, one big musical number of note goes to Lady Gaga’s amazing performance of “Till It Happens To You” which was surrounded by survivors of abuse. Gaga had made a note that her performance was also dedicated to Kesha.

Watch on YouTube

That was a powerful performance and one of the high points of the night for me.

Coming up next in the Calendar:

  • March 12: Taylor Swift is nominated for Nickelodeon’s 29th Kids Choice Awards for Favorite Female Singer, Favorite Song of the Year for “Bad Blood” with Kendrick Lamar, and Favorite Collaboration for ‘Bad Blood’ with Kendrick Lamar. You can vote by going to nick.com/KCA, or via hashtag on Twitter by using BOTH #KCA and #VoteTaylorSwift, #VoteBadBlood or #VoteBadBloodCollab. Original tweets and retweets count.
  • April 3:  Taylor Swift is nominated for the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards for Song of the Year for “Blank Space”, Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for 1989, Best Tour of the Year for The 1989 World Tour, Best Collaboration for “Bad Blood”, Best Meme-able Moment for “Blank Space”, Best Fan Army for #Swifties and Best Cover Song for Alessia Cara Covering Taylor Swift.

(Sources: The OscarsVanity FairThe Hollywood Reporter)

 

The 1989 World Tour Team Taylor: Thanks for all you do. Vacation time at Hamilton Island

From everyone in the fandom to everyone in Team Taylor, thanks for all your hard work!

(Source: Taylor Swift's Instagram)
(Source: Taylor Swift’s Instagram)

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy that is a proud citizen of the Taylor Nation, we’ve been holding out for a bit. For a while, news and candid shots have come in about the Sparkly Dressed’s private party for her entire team on Hamilton Island. So who was invited? Team Taylor almost in full. The press not that much, Taylor would rather spend some quiet time.

In case I’ve never defined it before, here are some of the most common (and some uncommon) definitions of who’s who in Team Taylor.

The Agency: Insider’s name for the band, which members have changed through the years, but they’re still there. In order of longevity they are: Amos J. Heller (bass), Paul Sidoti (guitar), Mike Meadows (guitar), David Cook (keyboards) and Matt Billingslea (drums). David Cook is also the musical director for the tour. Mike Meadows switches instruments and sometimes you can see him playing keyboards as well. Sometimes I include the backup singers with the band, sometimes they do their own thing. The horn section is still present in the Profiles page, but apparently they didn’t tour with Taylor and were just part of the promos during the 1989 album launch. Update: There is an improvised horn section during “Shake It Off” during the tour concert.

The Starlights: A name given to the backup singers back on March 16, 2013 by a young fan named Emma when the recently formed fearsome foursome had just appeared for promo appearances before the RED Tour (which incidentally, I capitalize on a whim). The backup singers are currently Kamilah Marshall, Melanie Nyema, Clare Turton and Eliotte Nicole.

The Dancers: They change for every tour and there’s a ton of them so I’m afraid I can’t name all of them. I can recognize Mason Cutler and Mark Villaver, both of whom I’ve run into during the 1989 Tour in Montreal and were part of the RED Tour as well.

The Crew: Everyone who sets up the stage and the sound system as well as the truck drivers and the security team that makes each concert a joy to behold plus have to clean up after us afterwards. I often enough will use the term to refer to everyone who’s touring with Taylor currently.

13 Management: Taylor’s very own management company. Image, product placement, etc.

Big Machine Group Label / Big Machine Records: They put Taylor’s music on the radio, sell albums and promote her as well. They are not directly in charge of the tour.

Taylor Nation (social media): Yes, I categorize the Taylor Nation in two. These fine folk are the ones that interact with the fans on social media and convey our opinions and thoughts back to 13 Management and Taylor Swift.

Taylor Nation (the fandom a.k.a the “Swifties” – this means you): The older and strongest relationship that Taylor Swift has ever had. The name “Taylor Nation” was born back when T-Swizzle was still working her own social media on MySpace.

The Squad: Taylor’s inner circle of friends, a lot of them celebrities. I’ve also called them “the Swifterhood”.

Team Taylor: I usually use this term for everyone who actually makes a living working for the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar. I also use it to imply everyone who’s on Taylor’s side / corner – so you can consider yourself part of Team Taylor as well.

And before you say it, yes I know that picture of Taylor with Austin is from South Island in New Zealand. I just thought it would be fun to throw it in there. The Enchantress continues her tour in Brisbane, Australia on December 5.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • December 5: The 1989 World Tour – Brisbane, Australia – Suncorp Stadium.
  • December 7: The 1989 World Tour – Adelaide, Australia – Entertainment Center.
  • December 8: The 1989 World Tour – Adelaide, Australia – Entertainment Center.
  • December 10: The 1989 World Tour – Melbourne, Australia – AAMI Park.
  • December 11: The 1989 World Tour – Melbourne, Australia – AAMI Park.
  • December 12: The 1989 World Tour – Melbourne, Australia – AAMI Park.

(Sources: Taylor Swift via Instagram)

Video Showcase: GQ’s interview with Ryan Adams and Vogue Australia photoshoot

Blame Canada, Taylor Nation.

Hold on… Let me explain. Yes, I have a lot of things to do and in case you didn’t know, there’s an election going on over here. Don’t worry, politics is not in my aspirations for blog material. Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who was more interested in the latest Star Wars trailer, we’re glad that this time around we’re just going to post some videos and this will be a short but enjoyable entry.

First up, we get an unexpected treat as Ryan Adams interviews Taylor Swift. Video courtesy of GQ Magazine. So that means this one is not going to disappear.

Watch on YouTube

On the other side of the world (literally this time), Vogue Australia interviewed the Enchantress during her photoshoot for the cover of their November 2015 issue. Have a look.

Watch on YouTube

Up next, Taylor’s 1989 World Tour reaches Lexington, Kentucky.

(Photo: Emma Summerton)
(Photo: Emma Summerton)

Coming up in the Calendar!

(Sources: GQ Magazine, Vogue Australia)

Taylor’s GQ Interview Commentary: Accidents happen. But careers take hard work.

(Photo: Michael Thompson for GQ)
(Photo: Michael Thompson for GQ)

If you don’t get the joke, you don’t deserve the joke, Taylor Nation.

The Forever and Always Fearless One (because there’s no chance of me retiring that nickname ever) talked to GQ magazine in one of those interviews that has it all: ground-breaking, revealing, provoking, sassy, smart and quirky. How exactly does one remain cute and adorable but at the same time strong and innovating is a mystery. Realize I’m not even talking about the pictures yet.

She once again discussed how 1989 did not initially had a lot of support from her label. “But to me,” said the former Princess in Red, “the safest thing I could do was take the biggest risk. I know how to write a song. I’m not confident about a lot of other aspects of my life, but I know how to write a song.” I will give credit to GQ, they do stress her autonomy as the major disclaimer against the usual pre-manufactured mainstream stereotype that prevails upon young acts. To quote GQ’s Chuck Klusterman, “She is in total control of her own constructed reality.” In my opinion, I do feel there’s a constrictive pressure upon Taylor that is Taylor herself on putting out the best image possible.

(Photo: Michael Thompson for GQ)
(Photo: Michael Thompson for GQ)

The article does point out Taylor has two ways of speaking. When she’s preparing the interview, “optimistic, animated, and seemingly rehearsed (even when that’s impossible)” which she uses when she’s on TV, and when she cares more about the message than the words, “chin slightly down, brow slightly furrowed, timbre slightly deeper”. I also have two ways of speaking, one is when I’m answering the phone at work and the other is when I’m talking to friends. I also can bet you have two ways of speaking, because we all do. One is professional (or when you’re answering the teacher at school) and the other is personal. And I bet the professional may sound rehearsed because it’s routinely used while the personal one sounds more… personal.

To quote the author, “she oscillates between the two styles fluidly, because either (a) this dissonance is less intentional than it appears or (b) she can tell I’m considerably more interested in anything delivered in the second style.” I’m going to add (c) because she can see right through you and is testing to see if you are just doing your work or are truly interested in what she has to say. Taylor might be very modest, but she’s usually smarter than the person interviewing her. To GQ’s Chuck Klusterman credit, she’s very revealing and candid in the interview and the article does pay her a lot of justice.

There’s a moment in the interview in which Taylor gets flustered (peeved, perhaps a bit annoyed) at one word that a third party (not named) used to describe her: calculating. The author stresses her voice remained in the “second mode” throughout the rebuttal. She doesn’t like this word at all. Here’s a brilliant quote.

“Am I shooting from the hip?” she asks rhetorically. “Would any of this have happened if I was? In that sense, I do think about things before they happen. But here was someone taking a positive thing—the fact that I think about things and that I care about my work—and trying to make that into an insinuation about my personal life. Highly offensive. You can be accidentally successful for three or four years. Accidents happen. But careers take hard work.”

-Taylor Swift, GQ

(Photo: Michael Thompson for GQ)
(Photo: Michael Thompson for GQ)

You can harbour an illusion that Taylor’s career is prefabricated after that, but I wouldn’t. She is sharp as a freaking laser. She rehearses her moves. Would you call a dancer or a martial arts fighter fake? I would call them prepared. How can you nail a particular move or a jump or a kick without rehearsing? The article’s conclusion is along the same lines of my line of thinking: “So is it unfair to categorize Swift as calculating? Maybe, and particularly if you view that term as exclusively pejorative. But calling her guileless would be even crazier.”

Her guile shows strong when she talks about her infamous explanation for Bad Blood back in that Rolling Stone interview from last year. Taylor knew that the song would be assigned to a person. The “easiest mark” she calls him. And the song was not about heartbreak, but about losing a friend. As GQ points out, nobody thinks the song is about a guy.

But they would have. So I don’t necessarily care who people think it’s about. I just needed to divert them away from the easiest target. Listen to the song. It doesn’t point to any one person or any one situation. But if you’d listened to my previous four albums, you would think this was about a guy who broke my heart. And nothing could be further from the truth. It was important to show that losing friendships can be just as damaging to a person as losing a romantic relationship.

-Taylor Swift, GQ

GQ does point out here that Taylor went on to mention the business aspects of that incident. The dancers that left her tour. The details that will allow people to hone onto one name (yeah, we all thought Katy Perry, but now…) so this could be a historic rewrite. Unless…

Did Taylor Swift troll the entire mainstream media with a false trail of clues?

Or to quote GQ again: “Yet consider the strategy’s larger brilliance: In order to abort the possibility of a rumor she did not want, she propagated the existence of a different rumor that offered the added value of making the song more interesting.”

Why reveal it now? Because it’s too late. Regardless of what she says now about it, the idea behind Bad Blood is already ingrained onto people’s consciousness. Mainstream media will never let it go. People who already formed an opinion are incredibly resistant to change it. Remember, Taylor did not say it by accident. She knew where that would go.

The article has a brilliant ending: “Taylor Swift is 25. But she’s older than you.” And smarter. Way smarter than she will ever be given credit for.

Watch on YouTube

You can read the full article at GQ magazine. And for the people saying that she should put on some damn clothes on, that is clothes. She is covered.

(Photo: Michael Thompson for GQ)
(Photo: Michael Thompson for GQ)

Coming up in the Calendar!

(Sources: GQ Magazine)