Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who always trusts Miss Elizabeth Huett, we’re glad we’re barely a week and a half into the year and we can already hear her singing again! Here’s the beautiful and talented Liz singing “Put My Heart Down” along with co-writers Andrew Dorff and Nathan Chapman!
Here at the Swift Agency, still a guy who missed the Oscars on the account of falling asleep, we’d rather get some sleep sometimes. We haven’t heard a lot of things from the beautiful and talented Elizabeth Huett but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been active.
Miss Huett got together with two other amazing songwriters, Andrew Dorff and Nathan Chapman (whom you should remember as Tayor’s producer in all her albums) to write down the track “Put My Heart Down” that will be part of Sara Evans’ new album Slow Me Down. The album drops on March 11.
March 24: The voting opens for the 49th ACM Awards Entertainer of the Year. Taylor Swift is nominated. Go to VoteACM.com to vote.
March 29: The 2014 Kids Choice Awards airs at 8pm ET / 7pm CT on Nickelodeon. Taylor Swift is nominated for Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Song for “I Knew You Were Trouble”. Vote here.
April 6: The 49th ACM Awards. Taylor Swift is nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Single Record of the Year, Video of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year for ”Highway Don’t Care”– Tim McGraw Featuring Taylor Swift & Keith Urban.
There’s professional criticism and then, there’s just being mean. Couldn’t agree more with the Fearless One. Let’s go to the Mean preview video!
Nathan Chapman, her producer, described Mean for Billboard: “the most country-sounding thing she’s ever done.” The song does feature banjo and fiddle in the foreground. We need to hear the whole thing! That’s happening tomorrow around midnight. Here in the east coast it seemed to happen an hour earlier, so make sure you keep checking iTunes. This is the last song that we will get a single of. Story Of Us will get a preview on October 22 but will come out with the album. Speak Now drops October 25. Countdown to Taylor time is now T minus 7 days.
And now, the second part of the Speak Now photoshoot! She gets Haunted! Scott Swift sings Mean! Taylor gets tied to the train tracks! Wait, what?
Ok, Haunted sounds interesting. Can someone untie poor Tay now please?
Thanks to aprilmaii for posting the videos! Update: I’m switching to taylorswiftweb‘s videos because they have higher quality, but I want to keep my thanks to aprilmaii for breaking the news first and to @myca13swift for letting me in on the links posted 🙂
The Fearless One is expected in Paris this Monday, October 18, for a private concert. After that… wish I’d knew for certain. Europe should be on Swiftie alert!
You probably have already heard or read about Taylor Swift being the cover story for the Billboard. If not, you should read it. It’s a very good piece. The article starts with a few details about Taylor’s rise to fame. Then as it approaches the oncoming release date of Speak Now, it gathers impressions of Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Records, Nathan Chapman, the producer behind all of Taylor Swift’s albums, and the Fearless One herself. There are a lot of reveals in the article about the way the three of them interact and you realize that although they really started together, Taylor has been the gem and spark of the whole adventure since the start. Let’s cover some highlights.
As they approach the subject of the expectations for the new album, Taylor still maintains her usual demeanor of not taking success for granted.
“I have a lot of anxiety about things on certain days, but I have anxiety because I care,” she says. “It’s not anxiety that’s crippling. It’s a five-minute conversation with myself about if a [sales] number really defines this piece of art that I’ve created and what that means, and what the number’s going to be. I try to predict what it’s going to be, and then I realize that I can’t predict what it’s going to be, and then I sit there and say something to myself like, ‘Well, you’re happy today. Enjoy this and be proud of the music that you’ve made.'”
It has been speculated by critics that Taylor’s mindset for her songwriting is stuck in high school, but Mine‘s first line already fixes the new starting point mentioning college. Nathan Chapman pipes up about this:
“She left home, she’s living on her own now, and she’s seeing the world in a different way after growing up a bit,” producer Nathan Chapman says. “There’s probably some more grown-up things that she’s dealing with, and that comes out in the songs.”
There was one particular topic that Taylor was dealing with. She started writing and coming up with a new song between February and June of 2010. The song was called Innocent and it addressed the infamous VMA incident of 2009. The song had a concilatory tone, it was song with forgiveness in mind. Taylor, as much as she’s comfortable with, expands on her mindset when writing it.
“It took a while to write that song,” Swift says. “That was a huge, intense thing in my life that resonated for a long time. It was brought up to me in grocery stores and everywhere I went, and in a lot of times in my life, when I don’t know how I feel about something, I say nothing. And that’s what I did until I could come to the conclusion that I came to in order to write ‘Innocent,’ ” she says. “Even then, I didn’t talk about it, and I still don’t really talk about it. I just thought it was very important for me to sing about it.”
It’s very clear that it’s not her favorite subject, as she herself admits to when pressed. A lot of people admired the tone of forgiveness in the lyrics. But some didn’t get it and thought that it was all sarcasm, and Taylor was really patronizing or talking down to the rapper whose name I forget. The article mentions the fallout a lot of artists go through when they rise to the top too fast.
Which brings out to the other event that Taylor was already been criticized for, her performance with Stevie Nicks at the Grammy Awards. Her problems with pitch during the performance were commented on and remain a constant criticism because of her winnings that night. She’s aware.
“I care about what everyone thinks of me, and I’m not afraid to say that,” she says. “There have been times when it’s absolutely leveled me and ruined my day. Then there are times when I can hear it and I’m kind of like, ‘Oh, I’ve heard that before,’ and I just continue on with my day.”
She also acknowledges her vocal presence, specially on live events, is carefully watched over and a source of her concern. That’s one of the areas that I have definitely put a lot of work into,” she says.
There’s also the fact that some are worried about how the album sounds regarding genre. Neither Nathan nor Taylor are fazed by those concerns. As the article says, “at least a half-dozen tracks employ classic-pop arcs with instrumentation that’s outside the norm for country.”
“When we were making these songs,” Chapman says, “it was ‘What does this song need?’ as opposed to ‘How far can we push the line on one genre or the other?’ ” The producer describes one track on the album — Mean, which puts fiddle and banjo to prominent use — as “the most country-sounding thing she’s ever done.”
As for her possibly exploring acting, it’s something that she keeps on the back of her mind. Her first priority remains her music.
“At the moment, I’ve just made space for putting out an album and then touring the world,” she says. “Maybe in a couple years acting would be a great thing to do, but there aren’t going to be any concert dates moved around for acting in the [near] future.”
And that tour, the tour for the album is the next big thing. The ideas are still taking shape, but she’s already got a few. Why am I not surprised.
“I already have drawings in my journal of what the stage should look like.” she says. “I know a few of the set list orders, [and] I want there to be an entire wedding scene on the stage.”
A very fitting theme for the album, but Taylor expands a bit more on it.
“It’s very weird,” she says of the nuptial undercurrent in her work. “I’m not really that girl who dreams about her wedding day. It just seems like the idealistic, happy-ever-after [moment]. It’s funny that my wedding references have all been like ‘Marry me, Juliet,’ and on my ‘Speak Now’ album I’m ripping one to shreds.”
Another revelation was the original name that the album had, and how it obtained its new name. Once again, it came down to a talk between Taylor and Scott Borchetta:
“At one point, the record was not called Speak Now. It was called Enchanted,” Borchetta says. “We were at lunch, and she had played me a bunch of the new songs. I looked at her and I’m like, ‘Taylor, this record isn’t about fairy tales and high school anymore. That’s not where you’re at. I don’t think the record should be called Enchanted. ‘ ”
So in typical Taylor fashion, the Fearless One left the table for a moment. Once she came back she knew exactly how the album should be named.
Please read the original and complete article on Billboard. I’ve almost re-written the entire article by paraphrasing and adding my own comments for the purpose of highlighting Taylor’s quotes. You will find the original author’s commentary, quotes from other sources and a lot more insight into Taylor and Big Machine Records on the original one on the Billboard site.
Taylor Swift is not one to hog the spotlight alone. Back during the CMA Awards 2009, when she won the coveted Entertainer of the Year she didn’t stand alone for long. She brought the Agency on stage. Along her road to success she has been known to publicly support a ton of other artists. Try asking Lady Antebellum, Gloriana, Kellie Pickler, Justin Bieber, Boys Like Girls, Luna Halo and more recently Better Than Ezra. Not that any of them were not artists in their own right already, but an extra push is always appreciated. She’s just that good a friend that there’s more than a few artists more than willing to collaborate with her.
Her collaboration with American Greetings comes to fruition next week as February rolls in. You can preview her line of greeting cards at US Magazine. I’ve posted a few of them here for you to gaze at 🙂
Some nights ago before having dinner with John Mayer and friends in Nashville, the Fearless One was at a housewarming party for singer Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. “She was just as normal and as sweet as ever,” Scott told Marc Malkin from E! Online. “She bought me and my roommate monogrammed little teacups and saucers that were so cute.” Lady Antebellum’s latest album Need You Now is now available in iTunes and it’s a great one. Not that they need any help from me, but I thought I’d take a page from T-Swizzle and help out a bit too 😉
Swifty was spotted in the audience at last night’s Crossroads with Keith Urban and John Mayer taping according to Country Music Tattle Tale. Reportedly she was singing along to every song. We even heard her fiery fiddle player from The Agency, Caitlin Evanson, got a chance to perform. We’ll have to watch that when it airs to confirm.
Tay’s next challenge is going to be the 52nd Grammy Awards. But according to Rolling Stone and reported by GAC she’s not going out on a limb. but she’s not just going to win by herself. Fellow songwriter Liz Rose and producer Nathan Chapman would strongly benefit further.
Liz Rose has collaborated with Taylor in more than half of her hits, including You Belong With Me, nominated for Song of the Year and White Horse, nominated for Best Country Song. “I don’t try and get into her head, except I have a daughter Taylor’s age,” Liz says. “I have a 20-year-old and a 22-year-old. Hayley and Taylor were the same age, so I knew what Taylor was goin’ through. Hayley would come home and tell me what was goin’ on, and Taylor would come and tell me the same thing.”
Nathan Chapman would get Grammy if Fearless wins Album of the Year or Best Country Album. Taylor has plenty of country instrumentation on the CD. The banjo and mandolin, in particular. “We co-produced Fearless, and she was askin’ for banjo,” Nathan says. “I would say ‘What about this?’ — fiddle or whatever. So the decisions to do those country instruments were the two of us collaborating.”
The 52nd Grammy Awards air Sunday, January 31 on CBS. Most of the trophies will be handed out during a pre-telecast ceremony that will stream live beginning at 4 p.m. ET that day on grammy.com. The top accolades will be handed out during the broadcast at 8pm ET on CBS the same day.
Please remember to vote for Taylor Swift for International Breakthrough Act at the 2010 BRIT Awards. Write it in permanent marker on the back of your hand. Just don’t forget. Please 🙂