Taylor Swift on Why Sharing a 'Biographical Glimpse' Into Her Life Makes a Good Pop Song
By Jennifer Drysdale
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
With hit after hit to her name, Taylor Swift knows a thing or two about how to spot a good pop song.
In a piece written for the April issue of Elle UK, Swift opens up about the qualities that turn a track into a chart-topper, explaining that it's actually personal details that make a song universally liked (that might be why so many of her personal breakup songs are so successful).
"In modern pop, songs/bops/chunes including extremely personal details like ‘Kiki, do you love me’ and ‘Baby pull me closer in the backseat of your rover’ have been breaking through on the most global cultural level. This year on tour, I got to hear stadium crowds passionately sing along to a young woman from Cuba singing about 'Havana,'" Swift writes, referencing pal Camila Cabello's hit single.
“I think these days, people are reaching out for connection and comfort in the music they listen to. We like being confided in and hearing someone say, ‘this is what I went through’ as proof to us that we can get through our own struggles," she continues. "We actually do NOT want our pop music to be generic."
Swift says that music lovers "want some biographical glimpse into the world of our narrator, a hole in the emotional walls people put up around themselves to survive." "This glimpse into the artist’s story invites us to connect it to our own, and in the best case scenario, allows us the ability to assign that song to our memories," she declares. "It’s this alliance between a song and our memories of the times it helped us heal, or made us cry, dance, or escape that truly stands the test of time."
The GRAMMY winner's songs, "We Are Never Getting Back Together," "Style," "Out of the Woods," "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "Back to December," are just a few examples of how she used her personal experiences to craft songs that hit a chord with her fans.
As for what she listens to during her own breakups, however, that would be "'You Learn’ by Alanis Morissette, ‘Put Your Records On’ by Corinne Bailey Rae and ‘Why’ by Annie Lennox." "[I'm convinced they] have actually healed my heart after bad breakups or let downs," Swift writes.
The "Delicate" singer couldn't appear more in love with boyfriend Joe Alwyn, however. See more on the couple in the video below.