Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 17th 2013 Contents B36
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Songwriting is the topic of the
moment for Taylor Swift.
The 23-year-old pop star was hon-
oured for a record sixth time as song-
writer-artiste of the year by the
Nashville Songwriters Association Inter-
national, surpassing guys like Vince Gill
and Alan Jackson. She earned the award
with 14 hits in the top 30 over the last
year, a tribute to the popularity of her
multiplatinum fourth album, Red.
As Swift accepts the award, she s six
months deep in the songwriting process
for her next album.
"I think the goal for the next album
is to continue to change, and never
change in the same way twice," the
seven-time Grammy winner said. "How
do I write these figurative diary entries
in ways that I ve never written them
before and to a sonic backdrop that I ve
never explored before? It s my fifth
album, which is crazy to think about,
but I think what I m noticing about it
so far is it s definitely taking a different
turn than anything I ve done before."
Swift sat down with The Associated
Press after the Saturday ribbon-cutting
on the new $4 million Taylor Swift Edu-
cation Center at the Country Music
Hall of Fame and Museum in her adopt-
ed hometown to talk about what s to
come with the new album, her six
Country Music Association Award nom-
inations, her friend and fellow Nashville
resident Ed Sheeran and Madonna.
AP: Next month you leave on a sta-
dium tour of Australia, making you
the first female solo performer to tour
that country since Madonna 20 years
ago. Madonna was the top pop star in
the world at the time. Do you see your-
self as that kind of pop star?
Swift: I would never see myself that
way. I see myself as kind of this girl
who writes songs in her bedroom. You
can kind of dress it up all you want and
you can put together an amazing the-
atrical production, you can become a
better performer as time goes by, and
you can try to excite people, but I m
always going to be a girl who writes
songs in her bedroom in my own per-
sonal perception of myself. And I think
it s important that I don t necessarily
think too hard about what everybody
else s perception of me is or else I d just
get completely lost in it. It s just easier
to think of myself that way.
AP: You re up for entertainer of the
year again at the CMAs on Nov 6. If
you win, you ll become the first
woman with three wins, passing Bar-
bara Mandrell. How do you feel about
Swift: I think winning entertainer of
the year would be an unbelievable thing
to happen in my life because I still some-
times can t believe I ve gotten to win
So a third time, what I think it would
mean for my fans, would be the biggest
feeling I would have. Just knowing the,
I think, 1.3 million people we saw this
year in the US would get to know that
they contributed to that and that they
being frenzied and covering themselves
in Christmas lights and making signs
and learning the lyrics and screaming
at the top of their lungs and dancing
for two hours straight at my show some-
how moved the needle and impacted
my life in a way that I ll remember when
AP: You said recently you ve been
working on songs for the new album
for about six months. What can you
tell us about what you have planned?
Swift: It s too early to tell who are
going to be my predominant collabo-
rators, but I do know that my absolute
dream collaborators were Shellback and
Max Martin on the last project. I ve
never been so challenged as a songwriter.
I ve never learned so much. I ve never
just been so excited to show up to the
studio every day, just because you never
know what we re going to put together.
I ll bring in ideas and they ll take such
a different turn than where I thought
they were going to go, and that level of
unexpected spontaneity is something
that really thrills me in the process of
making music. ...What if we did this?
What if we made it weirder? What if
we took it darker? I love people who
have endless strange and exciting ideas
about where music can go.
AP: How far are you willing to push
the boundaries of your sound?
Swift: I definitely think that with
music my favourite thing about
Nashville is that it s a music hub that
accepts and allows all genres to be pres-
ent, and I think there s been a kind of
fusing of genres lately that for me makes
me really happy and excited. I am blown
away at getting six CMA nominations
in a year that I pushed the boundaries
of what a genre is more than ever before.
I m so happy that people understood
what I was doing conceptually. Getting
those six CMA nominations to me sig-
nified that this community knew that
I was not running from where I come
I was exploring, and I think the more
people who know what country music
is, the more people will gravitate toward
AP: Speaking of Nashville, I think
you convinced your friend Ed Sheeran
to move here...
Swift: Oh, I definitely did. Ed loves
Nashville. You know, so many people
live here now. It s really exciting because
nobody who comes here...doesn t like
it, and it just makes me proud to live
here and it makes me proud to make
music here and I love it.
I just love it becoming such an excit-
ing place to live after eight years.
Taylor Swift... I see
myself as kind of this
girl who writes songs in
her bedroom. AP PHOTO
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