Does Taylor Swift Produce Her Own Music?

Taylor Swift is a successful singer, songwriter, actress, director, and businesswoman. But does Taylor Swift produce her own music?

Beginning with her 2nd album Fearless, Taylor Swift began co-producing all of her music. Nathan Chapman helped her produce her first 5 albums, but Jack Antonoff has helped her produce all of her albums since then in conjunction with others. 

Generally, singers and songwriters are assigned producers by the record labels.

But eventually, most artists that have success begin to get more and more of a say in how their records get produced. Then they often start hand-picking their producers.

So how did Taylor start to get a say in the production of her albums?

And did she pick Nathan Chapman, Jack Antonoff, and the other producers she’s worked with? Or was that her label? And who’s helping her with her “Taylor’s Version” re-recordings?

Let’s explore.

Taylor Swift produce music lg

Does Taylor Swift write her songs alone?

Taylor Swift wrote most of her early songs alone. However, beginning with her album 1989, she began collaborating with other songwriters to expand her musical boundaries. Her favorite co-writers are Liz Rose, Max Martin, Aaron Dessner, Shellback, among many others.

Many fans questioned Taylor’s lyrical capabilities after a rumor that “she writes only 5% of her music” surfaced on the internet. However, that is not true.

There are videos of Taylor detailing her songwriting process, and the voice notes that she keeps in her phone to always come back to a tune if she wants to. She also works with prominent names like Max Martin and Shellback. So it appears that Taylor holds a big part in her songwriting.

Taylor Swift is a sincere writer whose collaborators always praise her work ethic and talent.

Swift’s lyrical prowess is undeniably getting stronger by the time. But are there any songs that Taylor didn’t write?

Check out my recent article that digs deeper into her catalog. After all, while she’s known for writing and singing her own songs, surely at some point, the label must have had her do songs from other people, right?

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How many producers does Taylor Swift use on her albums?

On average, Taylor Swift has used 4 producers per album, in addition to herself, starting with her second album, Fearless, which is the 1st album she helped produce. But her album 1989 used 10 producers, whereas Speak Now and Fearless only used one other producer other than herself.

Generally, one of the many roles of a producer is to bring coherence to the album. This is done in ways like:

  • Finalizing and fleshing out the musical arrangements 
  • Helping to select which musicians play on the album
  • Helping an artist select which songs to put on the album
  • Helping in audio engineering during recording, mixing, or mastering

But they also take into account what the label’s budget is for the album and how the artist wants the entire album to sound.

An album may feature a different team of producers with a single vocalist or vice versa. Anyway, an album is inherently expensive.

But some artists may find it difficult to work with different styles with just one producer.

After all, in Taylor’s case, she clearly loves working with the brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner from the band The National. But they have a distinctive sound, and when Taylor wants to do a song like “Welcome to New York”, they may not be the right producers for a song like that.

So working with a combination of producers allows her to use the right people for the right songs.

Curious about how and why Taylor started working with The National?

Luckily, I got into all the details in a recent article. I covered how they met, why these 2 unlikely teams decided to partner, and what the fans really think.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Does Taylor Swift have a say in what happens on her albums?

Taylor Swift ultimately decides what happens on her albums as she is either producing or co-producing all of her albums. Initially, on her first album, she just did as she was told. But she has steadily gained control of her career and her sound ever since.

The controversy that record labels control artists is not new. From One Direction to Lady Gaga, celebrities have indicated that record labels play a significant role in an album’s production.

Record labels typically set the terms and conditions to decide the music artists’ record depending on the contract structure. This includes the way the music sounds, song lyrics, and even album covers.

While the relationship between the recording label and the artist is based on mutual benefits, there is always the possibility of that relationship becoming disputed.

But the same applies when artists usually focus on just the song-making process, especially when the singer is not an established name already. Usually, as successful as the artist gets, the greater their ability to renegotiate contracts becomes.

The same can be said with Taylor Swift. 

Her associated record labels may not be the dominant force behind most successful and unsuccessful albums; she has an ultimate say in her albums.

Why is Taylor Swift re-recording her songs?

Taylor Swift is re-recording 5 of her first 6 albums as her former label sold her masters to a 3rd party, effectively removing any control Taylor had over them or how they might be used.

So, you are directly supporting Taylor by buying or streaming the “Taylor’s Version” of those albums.

Taylor got the rare start in her artistic journey by signing a contract with recording giant Big Machine. However, this contract expired in 2017, according to which Taylor lost the ownership of her first six albums that she released with Big Machine.

When her attempts to regain her ownership of the recordings failed, since Taylor owned the songs she had written, she just figured she would re-record them, note for note.

As a result, Taylor re-released four albums (so far) including:

  • Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
  • Red (Taylor’s Version)
  • 1989 (Taylor’s Version)
  • Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

Want to know the difference between the old Fearless and Red album vs. Taylor’s new album titled Taylor’s Version? 

Luckily, I covered that in my recent article discussing minute details to help you understand the differences between her old albums and new albums. Are they exactly the same? And did she get people like Ed Sheeran to re-record his duet with her?

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Who owns Taylor Swift’s old music?

Taylor Swift’s first six albums, released between 2006 and 2017, are currently owned by a private firm called Shamrock Holdings, who bought them from Scooter Braun, who was the person who originally bought them from her record label.

After her former contract with Big Machine expired, Taylor’s old music was purchased by Scooter Braun. But recently, Braun has sold the recordings in November 2020 to a firm called Shamrock Holdings.

Taylor later informed through Twitter, “this was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge”. While Taylor’s old music is no longer under Braun’s control, reports state that he will still profit from it as part of the deal.

The biggest debate that arises here is to understand the importance of owning your own music.

According to inews.co.uk, “A master recording of a song is the first recording of it, and the one from which all further copies are made.”

Now, since the individual is the owner of the master, they will also own the profit earned from all the copies’ sales, including CDs, versions streaming on apps like Spotify, Apple Music, and Records.

Looking back at Braun and Swift’s ownership battle, you may see there might be a financial side for Taylor deciding to re-record her tracks.

Currently, she has released Fearless and Red which means she has four more to complete: Taylor Swift, Speak Now, 1989, and Reputation. But she’s been vague on whether she will actually re-do her 1st album or not.

Why Taylor Swift Doesn't Own Her Own Songs

Conclusion

American singer Taylor Swift is a talented musician with multiple feathers of achievements on her hat.

She started as a songwriter, tried her hands at acting, directing and with her growing aspirations, Taylor Swift is producing her albums.

Some of her recent works, including folklore, evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Red (Taylor’s Version), and many others, indicate Taylor’s dominant role in producing these works.

The American sweetheart is showing no signs of stopping and continues to offer so much to her fans.


Photo that requires attribution:

Taylor Swift by E Palen is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

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