Taylor Swift is acknowledged as one of the most notable singer-songwriters of the 21st century. But considering the average pop star often just records songs from other songwriters, does Taylor Swift write her own songs?
Taylor Swift writes or co-authors all of the songs on her albums. In the early part of her career, it was common for her to be the sole songwriter but starting with her album “Red”, she began collaborating with others for the majority of her songs.
Taylor began bringing popular names to the table by collaborating with:
- Jack Antonoff
- Liz Rose
- Max Martin
- Aaron Dessner (of The National)
- William Bowery (a pen name used by her boyfriend Joe Alwyn)
- Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver)
- Bryce Dessner (of The National)
It is a common practice in the music industry to work with other musicians to explore their creative streak. Let us find out Taylor’s music evolution through these collaborations.
Does Taylor Swift write her songs herself?
Taylor Swift has written many of her songs herself. Songs such as Dear John, Mine, and Love Story are all songs she wrote by herself. But most of her more recent albums feature collaborations with Jack Antonoff and members of The National.
But collaborating with other artists doesn’t mean that Swift’s writing is bad.
And it’s not like other, more disposable pop stars who just record what the label or producers tell her too. Taylor is in control of her music from start to finish.
In the music industry, it is common to see such pairings because musicians often collaborate to experiment with different genres and test their range.
And perhaps one of the reasons behind so many collaborations could be Taylor’s attempt to come out of the confines of her country music style.
Many of her fans didn’t know that she could rap so well. It was only when one of her songs, “Ready for It”, that many fans saw how good she is at rapping.
But one question that I am eager to find the answer to is: how is Taylor able to produce music so fast?
And how much studio trickery is used to make her voice sound so good?
In a recent article, I got into her use of autotune, when she uses it and when she doesn’t, whether she lip-syncs live, and why some of her songs are in totally different keys when she does live acoustic versions of them.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Max Martin & Shellback worked in “Message In A Bottle” & “Nothing New” is a self-written, check the rest below! pic.twitter.com/9EWlj6gIwg
— The Swift Society (@TheSwiftSociety) November 9, 2021
Who are Taylor Swift’s most frequent songwriting partners?
Taylor Swift’s most frequent songwriting partners include Liz Rose, Max Martin, Shellback, and more recently, Aaron and Bryce Dessner from The National. But Taylor’s longtime boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, is also a frequent contributor under the pen name of William Bowery.
Taylor is counted among the most hard-working musicians. She has reached a status where she can work with any songwriter she wants.
Her most frequent songwriting partners list feature names like:
Back from her country days when Taylor started as a singer, Liz Rose was Taylor’s leading writing partner. She has collaborated with Liz for songs like; a 10-minute version of All Too Well, You Belong With Me, White House, and Teardrops On My Guitar. Rose is known to be the first professional writer to work with Taylor in the studio.
Martin is known as the face behind the exploration of Taylor’s Pop streak. He backed Taylor’s writing on tracks like Bad Blood, Blank Space, and Shake It Off. Martin has also worked on Taylor’s latest album evermore (2020).
The Swedish songwriter and record producer is often associated with Taylor Swift’s co-writing process. He has worked with Taylor on her hit album “Red” and hit songs like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”.
Of course, while not the most frequent collaborator, Swift’s most famous collaborator is undoubtedly Ed Sheeran.
The duo has collaborated on the following songs that Swift has released:
- “Everything Has Changed” (from 2012’s Red)
- “End Game” (from 2017’s Reputation)
- “Run,” a vault track on 2021’s Red (Taylor’s Version)
But the pair also released the song “The Joker and the Queen” on Sheeran’s album simply called “=”. The song itself had already been released in 2021 not being a duet. But their duet version was released in February 2022.
But One Republic’s Ryan Tedder also collaborated with Swift on the song “I Know Places” from Swift’s 2014 album “1989”, with Tedder calling her “a prodigy”.
Yes, it’s really 10 mins long. INCREDIBLE songwriting & performance. @taylorswift13 completely crushed this – I am in awe. Also, Taylor Swift is definitely emo – don’t @ me. #redtaylorsversion pic.twitter.com/d9IBx2I0KA
— Terence Dunn (@TerenceDunn13) November 12, 2021
What Taylor Swift songs didn’t she write?
Taylor Swift only performs songs that she didn’t write when she does covers of other artists in concert. Her albums only contain songs she wrote or co-wrote.
She says an idea for a song can strike anytime.
She writes songs about nostalgia and memories. She records her thoughts on her phone to go back to them later when she has formed a structure around the melody.
“A lot of songwriting is things you learn, structure, and cultivate that skill, and know how to craft a song. But there are mystical, magical moments, inexplicable moments when an idea that is fully formed just pops into your head.”
“And that’s the purest part of my job. It can get complicated on every other level, but the songwriting is still the same uncomplicated process it was when I was 12 years old writing songs in my room.”
Taylor is among the rare artists who know how to incorporate ideas even when they aren’t entirely hers. She never forgets to give credit to the songwriters who have worked on the songs with her.
And she is equally supportive of other artists like Olivia Rodrigo.
In a recent article, I explored Taylor’s relationship with one of the rising singers Olivia Rodrigo. Is she really Taylor’s daughter, and did Taylor write a song for Olivia?
Just click that link to read it on my site.
— Mix FM Now Playing (@mixfm_now) November 18, 2021
What is Taylor Swift’s favorite song that she wrote?
Taylor Swift claimed once that her favorite self-written song is Blank Space. She couldn’t believe she came up with such great lyrics. But Taylor also says Love Story has been a favorite.
Let’s look at those two:
Blank Space is a single from Taylor’s fifth studio album, 1989.
Talking about her inspiration for the song’s lyrics, Taylor told a magazine that the motivation behind writing this song was the criticism she consistently receives from the media.
Love Story (Re-recording)
Taylor is currently rerecording her first six albums following a battle with Scooter Braun over the rights to her early recordings.
Taylor told a magazine:
“I’ve been having a great time rerecording my older music. So far, of the ones I’ve recorded, I think it’s been the most fun doing ‘Love Story.’
Honestly, every lyric that Taylor writes is so empowering and loaded with emotions that you can keep listening in a row.
She has come a long way and is still exploring every possible genre that she can get her hands on. Her fans seem to have difficulty deciding which one is the best of her works to date.
But how about her two albums from 2020?
Curious which album Taylor Swift likes better between folklore and evermore? Read my recent article where I did a deep dive into both, including which one sold better.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Throw🔙| 7 years ago today, @taylorswift13 became the FIRST female artist in HISTORY to replace herself at No. 1 on Hot 100 Chart.
— ‘Blank Space’ took ‘Shake It Off”s positon in the top of the chart. pic.twitter.com/sbCGWcoGNS
— The Swift Society (@TheSwiftSociety) November 29, 2021
Did Taylor Swift write Blank Space?
Taylor Swift wrote Blank Space in collaboration with producer Max Martin and Shellback. The lyrics were conceived as a satirical self-referential nod to her reputation as a flirtatious woman.
Taylor Swift has consistently been portrayed as a nightmarish woman setting her imagination off, which, to be fair, is quite biased.
This is not the only time Taylor has raised a voice against gender biases and shut down sexist interviewers. But she took her message a level up by creating an interesting character to write with this song.
Taylor told Metro.co.uk:
“My first reaction was, this isn’t fun. But then my second reaction ended up being, hey, that’s actually a really interesting character (the media is talking about)”.
As expected, Taylor nailed the character who goes “world collecting men, but she’s so clingy that they leave, and she cries in her mansion and then she’s crying in her marble bathtub surrounded by pearls.”
Blank Space received all the love from Taylor’s fans that she deserves. She is a great singer, writer, and storyteller.
Why did Damon Albarn claim Taylor Swift didn’t write her own songs?
What He Said:
British musician Damon Albarn leader of both Blur and Gorillaz, recently made a statement that caused controversy in the music industry.
During that recent interview, he suggested that Taylor Swift did not write her own songs and was instead relying on songwriters to create her hits. This comment sparked debate among fans and critics alike, as many felt it was unfair to accuse Swift of not writing her own material.
Reactions to His Statement:
Fans of both Albarn and Taylor Swift had strong reactions to Albarn’s comments.
Many were outraged at his suggestion that she wasn’t writing her own songs, while others argued that there is nothing wrong with collaborating with other songwriters if it helps create better music. Some even pointed out that some of the biggest names in music have worked with multiple writers over their careers without any criticism from their peers or the public.
While Albarn’s comments may have been taken out of context by some people, they do raise important questions about authorship in today’s music industry.
With technology making it easier than ever for artists to collaborate remotely, who should be credited for creating a song? Should all involved parties receive credit or just one person? These are difficult questions that will continue to be discussed as long as musicians continue working together on projects.
Although Damon Albarn’s statement sparked a lot of controversies, it is clear that Taylor Swift has had an incredibly successful songwriting career and deserves recognition for her accomplishments.
How many songs has Taylor Swift written solely by herself?
Taylor Swift has written a lot of songs solely by herself over the years. In total, she has been credited with songwriting credits on over 100 songs across six studio albums – an impressive feat for any artist!
Taylor Swift has been credited with songwriting credits on all of her albums, starting with her self-titled debut album in 2006. Her third album, Speak Now, was released in 2010 and featured 14 tracks that were all written solely by Taylor Swift. Though on the “deluxe version” there is one song she co-wrote (“If This Was a Movie”).
But for the most part, that entire album is 100% Swift’s actual writing.
In a recent Los Angeles Times interview, Taylor discussed the big difference between writing songs for other artists and writing her own music. She said that when she writes for herself, she can be more honest and open about her feelings and experiences. This is evident in the track list of Speak Now, her third studio album, which features some of Taylor’s most brilliant songwriting to date.
But while she occasionally used co-authors on her first two albums, starting with her fourth album, Red (2012), she began co-writing most of her songs and began her long history with co-author Shellback.
And with that album and beyond, the number of tracks on her albums written exclusively by her got smaller and smaller. But many of her newer songs feature her boyfriend Joe Alwyn as co-author (usually under the pen name William Bowery).
Her fourth album Red featured 9 tracks that were all written solely by Taylor Swift, while her fifth album 1989 only featured 1 track that was all written solely by Taylor Swift.
Her sixth album Reputation featured no songs that were written solely by Taylor Swift. It is worth pointing out though, that 2022’s Midnights album does feature one song written solely by Swift.
Songwriter Taylor Swift has impressive skills that have made a big difference to the success of her career and it is no surprise that she continues to write most of her own music today.
It is clear from listening to any one of her albums that Taylor Swift is an incredibly talented songwriter who puts a lot of thought into every single track she releases.
Who sang “I’m the problem ” first, Taylor Swift or Billie Eilish?
Taylor Swift released the song “Anti-Hero” in October of 2022 on her album Midnights. That song, written by Taylor and frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff, features the repeating refrain “I’m the problem”.
By comparison, fans were quick to point out that Billie Eilish put out the song “TV” in July of 2022 which also features the repeated refrain “maybe I’m the problem”.
So technically Eilish, who is actually a big fan of Swift’s, sang that phrase first.
That being said, there’s very little about the 2 songs that could be described as similar. Eilish’s song, of course, created in conjunction with brother Finneas, is a slow ballad heavy on acoustic guitar and dripping with a melancholy atmosphere.
Swift’s song is typical of her Midnights album which shows her pop roots but with a clear alternative/indie vibe no doubt gained by her work with Aaron Dessner of The National on folklore and evermore.
So Swift’s song features a drum machine and synth and is vaguely dancey (albeit still a bit melancholy). Eilish’s song doesn’t have drums whatsoever for almost the first 2 minutes. And even when they do come in, they are way in the background.
Swift’s lyrics are about her struggles with mental health and insecurities. She goes deep to acknowledge some of her narcissistic traits, and how her celebrity impacts her ability to have normal friendships and relationships.
By comparison, Eilish’s lyrics are about a breakup. But that is in conjunction with pondering how her fame has impacted her friendships and relationships which is similar, thematically to Swift’s song (which again was released later). And both have the revelation that maybe she is the problem and not the others.
So I think it’s safe to say that any similarities between the songs are minimal and totally coincidental. But there is some clear overlap lyrically in how both artists delve into their insecurities surrounding their fame.
Taylor Swift entered the industry as an 11-year-old who perfected the art of storytelling as the years rolled by.
Swift is an excellent songwriter and her gift of songwriting propelled her into stardom and made her the artist that she is today.
Many credits for her successful career can be given to Taylor’s fantastic ability to write her songs. But she is a star who does not know how to stop evolving.
Her creativity as a really interesting songwriter has led her to experiment with pop, electropop, and other genres.
She has worked with talented artists who have helped her produce some of the most memorable songs for the decade. Taylor’s work with The National and Bon Iver on her folklore and evermore albums is my personal favorite of her entire career.
She is a successful businesswoman, as evidenced by her re-recording of her first few albums (dubbed Taylor’s version) so she could retain the rights to the masters that she did not have on her original albums, but she will always be more famous for her songwriting.
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