Taylor Swift has never shied away from writing about her feelings. Over the course of her six-year career, Swift has become well-known for penning tracks that chronicle the highs and lows of her relationships, and her fourth album, Red, is no exception.
With songs that are mature, honest and heartfelt, Swift — who spent two years making this album — brings fans on a lyrical journey that explores falling in love, heartache and new beginnings. Yet there was a time that the inspiration for these 16 tracks lived only in Swift’s mind, and when MTV News recently caught up with the singer, she explained just how she transforms her emotions into hit songs.
“When I’m writing a song, I’m so in that zone that it’s really sort of a trance I go into, and I’m just kind of thinking about what I would say to this person that I’m writing the song about if I could just say whatever I wanted to them right now; that’s kind of where I go in my head,” Swift said. “And then the next thing is, I edit the song for a couple of days in my head and make sure that every line is as tight as I want it to be.”
Swift, who wrote each track on her past three albums, decided to take a slightly different approach when making Red, letting a select few into her creative realm.
“With this album, I really wanted to write with different people. I’m making my fourth album at this point, so it’s like, this is so important that I do not start to repeat myself,” Swift said. “I don’t ever want to get into a comfortable groove and continue just coasting on that. I just always want to challenge myself and stretch further in different directions. It’s just fun to paint with more colors.”
Those writers include Swedish hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback, who collaborated with Swift on several tracks, including the lead single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” as well as British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran on the duet “Everything Has Changed.”
So now that Swift has worked independently and collaboratively, which does she prefer?
“I really had a blast making this album with a lot of people, because when you have a big team of people who have collaborated to make the album what it is, you have a lot of people to call when things go well,” Swift said. “Like you can call your co-writers and go, ‘We got #1 on the Hot 100 this week! This is crazy!’ and they go, ‘I know it’s crazy!’ Back when I had Speak Now out, I had written everything by myself. I’d be like, ‘Hey, Taylor, the song went #1!’ I’d be like, ‘Cool, that’s great, you’re the only one that wrote that.’ And it’s wonderful and I’m proud to have done that.”
Well, it seems like Swift will have a lot of congratulatory phone calls to make, since Red is poised to sell over 1 million units in its first week of release.
What’s your favorite song on Red? Let us know in the comments!