Getty Images | Dimitrios Kambouris

Taylor Swift Defends 'Welcome To New York' Against The Haters

She also recalls her first Knicks game.

Taylor Swift may be the tourist ambassador of New York and the queen of the charts -- with her record-breaking 1989 currently on top -- but back when she was 12, she lost out to some kid in a talent competition because said kid had just a little more New York pride than the future "Shake It Off" singer.

In an interview with Billboard -- as the magazine's "Woman of the Year" -- Swift spoke about her relationship with the city, which she used to visit all the time for auditions when she lived in Pennsylvania as a child.

"I went to a Knicks game a few weeks ago, and people were like, 'Oh, it's your first Knicks game!'" Swift told Billboard. "I actually have a photo of my first Knicks game. I was 12 years old and I was in a halftime talent competition, but I didn't win because the kid who won sang 'New York, New York,' and I was like, 'Here's a song I wrote about a boy in my class...'"

Some things never change, it seems.

Too bad she hadn't penned "Welcome To New York" yet -- an original jam beats a cover hands-down.

Swift is aware, however, that some people doubt her ability to rep The Big Apple (which is a nickname no one in New York uses, by the way) -- as critics and other musicians were less than enthused about her ode to the city.

Related: Taylor Swift Named NYC Global Welcome Ambassador

"When you write a song, you're writing about a momentary emotion," Swift said of the optimistic song. "If you can capture that and turn it into three-and-half minutes that feel like that emotion, that's all you're trying to do as a songwriter. To take a song and try to apply it to every situation everyone is going through -- economically, politically, in an entire metropolitan area -- is asking a little much of a piece of a music."

"I'm as optimistic and enthusiastic about New York as I am about the state of the music industry, and a lot of people aren't optimistic about those two things," she added.