Don’t mind me, sitting at my desk in the Exponent office listening to Taylor Swift’s award-winning album “Fearless.” You may be wondering why a 21-year-old male is doing such a thing and oh boy do I have some fantastic news for you, ‘Swiftie’ or not.
Taylor Swift made a surprise announcement across all of her social media platforms on Thursday, Feb. 11, that she is re-recording and releasing her album “Fearless” (Taylor’s version). She also said she was releasing her hit “Love Story” on Friday, Feb. 12, at midnight to build anticipation for her upcoming project.
"I've spoken a lot about why I'm remaking my first six albums, but the way I've chosen to do this will hopefully help illuminate where I'm coming from," Swift wrote on social media. "Artists should own their own work for so many reasons, but the most screamingly obvious one is that the artist is the only one who really knows that body of work."
For those of you who don’t consume every bit of news pertaining to Taylor Swift, “Fearless” is her most popular album with over seven million records sold. Despite the huge success “Fearless” has garnered, she does not own the master recordings of any song on the album or any album recorded prior to her 2019 hit “Lover.” After she re-records her music, she will own the rights to the song and the master record.
Swift has spoken at length about the challenges of not owning her music. "This is what happens when you sign a deal at 15 to someone for whom the term 'loyalty' is clearly just a contractual concept," Swift wrote on Tumblr in 2019. "And when that man says 'music has value', he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it."
Big Machine Records has been Swift’s record label for most of her career, from 2006-2018. It wasn’t until 2018, when she signed with Universal Music Group, that she was granted ownership of her master records. Soon after she left Big Machine Records, Swift’s entire discography was sold to Scooter Braun which she called a “worst-case scenario” because she claimed Braun had bullied her for years.
Everyone was celebrating the news, including United States Women’s National Team forward, Alex Morgan. “Being asked questions about @taylorswift13 and her new albums “Evermore” and “Fearless” during media availability was the highlight of my day,” a Tweet by Morgan read. “Talking soccer is always cool, but talking about one of the most influential and powerful women in the world is my cup of tea.”
Swift is known for dropping clues or Easter eggs in all of her projects. Fans quickly noticed her post contained a not-so-secret message. If an English writing major (my boss, Grace Larsen) would’ve read the announcement they might have keeled over and died right then and there, as it seemed that Swift forgot simple capitalization rules. Every letter in the announcement was lowercase, except for 10 characters. Those 10 capitalized letters spelled out APRIL NINTH, hinting at a possible release date for “Fearless” 2.0.
So, catch me strolling around campus, earbuds in, jamming out to freshly recorded “Love Story” on repeat until April 9, and most definitely after.