Taylor Swift’s intellectual mindset and creative flair has gained her profound respect in the music industry becoming an international name with several hits dominating the charts over a twelve-year span. Although her success has been one to celebrate, in recent years Swift has been forced to face a tumultuous battle with a record producer over her rights to her own music. However, instead of settling to the producer’s unethical demands, Swift made a power move that not only allowed her to reclaim her music but also paved a way for fellow female artists to realise they have more power over their work than they realise.
The dispute between Swift and music mogul Scooter Braun escalated late last year when the news first broke of Braun selling the rights to Swift’s first six albums to which she had been “actively” attempting to regain. The singer addressed the situation on Twitter by stating this was “the second time my music has been sold without my knowledge” in a statement that revealed Braun’s legal team had been coercing her into signing a non-disclosure agreement to prevent her from talking about Braun negatively in the media. Swift’s legal team clarified the NDA’s nature was “not normal” and compared it to silencing “an assault accuser by paying them off”.
What makes the matter even more concerning was when a company called Shamrock Holdings contacted Swift and revealed they had bought 100% of her “music, videos, and album art from Scooter Braun” and how they had been warned to make “no contact” with Swift or her team “or the deal would be off”. During this communication, Swift was made aware of the severity of the situation which addressed Braun’s terms with Shamrock Holdings that would grant Braun continuous profit from Swift’s original music catalogue for years to come.
In “good conscience” Swift stated she could not bring herself to be in collaboration with the company who now owned her music as it would be benefiting Braun’s interests. Also, knowing her ordeal would be prolonged in a legal battle with Braun, Swift made the impactful decision to re-record all her old music starting with her Fearless album. Although it wouldn’t be the original editions of her work, the decision permitted her to have full rights over all the songs she had created over the years, with the singer describing her move as both “exciting” and “creatively fulfilling”.
Her renowned track, ‘Love Story’ was the first to be re-recorded and released earlier this month and it received an electrifying response from her loyal fanbase, music critics and fellow peers in the industry, with Selena Gomez commenting on how “proud” she was of Swift’s response to the situation. The track with the newly added parentheses ‘Taylor’s Version’ was the public appeal everyone had been waiting for, not only did Swift find a way to take control of the music she had worked hard to release, but she had truly made it her own adaptation.
In a statement released by Shamrock Capital it said: “We fully respect and support her decision and, while we hoped to formally partner, we also knew this was a possible outcome that we considered. We appreciate Taylor’s open communication and professionalism with us these last few weeks. We hope to partner with her in new ways moving forward and remain committed to investing with artists in their work.”
Braun has not yet commented on Swift re-recording her music or Shamrock’s letter revealing his intentions, but his unreasonable treatment of Swift in the past have caused him to receive numerous death threats from the public. This specific response from the public was sparked from Braun preventing Swift from playing her old music. His concern for his own life and career pushed him to reach out to Swift in an attempt to meet and resolve things “amicably”. The artist rejected his cry for attention and justifiably so when he had refused to support her on multiple occasions and even during situations, he had caused upon her.
As a female thriving artist, she was refused rights to her own work resulting in immense stress brought on by Braun who was supposed to be the one person to support and lift Swift in the industry rather than withholding her work corruptively to gain profit. The only clarity Braun was present for was when his stance in the industry was on the line, which resulted in him using emotional manipulation in an attempt to earn Swift’s support. This is still an ongoing occurrence in the music industry’s use of female artists and one that is in need of being identified and dispersed.
Although it is an unfortunate situation to face, Swift took charge of the twisted state of affairs and prevailed in restoring her music in a way that is empowering, invigorating and inspiring to fellow artists and aspiring females who wish to be part of the music industry one day. Taylor Swift’s story is one to remember, and whether you desire to follow in her footsteps or not, it illustrates the power a woman has in a male dominated environment – in this day and age, she is unstoppable.