Girls’ girl Taylor Swift shifts gear from country to pop-driven rodeo twists in her new album Red (Universal Music). There are enough sob-sob tales in there to feed the Taylor Swift myth — she’s all of 22 — as she indeed has come a long way since her 2006 self-titled debut album. And however much the lady doth protest, ex-boyfriends, her gal pals and unhappy endings make Red the stuff any hopeless romantic would kill for. An email chat with t2…
Is Red all about emotions?
The album actually covers the emotions one feels when in a relationship or is getting out of one. It is intense because every relationship turns out to be a roller-coaster ride –– from happiness to anger to frustration.
The album moves away from country. Is this an attempt to look at other genres?
I felt like getting out there and exploring different styles. I’m too young to get stuck in a comfort zone. This is my time to experiment and I’ve tried not to play safe. I’m hoping that my fans will like Red even if it is a little different from what I’ve done before.
Is this a very personal album?
You can’t really put a label on the songs I write. They’re a sum of things that I’ve been through and things that people I know have experienced.
So, which of the tracks are personal?
I don’t think I can pick out one song that’s personal because all of it comes from a very personal space. It talks about the experience of love and being in love. And like I said, it’s also inspired by stories other people have shared with me. It is not just about me; it’s about what we all go through.
What are some of the heartbreak songs you grew up on?
I think my biggest influence, apart from personal experiences, has been the stories I’ve heard from people, especially at meet-and-greet lines where girls would come over and speak about their lives, about boys they like… stuff. When you hear about someone else’s life you can’t help but get influenced and that gets reflected in my writing. It always feels nice to write a song that may help someone get through a tough situation.
You decided to work with Ed Sheeran (on Everything Has Changed), whose music is slightly dark.
It was actually a twist of fate. I heard his music in Australia and got in touch with his management at a time when his management was trying to get in touch with me. Ed’s really talented at writing and singing and just a great person to be around. He is actually a fun person to be around.
Red lips, dresses… it’s a retro album cover.
I’ve always liked red lipstick and I love wearing dresses. I’m not really trying out anything new. I’ve always liked vintage dresses, pearls and stuff!
Finally, any Indian musician you would like to work with?
I don’t really collaborate a lot. But if the time is right and I feel a connection, I would be open to it.