After weeks of speculation and hints deduced by fans alike, Taylor Swift has officially confirmed she’s started the process of re-recording her masters. Little is known as to her actual process or even which album she’s starting with, but the news became official after the singer posted a statement online.
News first came out that an undisclosed company had purchased her work for 3 million, and after it was announced that Shamrock Holdings bought her catalog from Big Machine Records and Scooter Braun, Swift took to Twitter to clear a few things up. Of the six albums Big Machine and Scooter Braun own, she’s now allowed to re-record everything from her self-titled debut to 1989. Fans have been highly anticipating this announcement since she hinted at her plans last year, but the confirmation also comes with a few upsetting additions. While Swift says this process has already been creatively fulfilling and exciting, this announcement only comes after Swift explained her desire to buy back her masters from Braun.
She confirmed in this statement that she attempted to enter into negotiations but was denied any information without first signing an ironclad NDA. The singer mentioned that Braun, the popular music manager to stars like Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, included a clause that she would never speak another word about Braun unless it was positive. There’s no use trying to silence Swift as the adamant superstar isn’t one to enter into a deal that ties her hands behind her back, so to speak. Swift has been rightfully vocal about her distaste for the manager and of course, declined to sign the NDA.
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Fans believe Swift’s braid, a style she was known for in 2012, is a nod to her fourth studio album.
Before any confirmation became official, Swift was subtly letting fans know she may have started the re-recording process in her unique Swiftian way which included potential clues and subtle hints that alluded to her past work. She has been known to embed messages in her music videos, lyrics, and merch, all as a crafty wink to the dedicated fans. In what is usually referred to as Easter Eggs, these messages can be anything from writing on a wall (AKA the …Ready for It? Video off of reputation) to color-saturated Instagram pictures (Fans and the general public alike went into a mass frenzy trying to decode her candy-colored pictures, which were all posted as a lead up to the Lover album announcement).
Now that Swift is free to re-record her first five albums )as of November first) from debut’s self-titled to 2014’s 1989, there have been quite a few trending topics on Twitter in celebration, with ‘TAYLOR IS FREE’ and more reaching worldwide notice in support of the singer. (Side note: reputation is ineligible until 2022).
Some Background Info
Her back catalog was sneakily bought by Scooter Braun who acquired Big Machine Records with the help of investors back in 2019, and Swift has publicly rallied against this decision, as he now has control of her life’s work whereas she was not able to bid at all. When Swift’s masters were sold out from under her, the singer made it known she would do whatever it takes to get her work back, even if that means making it anew. She is a big proponent of owning the art you make and frequently speaks out about artist’s rights and proper compensation. Given the shady history of streaming services not compensating artists, Swift also included a groundbreaking deal in her contract with her new home, Republic Records, that gives all artists under the label equity in terms of their Spotify earnings.
The Master of Clues
While little is known about Swift’s actual re-recording process or an eventual release date, fans used their ‘detective skills’ to point out signs that the singer may have already started the process of re-recording her past albums. These signs are all but hearsay as of right now but could in fact relate to her old albums as she’s been known to offer clues to her music in everything from clothing to hairstyles and the like. As Swift was seen wearing her hair in a singular braid and then in a long straight style in two different videos, fans then theorized this was indeed a sign that RED Swift’s fourth studio album was next to be rerecorded in order to regain ownership of her songs. Swift also wore a purple scrunchie on her wrist in another video, and fans were quick to connect the color to her third studio album, Speak Now, posting online about her Grammy award-winning album. Chatter has popped up as well regarding if she’ll keep the re-recordings exactly the same, or change up a few things with these new versions. While all of this is, in fact, a theory, it’s easy to see why Swift fans are getting excited.
A Cottage Core Film + Holiday Collection
In other Swift-related news, folklore: the long pond studio sessions is now streaming on Disney+ where Swift delves into the writing process behind her latest studio album with Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner. Plus, her merch team has also been hard at work churning out an exclusive holiday collection. Week after week, fans have been surprised with new album related merch and most recently the ‘Holiday Core Collection’ was added online. These lyric-laden items, which are sure to get snatched up by super fans after a quick 24-hour release, all relate to her latest album, folklore, which debuted in a surprising manner this past July. The new collection, which has come just in time for those holiday-ready deals includes sweatshirts, new colored cardigans, blankets, beanies, and even a candle. Past collections have also included treasure trove items like signed guitars and a glass hourglass.
While the singer hasn’t released an official single since cardigan back in July, but with all clues pointing towards a holiday-themed merch release, and her latest Disney+ release, could a new single also be imminent?