You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Taylor Swift Ready to ‘Speak’ again

Youth Impact Report 2010: Young at Chart

Looking back through pop music history, it’s hard to find an artist who avoided the sophomore jinx more thoroughly than Taylor Swift. The Pennsylvania native unleashed her second album, “Fearless,” in late 2008; it topped the charts for eight consecutive weeks, spawned 11 Hot 100 singles (out of a mere 13 tracks) and garnered four Grammys, including album of the year.

All of which raises expectations for the singer-songwriter’s upcoming third LP, “Speak Now.” Yet Swift seems to be taking it in stride.

“I’ve always had this theory about my music,” says the 20-year-old, “that if I always write songs about my life, and my life is always changing, my music will always be changing too. ‘Speak Now’ is about the last two years of my life, and those years have been intense.”

Part of that intensity, of course, consists of her now-legendary victimization by Kanye West at last year’s VMAs, which even merited a response from President Obama. Swift handled the incident with remarkable poise, and as befitting her history of diary-like songwriting, even composed a tune of conciliation.

But for such an autobiographical songwriter, such immense success poses a problem. Can a globe-trotting millionaire superstar, who made her acting debut in this year’s “Valentine’s Day,” still write autobiographical songs with as much resonance to the sensitive teenage fans who think of her as a peer?

“When I’m writing a song, I don’t factor in the millions of people who might hear that song some day,” Swift says. “I only think about what I want to say to the person who has inspired that song. Sometimes when I want to get to the truth of the matter, I pretend I have one chance to send that person a letter. What would I say? When someone has intensely emotionally affected me, the only way for me to get past it or make sense of it is to write them a song.”

“I can only hope that people will be able to apply my personal stories to their life. But I don’t sit there in the room and think, ‘all right, let’s not add that detail because it’s not general enough.’ I like my lyrics to be specific and paint an accurate picture.”

More Voices

  • What's Next for 'Natasha, Pierre and

    What's Next for 'Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812'

    Looking back through pop music history, it’s hard to find an artist who avoided the sophomore jinx more thoroughly than Taylor Swift. The Pennsylvania native unleashed her second album, “Fearless,” in late 2008; it topped the charts for eight consecutive weeks, spawned 11 Hot 100 singles (out of a mere 13 tracks) and garnered four […]

  • Hayes Theater

    'Torch Song,' Second Stage and the $64 Million Broadway Bet

    Looking back through pop music history, it’s hard to find an artist who avoided the sophomore jinx more thoroughly than Taylor Swift. The Pennsylvania native unleashed her second album, “Fearless,” in late 2008; it topped the charts for eight consecutive weeks, spawned 11 Hot 100 singles (out of a mere 13 tracks) and garnered four […]

  • Phantom of the Opera Broadway

    What Broadway Learned From 'The Phantom of the Opera'

    Looking back through pop music history, it’s hard to find an artist who avoided the sophomore jinx more thoroughly than Taylor Swift. The Pennsylvania native unleashed her second album, “Fearless,” in late 2008; it topped the charts for eight consecutive weeks, spawned 11 Hot 100 singles (out of a mere 13 tracks) and garnered four […]

  • RWS Entertainment Group Marquee Holland America

    RWS Entertainment Launches Theatrical Development Department (EXCLUSIVE)

    Looking back through pop music history, it’s hard to find an artist who avoided the sophomore jinx more thoroughly than Taylor Swift. The Pennsylvania native unleashed her second album, “Fearless,” in late 2008; it topped the charts for eight consecutive weeks, spawned 11 Hot 100 singles (out of a mere 13 tracks) and garnered four […]

  • Hamilton West End Production.

    ‘Hamilton,’ Broadway and the Duel Over Paperless Tickets

    Looking back through pop music history, it’s hard to find an artist who avoided the sophomore jinx more thoroughly than Taylor Swift. The Pennsylvania native unleashed her second album, “Fearless,” in late 2008; it topped the charts for eight consecutive weeks, spawned 11 Hot 100 singles (out of a mere 13 tracks) and garnered four […]

  • HadestownNew York Theatre WorkshopBy Anaïs MitchellDeveloped

    Streaming to Broadway: How New Titles, Talent Grow Buzz Online

    Looking back through pop music history, it’s hard to find an artist who avoided the sophomore jinx more thoroughly than Taylor Swift. The Pennsylvania native unleashed her second album, “Fearless,” in late 2008; it topped the charts for eight consecutive weeks, spawned 11 Hot 100 singles (out of a mere 13 tracks) and garnered four […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content