Taylor Swift Breaks Down Her Three Writing Kinds in Shifting Award Speech – Rolling Stone

“This award celebrates my household and my co-writers and my staff. My buddies and my fiercest followers and my harshest detractors and everybody who entered my life or left it.”

Taylor Swift took the stage Tuesday evening at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium to obtain the Songwriter-Artist of the Decade award from the Nashville Songwriters Affiliation Worldwide on the NSAI’s annual ceremony. In her illuminating speech, the celebrity naturally targeted on the songwriting a part of her artistic course of, revealing the three imaginary genres she thinks about when writing lyrics: Quill Lyrics, Fountain Pen Lyrics, and Glitter Gel Pen Lyrics.

In her 13-minute speech, Swift additionally advised the gang the historical past behind the 10-minute model of “All Too Properly” (earlier than performing the complete model) and her dream of “bouncing across the completely different musical worlds of my numerous sonic influences.” Learn Swift’s full speech under.

Properly hello.

I wish to say thanks to Bart for introducing me in such a beneficiant means and I wish to say thanks to the NSAI for getting us all collectively for this occasion. For me, tonight feels brimming with a real camaraderie between a bunch of people that simply love making stuff. Who love the craft. Who dwell for that uncommon, pure second when a magical cloud floats down proper in entrance of you within the type of an concept for a music, and all it’s a must to do is seize it. Then form it like clay. Prune it like a backyard. After which want on each fortunate star or pray to no matter energy you imagine in that it’d discover its means out into the world and make somebody really feel seen, really feel understood, really feel joined of their grief or heartbreak or pleasure for only a second.

I’ve realized by being within the leisure trade for an prolonged time period that this enterprise operates with a really new, new, new, subsequent, subsequent, subsequent mentality. For each artist or songwriter, we’re all simply hoping to have one nice yr. One nice album cycle. One nice run at radio. And nowadays, one music that goes viral on TikTok. One superb second within the solar. As a result of in your subsequent venture you’ll in all probability must invent a brand new factor to be. Consider all new issues to say, and contemporary methods to say them. You’ll have to entertain folks. And the actual fact is that what entertains us is both seeing new artists emerge or established artists displaying us a brand new facet to themselves. If we’re very, very fortunate, life will say to us, “Your music is nice.” The following factor life will say is, “What else are you able to do?”

I say all of this as a result of I’m up right here receiving this stunning award for a decade of labor, and I can’t presumably clarify how good that feels. As a result of the way in which I see it, that is an award that celebrates a end result of moments. Challenges. Gauntlets laid down. Albums I’m pleased with. Triumphs. Strokes of luck or misfortune. Loud, embarrassing errors and the following restoration from these errors, and the teachings realized from all of it. This award celebrates my household and my co-writers and my staff. My buddies and my fiercest followers and my harshest detractors and everybody who entered my life or left it. As a result of in relation to my songwriting and my life, they’re one and the identical. As the good Nora Ephron as soon as mentioned, “All the pieces is copy.”

20 years in the past, I wrote my first music. I used to dream about at some point attending to bounce across the completely different musical worlds of my numerous sonic influences, and alter up the manufacturing of my albums. I hoped that at some point, the mixing of genres wouldn’t be such an enormous deal. There’s a lot dialogue about style and it all the time normally leads again to a dialog about melody and manufacturing. However that leaves out presumably my favourite a part of songwriting: lyricism.

And I’ve by no means talked about this publicly earlier than, as a result of, effectively, it’s dorky. However I even have, in my thoughts, secretly, established style classes for lyrics I write. Three of them, to be actual. They’re affectionately titled Quill Lyrics, Fountain Pen Lyrics, and Glitter Gel Pen Lyrics.

I do know this sounds complicated however I’ll attempt to clarify. I got here up with these classes primarily based on what writing software I think about having in my hand after I scribbled it down, figuratively. I don’t even have a quill. Anymore. I broke it as soon as after I was mad.

I categorize sure songs of mine within the ‘Quill’ model if the phrases and phrasings are antiquated, if I used to be impressed to jot down it after studying Charlotte Brontë or after watching a film the place everyone seems to be carrying poet shirts and corsets. If my lyrics sound like a letter written by Emily Dickinson’s great-grandmother whereas stitching a lace curtain, that’s me writing within the Quill style. I gives you an instance from one among my songs I’d categorize as Quill.

“How’s one to know
I’d meet you the place the spirit meets the bones
In a religion forgotten land
In from the snow, your contact introduced forth an incandescent glow
Tarnished however so grand”

Shifting on to Lyricism class #2: Fountain Pen model. I’d say most of my lyrics fall into this class. Fountain pen model means a contemporary storyline or references, with a poetic twist. Taking a typical phrase and flipping its which means. Attempting to color a vivid image of a scenario, right down to the chipped paint on the door body and the incense mud on the vinyl shelf. Inserting your self and whoever is listening proper there within the room the place all of it occurred. The love, the loss, the whole lot. The songs I categorize on this model sound like confessions scribbled and sealed in an envelope, however too brutally sincere to ever ship.

For Instance:
“Trigger there we’re once more in the course of the evening
We’re dancing around the kitchen within the fridge mild
Down the steps, I used to be there
I keep in mind all of it too effectively
And there we’re once more when no one needed to know
You stored me like a secret however I stored you want an oath
Sacred prayer, and we’d swear to recollect all of it too effectively “

The third class is named Glitter Gel Pen and it lives as much as its title in each means. Frivolous, carefree, bouncy, syncopated completely to the beat. Glitter Gel Pen lyrics don’t care should you don’t take them severely as a result of they don’t take themselves severely. Glitter Gel Pen lyrics are the drunk lady on the get together who tells you that you just seem like an Angel within the lavatory. It’s what we want each as soon as in a whereas in these fraught occasions wherein we dwell.


“My ex man introduced his new girlfriend; she’s like ‘oh my god’ however I’m simply gonna shake and to the fella over there with the hella good hair, gained’t you come on over child we are able to shake, shake, shake.”

Why did I make these classes, you ask? As a result of I like doing this factor we’re lucky sufficient to name a job. Writing songs is my life’s work and my interest and my unending thrill. I’m moved past phrases that you just, my friends, determined to honor me on this means for work I’d nonetheless be doing if I had by no means been acknowledged for it.

Recently I’ve been on a joyride down reminiscence lane. I’ve been re-recording my first six albums. After I undergo the method of meticulously recreating every ingredient of my previous and revisiting songs I wrote after I was 13, 14, and 15, that path leads me proper to music row. How my mother would decide me up from college and drive me to my co-writing periods with dozens of writers (and a few of you’re on this very room tonight) who 15 years in the past determined to offer me their time, their knowledge, their perception earlier than anybody thought writing with me was a productive use of a day. I’ll always remember you, each final one among you.

A part of my re-recording course of has included including songs that by no means made the unique albums, however songs I hated to depart behind. I’ve gone again and recorded a bunch of them for my model of my albums. Fearless, my model, got here out final yr and as I used to be selecting songs for it, I got here throughout one I’d written with the Warren brothers after I was 14. I made a decision to file it as a duet with the sensible Keith City. After I referred to as the the Warrens as much as inform them I used to be chopping our music 17 years after we’d written it, I’ll always remember the very first thing they mentioned. “Properly, I feel that’s the longest maintain we’ve ever had.”

In 2011, simply over 10 years in the past, my trusted collaborator and confidant Liz Rose came to visit to my condo and I confirmed her a music I’d been engaged on. I used to be going via a tough time (as is the pure state of being 21) and had scribbled down verse after verse after verse, a music that was too lengthy to placed on an album. It clocked in at round 10 minutes. We set out enhancing, trimming, chopping out massive sections till it was an inexpensive 5 minutes and 30 seconds. It was referred to as “All Too Properly.” Final yr after I re-recorded my 2012 album Pink, I included this 10-minute model with its unique verses and further bridges. I by no means might’ve imagined after we wrote it that that music can be resurfacing 10 years later or that I’d be about to play it for you tonight.

However a music can defy logic or time. An excellent music transports you to your truest emotions and interprets these emotions for you. An excellent music stays with you even when folks or emotions don’t. Writing songs is a calling and attending to name it your profession makes you very fortunate. It’s important to be grateful on daily basis for it, and all of the individuals who thought your phrases may be price listening to. This city is the varsity that taught me that.

To be honored by you means greater than any style of my lyrics might ever say.

Extra reporting by Joseph Hudak

Leave a Reply