Taylor Swift: People are reaching out for connection and comfort in music
Taylor Swift has said people are craving “connection and comfort” in the music they listen to in an essay about the power of pop.
The Grammy award-winner said listeners were yearning for songs they could relate to and which helped them combat their own struggles.
Swift, one of the world’s leading recording artists, was writing in an essay on the landscape of pop music penned for ELLE UK magazine.
She argued that contrary to popular opinion, people did not want generic music in the charts.
Instead, she said, they craved music which gave a glimpse into an artist’s emotional life.
She said: “I think, these days, people are reaching out for connection and comfort in the music they listen to.
“We like being confided in and hearing someone say ‘this is what I went through” as proof to us that we can get through our own struggles.
“We actually do NOT want our pop music to be generic. I think a lot of music lovers want some biographical glimpse into the world of our narrator, a hole in the emotional walls people put up around themselves to survive.”
In the essay, Pennsylvania-raised Swift details how songs like Cowboy Take Me Away by the Dixie Chicks and I Write Sins Not Tragedies by Panic! At The Disco evoke “long-forgotten” memories of her childhood.
She said songs like those had helped heal her heart after “after bad breakups or let downs”.
Swift added: “This glimpse into the artist’s story invites us to connect it to our own, and in the best case scenario, allows us the ability to assign that song to our memories.
“It’s this alliance between a song and our memories of the times it helped us heal, or made us cry, dance, or escape that truly stands the test of time. Just like a great book.”
Swift – who in November ended her 53-date Reputation world tour – has written numerous songs about her relationships and emotional life.
The 29-year-old also referenced how she draws on experiences from her youth in her music, adding: “I like to use nostalgia as inspiration when I’m writing songs.”
She said: “You’d think that as pop writers, we’re supposed to be writing songs that everyone can sing along to, so you’d assume they would have to be pretty lyrically generic…
“AND YET the ones I think cut through the most are actually the most detailed, and I don’t mean in a Shakespearean sonnet type of way, although I love Shakespeare as much as the next girl. Obviously. (See “Love Story,” 2009).”
Read the full essay in the April issue of ELLE UK, on sale from March 7.