Taylor Swift Is Re-Recording Her Masters

Taylor Swift Is Re-Recording Her Masters

Following a deal gone bad with Swift’s former label, the “Blank Space” artist announced plans to re-release her early discography.

Following a deal gone bad with Swift’s former label, the “Blank Space” artist announced plans to re-release her early discography.

Text: Brooke Kushwaha

Taylor Swift declared in a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning that she “absolutely” intends to re-record and release her masters. The move comes after a business deal between Swift’s former label “Big Machine Records,” which hosted hits such as “Teardrops on My Guitar,” and Scooter Braun, who has fueled personal beef with Swift in the past. Braun represents Kanye West, whose single “Famous” lampooned the singer and depicted a lookalike naked in bed beside him. 

Swift gave a statement following the $300 million deal on Instagram, reporting, “I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”

She went on to state that the deal was her “worst-case scenario,” and that she now belongs to a label that supports her right to own her own work. Many artists have spoken out in support of Swift, including Kelly Clarkson, who gave Swift the idea early on to re-record her early work. Re-releasing her masters would place them under her current label, and give fans the option to listen to her own intellectual property instead of Braun’s. 

“U should go in & re-record all the songs that U don’t own the masters on exactly how U did them but put brand new art & some kind of incentive so fans will no longer buy the old versions,” Clarkson tweeted at Swift. “I’d buy all of the new versions just to prove a point.”

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There’s a dazzling haze...

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Braun and Swift have already given conflicting reports surrounding the business deal. Swift’s father, Scott Swift, is a shareholder at Big Machine, and Braun’s team insists that they had informed him of the deal in advance. In her post, Swift shared that she had learned of the purchase online, with everyone else. This isn’t the first time Braun has allegedly caught Swift off-guard: The “Famous” lyrics and video had been a particular point of contention, as West insisted that he had Swift’s go-ahead with the song. 

Many record labels set a restriction period between when an original song is released and when an artist can re-release it, but according to Swift that period expires in November 2020. 

“It's next year,” Swift told Good Morning America. “It's right around the corner. I'm going to be busy. I'm really excited.”

The Scooter Braun scandal arrived at the heels of Swift’s controversial music video, “You Need to Calm Down,” which some accused her of LGBTQ pandering. The artist has been famously measured in her willingness to speak out on political issues. Since then, Swift’s media presence has revolved around creative ownership and her upcoming album, Lover, which comes out this Friday, August 23. Swift has long championed artists’ rights to payment and ownership, removing her work from Spotify in 2014 and returning to the streaming service in 2017. 

Before we even get a chance to take in her new work, we have news of revisiting her original hits. Looks like Swift isn’t “calming down” anytime soon.

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