Taylor Swift’s Masters Have Made Another Big Move
“These master recordings were not for sale to me,” wrote Swift.
Taylor Swift took to Twitter yesterday to announce the sale of her masters to yet another man who is not her.
For those who aren’t all caught up, Swift recorded her first five albums with Big Machine Records, a label that was then sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings LLC a little over a year ago. With this purchase, Braun gained control of Swift’s masters, the official recordings of her songs. Swift denounced the sale, claiming she wasn’t given a fair opportunity to buy her own music and calling Braun a “bully.” In a Tumblr post she wrote, “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years…Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.”
Since Braun’s acquisition of Swift’s masters, the two have been in a lengthy and public feud, with many celebrities coming forward to pick one side or another (Halsey for Swift, Justin Bieber for Braun, etc). Still, Swift persevered in attempting to regain control of her career, even promising to re-record all her old albums, which would significantly decrease the value of Braun’s holdings.
Now, Swift’s masters have just moved out of Braun’s hands and into those of Shamrock Holdings, headed up by Roy E. Disney. In Swift’s statement on this matter, she wrote that this was the second time her music was sold without her knowledge, and that Braun allegedly banned Shamrock from reaching out to her ahead of the sale.
Swift also revealed that she had been working behind the scenes to buy her masters from Braun, but that his team wanted her to sign an NDA before even entering negotiations, one that would prevent her from speaking publicly about Braun (unless it was positive of course). “My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal, and they’ve never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off. He would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me,” wrote Swift.
Unfortunately, Braun will continue to profit off of Swift’s music under his new agreement with Shamrock, which Swift called a “non-starter” when it came to possibility of a partnership between her and Shamrock. Instead, she plans to go ahead with re-recording her old songs (hell yeah).
“I have recently begun re-recording my older music and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling,” she wrote. “I have plenty of surprises in store. I want to thank you guys for supporting me through this ongoing saga, and I can’t wait for you to hear what I’ve been dreaming up.”
Hopefully, Swift’s ongoing fight to regain ownership of her work will have a positive influence on the nature of recording contracts, which can often leave artists in these precarious positions. In the meantime, it sounds like there is new (old) Swift music on the way!
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. pic.twitter.com/sscKXp2ibD
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 16, 2020