What’s the Deal With Taylor Swift Rerecording Her Music?

On November 11, 2008, Taylor Swift released her album Fearless. This album established Swift as a great presence in the music industry- smashing records and winning album of the year at the 2008 Grammys. 13 years later, Swift re-released this album. This re-recording came as a shock to those who haven’t been following Swift’s music life. So, here is everything you need to know about Swift’s battle to reclaim her masters. 

 

Taylor Swift’s feud with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Records, started on June 20, 2019, when it was announced that Scott Borchetta sold his holdings of Taylor Swift’s music to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca holdings, a deal that  was made for more than 300 million dollars. When news broke of this purchase, Swift wasted no time expressing her disgust of the situation.

 

So why is Taylor Swift so upset that Scooter Braun owns her masters (which basically means that he owns and profits off of her past work)? Well, the answer comes with different situations of Braun wherein he encouraged celebrities that he manages to bully her. Swift elaborated on that, writing, “Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked, and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked.” Basically, Braun played an essential role in her 2016 downfall, which made Swift hide from the public for over a year, and create her 2017 Reputation Album. 

 

In a letter posted on Tumblr that Sunday, Swift wrote, “Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it…..When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. 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.” Not only that, but Swift claims that  she heard the news of the purchase at the same time as the public, without any heads up. 

Scott Borchetta on Taylor Swift: 'I'm Always Gonna Root for Her'

Taylor Swift with Scott Borchetta at the 2009 ACM awards. Swift accepts one of her 4 awards won on April 18th, 2010 for her Fearless album. Photo by Ethan Miller/ Getty images.  

 

After Taylor’s letter, fans of Swift wasted no time dragging both Braun and Borchetta online and expressing their disgust in the situation. Kate Hooper, a 9th grader and self-ascribed Swiftie, said, “I was very upset. I felt bad for her.” The feud resulted in a big music industry debate, with celebrities taking sides in the fight.  Swift received a lot of support from the public as well as celebrities like Halsey, Kelly Clarkson, Gigi Hadid, and Selena Gomez. However, other celebrities such as Justin Beiber sided and supported Braun and his purchase. 

 

On August 22, 2019, Swift announced her plans of re-recording her old music to reclaim her rights starting November of 2020. The re-release of the Fearless album is the first out of six that the singer plans on releasing, (her newest 3 are already owned by her).

 

Artists not having rights to own their music is a common issue, but rerecording old work is not as common among artists. Taylor Swift is not the first artist to have her work stripped from her, but her battle for her masters has brought awareness to artists rights.  Banfield elaborated on that,, “There are so many young artists who have been trapped and tricked by their management so that they are unavailable to own their work. It makes me happy knowing that artists are now more aware of this common issue because of Taylor.” 

For many State High students, the Fearless album means a lot to them, like it does to 9th grader Autumn Banfield who said, “I grew up with the Fearless album. Those songs have definitely played a role in my life, so it is really magical to hear them again now that I am older. It is also really cool to see how Taylor’s voice has changed over the years- everything sounds the same but in a completely different way.  It makes me feel really nostalgic.” On top of the nostalgia, The Fearless, (Taylor’s Version), album has been breaking records, such as becoming the biggest country album debut for a female, and the biggest opening week since evermore, (Swift’s last album). The new album is just a peak at the excitement, joy,  and records that will come with the other rerecorded albums for Swift and her fans.

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