Taylor Swift: next album taking a 'different turn'

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The Associated Press

NASHVILLE - Songwriting is the topic of the moment for Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift was recently named songwriter- artist of the year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International for a record-setting six times.

The 23-year-old pop star was honoured for a record sixth time as songwriter-artist of the year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, surpassing guys like Vince Gill and Alan Jackson.

She earned the award with 14 hits in the top 30 over the last year, a tribute to the popularity of her fourth album, Red.

As Swift accepts the award, she’s six months deep in the songwriting process for her next album. “I think the goal for the next album is to continue to change, and never change in the same way twice,” the seven-time Grammy winner said.

“How do I write these figurative diary entries in ways that I’ve never written them before and to a sonic backdrop that I’ve never explored before? It’s my fifth album, which is crazy to think about, but I think what I’m noticing about it so far is it’s definitely taking a different turn than anything I’ve done before.”

Swift sat down for an interview after the ribbon-cutting on the new $4-million US Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in her adopted hometown of Nashville.

Next month you leave on a stadium tour of Australia, making you the first female solo performer to tour that country since Madonna 20 years ago. Madonna was the top pop star in the world at the time. Do you see yourself as that kind of pop star?

I would never see myself that way. I see myself as kind of this girl who writes songs in her bedroom. You can kind of dress it up all you want and you can put together an amazing theatrical production; you can become a better performer as time goes by, and you can try to excite people, but I’m always going to be a girl who writes songs in her bedroom in my own personal perception of myself.

You said recently you’ve been working on songs for the new album for about six months. What can you tell us about what you have planned?

It’s too early to tell who are going to be my predominant collaborators, but I do know that my absolute dream collaborators were Shellback and Max Martin on the last project. I’ve never been so challenged as a songwriter. I’ve never learned so much. I’ve never just been so excited to show up to the studio every day, just because you never know what we’re going to put together.

I’ll bring in ideas and they’ll take such a different turn than where I thought they were going to go, and that level of unexpected spontaneity is something that really thrills me in the process of making music. … “What if we did this? What if we made it weirder? What if we took it darker?” I love people who have endless strange and exciting ideas about where music can go.

How far are you willing to push the boundaries of your sound?

I definitely think that with music my favourite thing about Nashville is that it’s a music hub that accepts and allows all genres to be present, and I think there’s been a kind of fusing of genres lately that for me makes me really happy and excited. I am blown away at getting six CMA nominations in a year that I pushed the boundaries of what a genre is more than ever before. I’m so happy that people understood what I was doing conceptually.

Getting those six CMA nominations to me signified that this community knew that I was not running from where I come from. I was exploring, and I think the more people who know what country music is, the more people will gravitate toward Nashville.

   

Organizations: The Associated Press, Nashville Songwriters Association International, Fame and Museum

Geographic location: Nashville, Country Music Hall, Australia

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