Taylor Swift means business in her new interview for Vanity Fair.
Before posing for stunning pictures by photographer Mario Testino, Swift opened up about her motives for writing the very public letter to Apple Music.
“I wrote the letter at around four A.M.,” Swift says. “The contracts had just gone out to my friends, and one of them sent me a screenshot of one of them. I read the term ‘zero percent compensation to rights holders.’ Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and I’ll write a song and I can’t sleep until I finish it, and it was like that with the letter.”
Swift famously barred her “1989” record from Spotify, citing her unhappiness towards the streaming giant’s business model and compensation (or lack thereof) towards artists.
She worried “people would say, ‘Why won’t she shut up about this?’. . . My fears were that I would be looked at as someone who just whines and rants about this thing that no one else is really ranting about.”
There was one person who got the heads up before the letter premiered early Sunday morning – Taylor’s mom. “I read it to my mom,” she says. “She’s always going to be the one. I just said, ‘I’m really scared of this letter, but I had to write it. I might not post it, but I had to say it.’ ”
While Swift had no idea whether the public or Apple Music would take to her letter, one thing’s for sure: her core group of famous friends like Lena Dunham, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid and Selena Gomez aren’t going anywhere.
“We even have girls in our group who have dated the same people,” Swift says. “It’s almost like the sisterhood has such a higher place on the list of priorities for us. It’s so much more important than some guy that it didn’t work out with.”
“When you’ve got this group of girls who need each other as much as we need each other, in this climate, when it’s so hard for women to be understood and portrayed the right way in the media. . . . now more than ever we need to be good and kind to each other and not judge each other—and just because you have the same taste in men, we don’t hold that against each other,” she says.
Then, Swift reminds us how extremely famous she is when she recounts her drama with Kanye West and how her friendship with Jay Z helped mend any feud they once had.
“I feel like I wasn’t ready to be friends with [West] until I felt like he had some sort of respect for me, and he wasn’t ready to be friends with me until he had some sort of respect for me—so it was the same issue, and we both reached the same place at the same time,” Swift says. “I became friends with Jay Z, and I think it was important, for Jay Z, for Kanye and I to get along. . . . And then Kanye and I both reached a place where he would say really nice things about my music and what I’ve accomplished, and I could ask him how his kid’s doing.”
The “Bad Blood” singer wants to use her powers for good, comparing herself to the Queen of Queens, Miss Oprah Winfrey.
“If you look at Oprah, she’s made so many people happy over the years,” Swift says. “She’s made so much money, but she’s given so much of it away. . . . Same thing with Angelina Jolie. She’s been so productive, but she’s used that position to better other people’s lives, and I think that’s where I’d want to be.”
And if you thought the public’s scrutiny of her dating life was hard for her to shake it off, think again. “That was the way that I decided to go on with my life,” she says. “Not looking for anything, not necessarily being open to anything, and only being open to the idea that, if I found someone who would never try to change me, that would be the only person I could fall in love with. Because, you know, I was in love with my life.”