Taylor Swift: Same Music, New Her

“People are going to judge you anyway, so you might as well do what you want,” says Taylor Swift. This quote is exactly what Taylor Swift embodied throughout her journey of re-releasing “Taylor’s Version” of many of her popular songs and albums.


Why is she re-recording her songs?

I answer that with another question: would you like to create something and not get the benefits from your success? Swift released her music in 2005 with Big Machine Records. Like many young artists, she found herself stuck in a contract in which she did not own the rights to her own creations. The label owned the rights to Swift’s first six albums. Even after she switched to Universal’s Republic Records in 2018, she still had no power over her music. Powerless, Swift was unaware that Big Machine Records actually sold her music in order to make a profit off of her work. 

At 300 million dollars, a private-equity group called Ithaca Holdings, owned by Scooter Braun purchased the rights to Swift’s music in 2019. Known for managing very popular artists like Justin Bieber, Braun had the power over Swift’s originally recorded music. Ultimately, Swift found herself in a helpless situation in which Braun controlled all the money made from streaming and downloading the music. According to the Scotsman, “Ms. Swift has stated that she has been repeatedly bullied by Mr. Braun, and therefore publicly came out against the sale of her masters to him.”


The Response

In response, Swift decided to re-record her albums to ensure her fans can listen to her music and she can earn the benefits of her creations. “I think that Taylor Swift re-recording her album was a great business move,” says Riley Lockwood, a student at Edison High School.

As an avid Taylor Swift listener, Lockwood says she is familiar with Swift’s story but this re-recording enlightened her, allowing her to learn more about one of her favorite artists. “She gave insight into a past relationship and the true, real side of it. She showed more than what the media told us and really connected with her fans,” says Lockwood.

Sean Bailey, a senior at Huntington Beach High School, also feels a connection to Swift’s version of her music. “While being a fan of Taylor Swift since elementary school the artist has recently gained even more of my respect. Her re-recording was not only great as a listener but also made her a great role model in my eyes,” she explains.

Seeing the development of this young artist influenced Bailey to pursue her power and develop her own voice. “I am inspired by her ideas of not being afraid to stand up for yourself and receive proper recognition for your actions,” Bailey says. The idea of having control over your decisions was so unfamiliar to her that seeing Swift uncover this strength was eye-opening.

Growing up listening to Taylor Swift’s music, Lola Jones, a freshman at Huntington Beach High school says, “Her latest releases are my favorite and I can’t stop listening to them.” She went to Taylor Swift’s concert in 2013 during her tour for the album Red. “The concert was so much fun but I definitely prefer Taylor’s Version of her music,” Jones says. 

Also growing up to Swift’s music, Shea Humphries, a student at Huntington Beach High school, says, “I love that she is re-releasing her music because it showcases different sides to the songs. Also, along with the original album she has been adding songs from the vault to the new albums”. 

By re-recording her music, Taylor Swift has gained control of her work and is able to benefit from her success. It is empowering to know that she is making money for the music that she is creating for her fans. This way she can continue making music for many years to come.