Thursday, June 24, 2021

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Taylor Swift thanks songwriting teachers as she receives songwriting icon award

Taylor Swift has thanked her “teachers” for helping learn “the craft of songwriting”.

The ‘Cardigan’ hitmaker was honoured with the 2021 National Music Publishers’ Association’s Songwriter Icon Award at the organisation’s annual meeting on Wednesday (09.06.21), and she used her acceptance speech to heap praise on those who taught her how to write music.

She said: “I want to take a moment to thank the people who were my professors, my teachers, of the craft of songwriting.

“First of all, anyone who wrote with me in Nashville when I was in like eighth or ninth grade, that is insane that you did that. I am so lucky that I got to learn from some of the best writers on Music Row.”

Taylor then specifically mentioned Liz Rose, who co-wrote several tracks on the singer’s 2006 self-titled debut album, and who contributed to other albums including ‘Fearless’ and ‘Red’.

She continued: “Liz Rose is someone who spent hours and hours and hours with me when there was absolutely no sign that anything would happen in my career. My dance card was not full, I was 14, and she wrote with me so many times and taught me how to edit my ideas down to something more concise that packed an emotional punch.”

The 31-year-old musician also thanked other collaborators including Max Martin and Shellback – who helped her score pop crossover hits on ‘Red’, ‘1989’ and ‘Reputation’ – Jack Antonoff, who has been a key contributor to Taylor’s work since her ‘1989’ album, and The National’s Aaron Dessner, who co-wrote and produced Taylor’s 2020 albums ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’.

Concluding her speech, Taylor acknowledged the “magical and mystifying” process of songwriting.

She said: “I think any songwriter will tell you when you get an idea, you’re not quite sure where it floated down from, but if you can grab onto that idea and turn it into something, a piece of music, that’s where craftsmanship comes in. And that’s where you have the opportunity to learn and to nurture that craft.”

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