Taylor Swift pens WSJ op-ed about the music industry

The Grammy-winning "Red" singer shares her thoughts on saving the dying record industry.
By Kate Stanton  |  July 7, 2014 at 11:54 PM
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NEW YORK, July 7 (UPI) -- Taylor Swift, who spent the weekend gallivanting around her Rhode Island estate with a collection of very famous friends, has also found the time to pen a column for the nation's most esteemed business paper.

"You should know that you're reading the opinion of an enthusiastic optimist: one of the few living souls in the music industry who still believes that the music industry is not dying...it's just coming alive," the 24-year-old singer writes in the Wall Street Journal.

In the piece, which is peppered with Swift-style truisms about love and feelings, she argues that fans will buy albums when they feel strong emotional ties to the music and the artist.

"I'd like to point out that people are still buying albums, but now they're buying just a few of them," Swift says. "They are buying only the ones that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or allowed them to feel like they really aren't alone in feeling so alone."

She claims that artists who constantly surprise and communicate with their fans on social media will be able to hold onto them for years.

"A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers," Swift says. "I see this becoming a trend in the music industry. For me, this dates back to 2005 when I walked into my first record-label meetings, explaining to them that I had been communicating directly with my fans on this new site called Myspace. In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans -- not the other way around."

Swift, who seamlessly transitioned from lovelorn country songstress to pop-folk idol, also argues in favor of the proliferation of top-40 radio at the expense of genre-based stations.

These days, nothing great you hear on the radio seems to come from just one musical influence. The wild, unpredictable fun in making music today is that anything goes. Pop sounds like hip hop; country sounds like rock; rock sounds like soul; and folk sounds like country—and to me, that's incredible progress. I want to make music that reflects all of my influences, and I think that in the coming decades the idea of genres will become less of a career-defining path and more of an organizational tool.

You can read the whole column over at WSJ.

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