Taylor Swift at the NYC premiere for All Too Well

Taylor Swift Defended Her Work After Damon Albarn Claimed She Didn’t Write Her Own Music

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Taylor Swift has consistently gotten a “bad rap” for her music online. Whether it is a collection of people hating her for writing about past relationships (something men have been doing since the dawn of song-writing) or saying that she’s not that talented of a singer, she’s been bashed time and time again by those who do not like her music. But now, frontman of Blur and Gorillaz Damon Albarn has taken it a step further and stated that Swift does not write her own music, which is categorically false.

Talking with the Los Angeles Times, Albarn stated that modern musicians hide behind their own sound and attitude and asked the interviewer Mikael Wood who doesn’t. Wood said that though she might not be his style, that Taylor Swift is an excellent songwriter, to which Albarn responded, “She doesn’t write her own songs.”

Wood stated that she does write her own music and co-writes others (which typically are with other performers like Jack Antonoff or Ed Sheeran), but Albarn followed it up with a comment about how that isn’t the same thing as songwriting? (Which doesn’t make much sense given the fact that Wood pointed out that she does writer her own music.)

“That doesn’t count,” Albarn said. “I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great. And some of the greatest singers — I mean, Ella Fitzgerald never wrote a song in her life. When I sing, I have to close my eyes and just be in there. I suppose I’m a traditionalist in that sense. A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional.”

And given that Eilish co-writes her music with her brother FINNEAS, that should count as a knock against Albarn’s weird standards for songwriting, should it not? From there, Swift heard what Albarn had said about her and fired back a response on Twitter.

Albarn’s way of apologizing was to simply say that his words were reduced to clickbait.

How exactly is that the case when it was Albarn who said she doesn’t write her own songs? No one is sure, but the fact that Taylor Swift had to defend her writing at all is frustrating.

Good for her

I’m glad that Taylor Swift stood up for herself. From what I saw on Twitter, it was a mix of people angry that Swift was engaging in this vs. those defending her, but frankly, she should be allowed to correct Albarn given how hard she works on her music. She writes her own songs, has a huge fanbase, and works hard to make each album unique. Reducing her talent in the way that Albarn did deserved to be called out.

Taylor Swift may not be for everyone, and it has taken me years to break the bias placed on her by society for writing about her past relationships, and she has stuck to her truth in an incredibly admirable way. I love her music and her tenacity, and if it means that Swift has to publicly shame those spreading lies about her work, then good for her for standing up for herself.

(image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.