I, your Professor David Kirk Philp, was recently quoted in THIS ARTICLE, written by University of Texas at Austin student Ruben Paquian. You should read it because Ruben is the future of journalism. Well, I hope so. He does a very good job of quoting me. This was a phone interview and I was speaking fast, as I do because I’m from Jersey and enjoy, just like the next guy, a Starbucks Ariana Grande iced mocha with an extra shot of mocha (five in total), extra whip (I have no girlish figure), and chocolate drizzle. Oh, you should always get the chocolate drizzle. In fact, one of the eight versions available of Taylor Swift’s new album comes with extra chocolate drizzle.
But I digress…
Reaction: Old Taylor Swift Fans Denounce Her Current Pop Persona
(First, a quick note about the title. THE ARTICLE is not about old Taylor Swift fans, meaning fans who are, like, 87 years old. “Old” in this case means longtime fans. There. We got that out of the way. On to the meat of this post.)
THE ARTICLE is based upon Swift’s shift from country music to pop, which, at this point in our lives, is not something new anymore. Her 2014 mega-hit album, 1989, was called pop. Red, which came out in 2012, wasn’t exactly a country phenomenon (“We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.” are pure early-2010s pop music). Henceforth, thus, and hitherto, Ms. Swift is as much a pop artist as country, just by the math. She’s put out six studio albums. The three already listed are pop. If we consider her first three country, then she’s evened the score. We’ll have to go into extra innings to see who ends up winning the contest.
Methinks Taylor Swift will continue to simply put out the music she wants to put out. While she has a fantastic team around her, from label to management to social media to publicity, these people work the business side of her life. She’s good at that part; or she’s good at letting her team do the work.
Don’t forget, though, that she is first and foremost (is that term redundant? discuss.) an artist. I said to our pal Ruben Paquian, who wrote THE ARTICLE, that she’s following her muse. She hasn’t become a pop artist because she mapped out a career strategy that says, “Okay, T-Girl, albums 4-6 are pop and then we freak them all out when albums 7-9 are one big, long, Lou Reed-style trilogy in the tradition of Metal Machine Music.”
From THE ARTICLE: “(Philp) said Swift’s changing sound is an inevitable phenomenon that happens to all artists when they and their fans age and change. If you don’t like Swift now, Philp said to just wait a few years, because she’s most likely going to change again.
“It’s a function of people changing and getting older and they think of music differently,” Philp said.
People just change.”
I’ve been quoted a number of times about Taylor Swift. You can read THIS ARTICLE, which is a very good expose on what the author feels are Swift’s plans through 2019. Then there was THIS ARTICLE, in which I commented on the musicality of Swift’s first single from the new album, Reputation, which was (and still is) called “Look What You Made Me Do.”
You may think I, the writer of this article (not in caps because you’re reading it already), am obsessed with T-Bone Swift. I’m not. That first article just led to the second article. The second led to the third, which led to what you’re reading now. Yet, I did write THIS ARTICLE just recently in reaction to something that was in Fast Company. So maybe I’m just really interested in what’s going on behind the scenes of Taylor Swift, Inc. They’re very good at what they do. I’m curious, like you, about what comes next.
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Professor David Philp is Assistant Professor Music Management & Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University. He is the co-host of the only FREE advice college radio-based music & entertainment industry talk show in America, Music Biz 101 & More, which airs live most Wednesday nights and is available as a podcast HERE every night (days too). Your favorite professor is also co-author (with Dr. Steve Marcone) of Managing Your Band: 6th Edition. Reach him at PhilpD@wpunj.edu or find him on LinkedIn HERE.