The old Taylor may not be dead after all

Lauren McDermott, Staff Writer

Ride-or-die Swifties, it may be time to put away the snake-shaped necklaces and Reputation tees, and jump back into your light blue pickup truck and cowgirl boots. Heck, it might even be time for teardrops on your guitar — tears of happiness, that is. That’s right, ladies and gents, the girl we all once knew and loved – as much as we loved John Mayer in the early 2000s — is back, and she is more powerful than ever.

In a blistering condemnation on the singer-songwriter’s Tumblr earlier this month, Swift criticized her former production label, Big Machine Records, and addressed what she saw as an industry-wide issue about artists’ rights and recordings. “[It] stripped me of my life’s work,” Swift wrote of the $300 million deal, and left her back catalog “in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.” Scooter Braun, who has worked with countless big-name performers — including Swift — for years, now owns the master holdings of her albums under his company Ithaca Holdings, and can therefore dictate how her songs are sold and listened to in the future. Because the relationship between an artist, their managers, and their staff is extremely important, the rights of the singer should always be respected. Yet, in Swift’s case, Braun had subjected her to years of “incessant, manipulative bullying.” With her recently announced decision to re-record her own music in response to record labels and their disrespectful treatment of songwriter and singer rights, Swift is gaining control of her art. By creating new master recordings of material that has already been sold and loved, she is standing up to bullying from the record industry. To the power-hungry music industry, we say: look what you made her do.

While this idea may seem somewhat drastic, Swift is not the first artist to follow through with it, as other popular artists such as Kelly Clarkson have re-released their own music. Looking up to the actions of Clarkson, Swift decided she deserved a change in how she had been treated for years. Swift publicly raised the possibility herself for the first time in a pre-taped interview with “CBS Sunday Morning.” In the conversation, CBS interviewer Tracy Smith asked if Swift had considered re-recording her old music, to which Swift responded confidently, “Of course.”

With the new release of her album “Lover” (which is needless to say brilliant and resembles her old music so much that it has OG Swifties quaking in their cowgirl boots), Swift is about to take the music industry by storm. She has become an even stronger advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and for feminism recently, with her newest music videos promoting equality, love, and justice. By re-recording her old music, which caused her exponential rise to stardom, she is showing the world that she can take her power back, and so can you. Her inspirational words have gotten us through our first heartbreak, our questionable reputations, and our problems when people are just “Mean.” With her by our side and her music encouraging us to pursue our dreams as she pursues her own, we are stronger together; we are “Fearless.”

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