Cuppa With Songstress Taylor Swift
I interviewed Taylor Swift for Channel 4 in 2010
Taylor Swift is exactly how you imagine she'd be: really friendly. She looks just as great in person as she does in magazines with her blonde curls and striking eyes. As soon as I meet her at the fancy hotel she's staying in, she gets up from a big regal chair and dainty cup of herbal tea and says, "I like your glasses, those are awesome! Do you have bad eyes or do you wear them for style?"
Taylor finds camaraderie with people who can't see anything. I mention that I want laser eye surgery, to which she says, "I cant do it, 'cause my mom will Google a million laser eye surgeries gone wrong."
Speaking of style, Taylor manages to look chic and relaxed all at once, in her chunky cream sweater thrown over a black shirt and leggings, paired with some high heeled brown brogues. She's not wearing a lot of makeup except for some bright red lipstick, which, incidentally, looks great on her. I don't get a chance to ask about what she's wearing, though, because once you get Taylor started, she's off.
"One thing Ive learned is how to get over jet lag," she tells me after a sip of tea. "You just make sure that wherever you land, you don't go to sleep until it's night time in that country, no matter how tired you are!"
Sitting and drinking tea with Taylor Swift, who is her own namesake (as in, she's super smart), it's easy to forget that she's an A-list celeb who's won Grammys, is 69th on the Forbes list of most powerful celebrities and has broken records in album sales. She just seems like a down-to-earth girl who happens to be incredibly pretty.
She talks about the exhaustion that comes with touring, stocking up on coffee (there are LOTS of Starbucks runs in Taylor's world) and then launches into a speech she's delivered to herself several times: I am grateful for getting to do what I love. When I was a kid, I thought singers just went onstage and when they were finished, went offstage. There are lots of parts to this job.
But Taylor doesn't complain about a packed schedule most 20-year-olds would know nothing about. "I tell myself, you're going to be so busy that you're not going to be able to remember your own name, but always remember that you want to do this."
Given her many hits, you'd think Taylor might take her fame and fortune for granted, but she says she never thought she'd get this far. "I loved music so much I played guitar until my fingers bled, and when you love something that much, you follow it naturally."
After playing local Boy Scout meetings, garden clubs, local football games and anyplace that would let her sing, 14-year-old Taylor was signed and her career took off. Now she's busy writing hit songs and having famous pseudo-feuds with fellow mega superstar Kanye West (who, for the record, Taylor is sick of talking about).
You could say that Speak Now, Taylor's third album, is a lot about love, but there are a few other themes maybe one or two about the aforementioned mega superstar. The track Mean stands out as a good stick-it-to-em anthem for anyone who's been pushed around. Never Grow Up is a pretty ballad about Taylor's love for childhood. The album tells the story of someone experiencing the joys and pains of growing up. Of course, there's a lot about her own battles getting over love gone wrong.
I get through tough situations by saying, it's okay, I can write a song about this. It's an escape from pain.
Mine, the first single from the album, is about overcoming that pain and allowing yourself to fall in love.
"Love makes us guarded and less likely to jump in head first," Taylor says, "Sometimes relationships come from a place of hurt. This song is about the exception."
And the cute guy in the video? Taylor hand-picked him. "I was very happy with that choice," she tells me matter of factly.
As I'm ushered out the door to make way for another of Taylor's long list of interviews, friendly as ever, she calls after me, "Thanks for comin' by!"
Speak Now is out now.