American country singer Taylor Swift’s new alum Speak Now debuted at number one on the US Billboards 200 chart. And it has maintained that impressive run since its October release. Says Swift, “Speak Now is my diary of the last two tumultuous years. I had penned the songs as the events were occurring in my life and described my emotions in them. A lot of artistes live life and then write their album about it. But I write as life is happening to me, so all the songs are snapshots of what I was feeling at that moment. The people who were part of my life in the last two years are my influences in the album.”The singer who is known for waking up in the middle of the night and writing songs says, "Sometimes I get up at three in the morning because I get an idea. I write all the time involuntarily. The thought process is about boys, love and unrequited love," she says.
All the 14 songs on Swift’s present album have charted on the Billboards Hot 100 and almost all of them talk of love. So is it that, that’s working the magic? “My songs are about my life experiences. Most of my songs have names of people I’ve met or are dear to me. I like to include a few special names and some details about them to make the song special to me.”
Swift released her first album Tim McGraw at age 16. She credits singers such as LeAnn Rimes, Tina Turner, Shania Twain, Dolly Parton and her grandmother who was an opera singer for influencing her work. “My grandmother was a professional opera singer, but my tastes always ran more toward country and she developed a love for Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton at an early age.”
“I credit the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain for demonstrating the impact that stretching boundaries can have. I’m really influenced by other female songwriters and people that I really feel just exposed their real emotions in a very raw way. I love Joni Mitchell and Mellissa Etheridge. They have motivated me and my grandmother has guided and supported me through my music career.”
Swift is the youngest recipient of the Album of the Year at the Grammy. When asked how it felt to be honoured with such a great title at just 19, she says, “It feels great. Music has never been about competition ultimately, and to even be mentioned in a category is an honour.” And what about India? “I would like to visit India. When I make those plans, I’ll make an announcement,” she sums up.