Taylor Swift about 1989

Do you know how many sit downs I got at the label about that? A lot of me making this album was me going in the studio, making something I loved, and showing it to the label and getting a principle’s-office discussion. Like, “Young lady, you know you’re not going to sell as many albums if you’re not labeled as country.” I wasn’t kicking and screaming, but I was very firm about the fact that to call this album a country album would be the biggest mistake. Because when you’re trying to fool people, you insinuating that you think they’re stupid. And insinuating that people aren’t going to see through your transparent motives is the one worst mistake you can make as an artist who is supposed to respect their fans. That was my argument. I got really, really lectured about not putting my name on the title on the front of the album cover―that was fun. And then it was suggested to me that we use a different picture for the album cover because, they kept saying, “We need eyes, lips, hair on an album cover. You know no one’s going to know who that is.” And I was like, “That’s the point. We’re starting over.” Also, the reason I didn’t put my face on the album cover is because I didn’t want people to fully diagnose the emotional DNA of this album before it came out. If I’m smiling, it’s a happy record; if I’m frowning, it’s a sad record. I wanted people to be able to detect no emotion on my face. It was just taken on this ‘80s Polaroid camera that I have. I knew that I was doing something that I fully believed in when I was confronted with these people on my team, who were only going by what they knew―which is that there hasn’t been a successful country-to-pop crossover, really ever, who has sold as well as their country career did. They’d say “You’re not going to sell as much.“ and I would say, “I don’t care. This is the album I made, this is what I’m going to call it, this is how I’m going to label it.” I knew that I’d made songs that my fans would like; I was like, “You guys don’t know them like I do. You sit in an office, I’m out there at shows with them, I’m on tumblr talking to them, I know what they want from me.” Thank God it worked out. If we’d sold one album less than a million in the first week, it would have been two years of “Taylor, we told you.” So glad we sold almost 1.3 [million] in the first week.

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