Written by: Ines
Edited by: Jessica
Visual by: Mischka
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Taylor Swift. You probably also know that she has become a musical trailblazer and has established herself as one of the greatest musicians of our time, due to her great musical prowess and ability to leave permanent, long-lasting changes onto the music industry. Her road to success, however, can be described as far from easy.
As previously mentioned, Swift unknowingly signed away the rights of her songs to Big Machine Records in 2005, a time when she was still a budding young artist with a guitar and no one could have predicted what a success she would be. When she began to take the music industry by storm, and started producing multi-million dollar hits, it was then when Swift found out that a shocking majority of the songs’ revenue went to the record label and as did their rights. In 2018, when her contract finally expired, she found another record label that ensured that she could take ownership of the songs she produced and their rights belonged to her. This led to the re-recording of her first album, “Fearless” and was followed by the re-recorded version of her second album, “Red.”
Red: passionate with a sweet disposition. Miserable yet magical. The hue of both hate and love. With its meanings that often become lost in translation, it is the color that can cause things to break, and burn, and end. Red. Though there is a newfound maturity in her voice, Swift’s songs continue to exist for those who go singing in the car getting lost upstate; or dancing ‘round the kitchen in the refrigerator light; those that are happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time; and even those who are lying on the cold, hard ground.
Along with the album, Swift has also released a 10-minute self-directed short film to her song, “All Too Well” starring actors Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. As Swift is known for the many easter eggs typically scattered throughout her music videos, great speculation across virtually all online platforms has arisen following the release of the video. The fictional couple are often shown arguing, and Sink’s character experiences recurring uncomfortable episodes around O’brien’s character and his friends. Many users on social media platforms are convinced that Swift is referencing her relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal in the song and video, for their age difference is equal to that of Sink and O’Brien. Because of this, fans have reason to believe that Swift is portraying the power dynamic that was present between her and Gyllenhaal and is conveying just how troublesome their relationship used to be. Not only does this prove Swift’s lyrical and melodical genius, but her talent of expressing emotions and feelings in different mediums as well. Though they are occasionally cryptic, Swift makes it a point for them to be so, as she is famous for her love of hidden messages, and has a fanbase, the Swifties, who too enjoy dissecting every last detail and crafting their own interpretations of her work.
Rumors aside, the emotions poured into Swift’s pieces are undeniable. The lyrics and melody of every song all resemble familiar emotions: loss, jealousy, pain, betrayal, hate, but also joy and liberation. There is also much history that follows her name for she was a favorite of the press, paparazzi, media, and other celebrities, some of whom have treated Swift with an excessive amount of cruelty. She has withstood an overwhelming amount of harassment and insults regarding her voice, lyrics, body, or personal and romantic life since she was a young teenager, giving us reason to believe that her casting of 19-year old Sink is allegorical for her own life and manipulation.
At the video’s end, the character of Sink is portrayed as successful, having overcome her past. The ending sends people, especially young girls, the indomitable message that obstacles and impediments can always be overcome and women can always prevail in the toughest of circumstances, against all odds. Swift has found a way to channel the emotions, triggered by hateful cynics, and produce works of art that resonate with millions of people on this planet. She has found a way to speak to us, and that is something we will never forget, like ever.