Taylor Swift graces the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, in a dramatic photo by Mario Testino, and speaks out about her growing influence which saw her successfully confront Apple over its newly launched music service, and, not least, how she and Kanye West reconciled and became friends. Fascinating cover and equally fascinating interview!
The cover image, which you can see below, sees Taylor Swift amidst the dramatic beauty of a piano and its black-and-white ivory key glory. It’s by famed photographer Mario Testino and seems destined to become an iconic image.
She has come a long way from country pop superstar to now a major force in pop culture, pop music and indeed an icon of the 2010s. The influence is palpable. How many music artists could get Apple to reverse a major policy, after all. That stunning reversal was just one of the many topics Taylor Swift addressed in the Vanity Fair interview.
And the magazine, in calling her the most influential 25-year-old and Captain of the #Girlsquad acknowledges all of this.
As for getting Apple to back down on not paying music artists during the three-month trial membership to its newly launched Apple Music streaming service, Taylor Swift revealed her hesitation before publishing the open letter that got a reply on Twitter from CEO Tim Cook and a reversal of the policy. She said, “I read it to my mom. She’s always going to be the one. I just said, ‘I’m really scared of this letter, but I had to write it. I might not post it, but I had to say it.'”
She said of the aftermath, “Apple treated me like I was a voice of a creative community that they actually cared about. And I found it really ironic that the multi-billion-dollar company reacted to criticism with humility, and the start-up with no cash flow reacted to criticism like a corporate machine.”
No less interesting, she also revealed how she and Kanye West reconciled after that infamous incident at the 2009 MTV VMAs which saw him rushing the stage when she was about to accept an award which he said should have gone to Beyonce. it’s become one an indelible moment in pop culture history, having launched memes and mockery that continue to this day.
She spoke about Jay Z’s role in bringing about the reconciliation, saying, “I feel like I wasn’t ready to be friends with [West] until I felt like he had some sort of respect for me, and he wasn’t ready to be friends with me until he had some sort of respect for me—so it was the same issue, and we both reached the same place at the same time.”
Continuing, she said, “I became friends with Jay Z, and I think it was important, for Jay Z, for Kanye and I to get along.” She went on to note how Kanye West’s daughter, North West, with wife, Kim Kardashian figured into all of this, saying, “And then Kanye and I both reached a place where he would say really nice things about my music and what I’ve accomplished, and I could ask him how his kid’s doing.”
And of course, her dating life is never an untouched subject and she spoke out about that, too, for the many who are curious. Currently dating the British DJ and producer, boyfriend Calvin Harris, she spoke about what it’s like having women friends who share in common men that they’ve dated. Vanity Fair name-checks a few of her celebrity BFFs as Lena Dunham, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez.
She said, “‘We even have girls in our group who have dated the same people. It’s almost like the sisterhood has such a higher place on the list of priorities for us. It’s so much more important than some guy that it didn’t work out with.”
She went on to say, “Now more than ever we need to be good and kind to each other and not judge each other – and just because you have the same taste in men, we don’t hold that against each other.”
And, not name checking her own boyfriend, Calvin Harris, whom she is often seen with these days in paparazzi photos, she did reflect about relationships and love in general. She said, “Not looking for anything, not necessarily being open to anything, and only being open to the idea that, if I found someone who would never try to change me, that would be the only person I could fall in love with. Because, you know, I was in love with my life.”
Time will tell, of course, as for whether or note Harris is just one of many high-profile romances, but what’s clear, aside from all the chatter on her dating life, she is a major force in contemporary music, as fans and detractors alike acknowledge.
Taylor Swift’s Vanity Fair cover is below; see more of the interview and the photo shoot here. Check out the behind the scenes video below!
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) August 4, 2015
Pictures: PR Photos