Why Did Taylor Swift Choose 'Nils Sjoberg' As Her Pseudonym On "This Is What You Came For"?
Finally, we can stop speculating: It's been confirmed that Taylor Swift wrote "This Is What You Came For" with Calvin Harris under the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg. But now, with this mystery solved, I also need to know — why did Swift choose the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg? I know some fans here and there were suspicious from the beginning that Swift had a hand in creating the song, but I never would have guessed that Nils Sjöberg and Taylor Swift were one and the same. And you know what? I think that's the point — it was likely never supposed to seem like there's no possible connection between the two names. I mean, if you were writing a song for someone else and wanted to completely obscure your identity on it, wouldn't the best way to do that be to impersonate a Swedish man? (Unless you are actually a Swedish man, in which case, maybe you'd impersonate Taylor Swift? Is that how this works?) Check and check!
But, why the name Nils? Apparently, Nils is the Swedish and Norwegian version of "Nicholas," and Sjöberg is a traditionally Swedish surname, so by choosing the name, Swift was likely banking on the fact that, if anyone in the U.S. looked into the songwriter list, they'd just assume there's no way they'd ever have heard of a Swedish songwriter. Any significance behind the name is unclear (if you search for Nils Sjöberg, the name comes up as having historically belonged to a Swedish officer/poet from the 1700s and a gymnast from the '50s and... I don't think they had anything to do with Swift choosing this name) but my theory is that she chose it for anonymity's sake.
So while it's tempting to try to sniff out the code in "Nils Sjöberg" that should have alerted us that he was actually Swift, I think she's smarter than that. If it spelled something backward or meant "Meredith the Cat" in Swedish, her fans would've been onto that immediately. It seems to me that Swift chose a name for "This Is What You Came For" that held no clues to her real identity, and was opposite to who she is in as many ways as possible. And you know what? It worked.