Taylor Swift Plans To Re-Record Her Masters After All The Scooter Braun & Scott Borchetta Drama
This bad blood is still running deep. In a forthcoming CBS Sunday Morning interview, Taylor Swift revealed she plans to re-record her old songs, amid drama over control of her original recordings. After CBS correspondent Tracy Smith asked if the singer would go ahead with that strategy, Swift replied, "Oh yeah ... absolutely," per The Hollywood Reporter. That move, of course, comes on the heels of Scooter Braun — with whom Swift has had a contentious relationship — acquiring the rights to the tracks in a reported $300 million deal with Scott Borchetta and his Big Machine Label Group, which distributed Swift's first six albums.
After the news first broke on June 30, a "sad and grossed out" Swift expressed her frustration on social media. "I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world," she wrote on Tumblr. "All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years."
Swift went on to describe an incident in which "Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked," and accused Braun of getting two of his clients — Justin Bieber and Kanye West — together to "bully" her online about it. (She included Bieber's Instagram screenshot of a FaceTime call between him, Braun, and West that included the caption: "Taylor swift what up.") Swift also referred to West's "Famous" music video as "revenge porn," in her post.
"When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them," Swift, who called the predicament her "worst case scenario" continued. "Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words 'Scooter Braun' escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did."
For his part, Borchetta responded to Swift's open letter, claiming he sent Swift a text message prior to the news going public. He also shared a photo of part of a new contract he claimed Swift was offered before she left Big Machine. "As you will read, 100% of all Taylor Swift assets were to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement," he wrote. "We were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world that was not necessarily tied to ‘albums’ but more of a length of time."
Several celebrities, including Halsey, Cara Delevingne, and Todrick Hall came to Swift's defense. But it may very well have been Kelly Clarkson who put the idea to re-record the songs into her head. On July 13, Clarkson tweeted: "@taylorswift13 just a thought, U should go in & re-record all the songs that U don’t own the masters on exactly how U did them but put brand new art & some kind of incentive so fans will no longer buy the old versions. I’d buy all of the new versions just to prove a point 💁🏼♀️"
According to Page Six, however, Swift may not be able to execute the plan. “She can’t re-record because she’s not contractually allowed to do so,” a music industry expert "with knowledge of the deal" told Page Six. “The only thing she could be allowed to do is ... re-do the lyrics, but contractually she can’t. Even if she could, no one would want old songs with new lyrics.”
While it remains to be seen what will happen from here, Swift is clearly determined to regain ownership of her work by any means necessary.