Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 is breaking all kinds of records on the Billboard charts, but before it was released, her label was heavily against the direction the former country singer was going in. With Swift’s previous album sales Red through the roof, her label took the motto “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” to heart.
Fortunately, Swift powered through with her label and forced them to see that she could make the change to pop, even though technically she was a crossover artist. Her label had valid concerns — some people could have taken the switch as Swift abandoning a faithful audience, but Taylor’s record sales prevailed.
In an interview with Billboard, the Woman of The Year sat down to reveal the early problems of getting her team on board with 1989 and her hit single “Shake It Off.”
It started with her label’s head, Scott Borchetta, having an attack when he heard she was switching genres. “He went into a state of semi-panic.” Then Borchetta wanted Swift to include three country songs on the album, but Swift was firm. “All my answers were a very firm ‘no,’ because it felt disingenuous to try to exploit two genres when your album falls in only one.”
— Taste of Country (@TasteOfCountry) December 16, 2014
As stated, her own team wasn’t on board with the drastic switch. “They said, ‘Are you really sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to call the album 1989? We think its a weird title. Are you sure you want to put an album cover out that has less than half of your face on it? Are you positive that you want to take a genre that you cemented yourself in, and switch to one that you are a newcomer to?’ She continued, “And answering all of those questions with ‘Yes, I’m sure’ really frustrated me at the time — like, ‘Guys, don’t you understand, this is what I’m dying to do?'”
— Forbes (@Forbes) December 15, 2014
Taylor Swift’s instincts were right on. 1989 has two hit singles that have gone number one — “Shake It Off’ and “Blank Space.” The album itself is currently on track to being the largest selling album of 2014, as well. If it can pull that off then it will surpass Disney’s Frozen, which is a huge feat — even if you are Taylor Swift.