It is no surprise that over the last few decades, the music industry has grown into a business that creates performers instead of musicians. This concept is demonstrated by many popular hits and their mindless lyrics that often speak of sex, drugs, and alcohol, as though these are the things that bring people happiness. The reason this has become so normalized is because people have turned music into a mindless beat, something to dance to at a club or zone out to on their way to work.
That being said, there is one artist that I believe has stayed true to her art. This artist is the infamous Taylor Swift, a 31-year-old pop sensation who has won several awards for her music. At the age of eighteen, at the beginning of her country career, Swift went on to dominate the pop industry, writing and singing hit after hit. But the funny thing about Swift is that although she is extremely popular, this popularity comes not from an ability to figure out what the public likes and duplicating that, but rather having a unique style that appeals to a lot of people.
Taking a look at Swift’s music, it becomes clear that there is not much similarity between her albums. One minute she’ll be writing songs that hit the world with force and confidence, other times she’s singing slowly and softly with a gentle demeanor. However, the one similarity that presents itself in all her music is truth. There is not one song in any of her works, past and present, that glorifies things that make people feel empty. Every single one of her lyrics means something, and have an immense amount of emotion hiding behind them. The beat is never repetitive or a copy of a past hit of hers, and always manages to work with the lyrics and make them stronger. Even her music videos have a theme, an overall message she is trying to communicate.
It’s impossible to please everyone and be yourself all at the same time. It is for this exact reason that there are so many misogynistic, racist, and homophobic songs out there. As long as the artist can crack the algorithm on how to people-please, they can sing anything they want. But Taylor Swift is a unique artist because she writes music for herself and not an audience, and people happen to love it. I hold an immense amount of respect for her and any other musician who is true to their art, and I highly recommend that anyone who genuinely appreciates the art of music listen to her songs, old and new.