Photo credit: Billboard.com
By JOHN PETER TAN
Love her or hate her; there’s no denying Taylor Swift is a household name in the music industry. Having won 10 Grammys and a long list of hit songs to call her own, Swift sure knows how to rock the music charts and keep fans wanting more.
Swift first stepped into the spotlight after gaining commercial success with her debut album, Taylor Swift in 2006. Since then, she’s been through many trials throughout her career in the public eye.
Swift would have lived by certain leadership values to reach where she is today. So, besides writing break-up songs, what is her recipe to success?
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1. Turn your misery into victories
Swift is known for publicly writing about her love affairs in her songs and being unapologetic about it. Some adore her while others criticise her for it. Whichever side you’re in, there is no denying that Swift has the uncanny ability to transform her pain into success.
Instead of wallowing in her break-ups and letting it take the best of her, Swift takes a different approach to it. She instead channels the emotions she felt from the heartaches and turn them into chart-topping singles.
Besides her romantic life, Swift has also come under fire for her reputation, especially in recent years. Having been painted as a serial dater, or a snake by the media or her haters, Swift again prevents this from getting the best of her. Instead, she uses this as an inspiration and turn them to victories by doing what she knows best. You guessed it: write a song about it.
By doing this, she isn’t allowing her “haters” to have the last say because she acknowledges the criticisms surrounding her reputation and mocks it by playing along with the narrative.
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2. Push the limits
After releasing her 4th studio album Red, Swift knew she wanted to head towards a new direction for her upcoming album. Thus, she went on to make her first documented official pop album, 1989.
In the midst of creating it, she was called in relentlessly by the members of her label. They doubted the potential of the album and suggested that Swift stick to her country roots.
Swift refused and stayed true to her vision as she has openly said:
“Once I’ve kind of done something once, I always want to go to a different direction and never repeat myself.”
Thankfully, she stuck to her guns and allowed herself and her music to evolve, as the album was well received by music critics and fans.
3. Fill in the blank space
Swift has mentioned many times before that her success is a result of her close relationship with her fans. Unlike her peers in the industry, Swift brings something different to the table. She isn’t just offering her music, but also extending her friendship.
Swift knows her target audience well and has managed to fill in the blank space between the both parties. For instance, before the release of her fifth studio album, Swift treated her fans to a listening party.
She invited 1,989 fans from different locations to her house and played them the album before its release date. In addition to that, she even went to the extent of involving herself in their personal lives, be it liking their posts on social media, participating in their inner jokes or playing the Santa Claus role during Christmas.
Haters call it a smart PR (public relations) tactic while her fans say it’s her authentic self. Whatever it is, she is connecting with her fans.
It is safe to say that these strategies have helped Swift stay relevant in the industry and be the artist her fans came to love.
With her new album Reputation on its way, fans can only wonder which direction she is heading towards to.