singers

‘Surprises in store’: Taylor Swift begins re-recording older music

Bea Cupin
‘Surprises in store’: Taylor Swift begins re-recording older music

NEW ERA. Taylor Swift begins re-recording her first 6 albums after failing to acquire her masters under acceptable terms.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

The Grammy award-winner confirms her masters were sold by Scooter Braun to a holdings company

Singer Taylor Swift on Tuesday, November 17, said she’s started re-recording her older music after a year of “actively trying to regain ownership” of the master recordings of her first 6 albums. 

“With that goal in mind, my team attempted to enter into negotiations with Scooter Braun,” said Swift, referring to the music mogul who had acquired Swift’s masters after buying Big Machine Label Group through his company Ithaca Holdings in 2019. 

Swift said, however, that in order to proceed with the possible deal, she’d have to sign an “ironclad NDA (non-disclosure agreement)” that would bar her from saying anything about Braun “unless it was positive.” “So, I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work,” she said, adding that her legal team had “never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off.” 

Swift claimed that Braun had not even given them a quote for the sale of the masters. “These master recordings were not for sale to me,” she added. 

Her team recently learned, through a letter sent by private equity company Shamrock Holdings, that they’d purchased her music, videos, and album art from Braun – the second time, noted Swift, that her music had been sold without her knowing. Swift said Shamrock had wanted to reach out to Swift prior to the purchase, but that the deal with Braun barred them from doing so. 

Swift claimed that Shamrock’s deal with Braun meant that he would still profit from her old music, even after its sale to Shamrock. Because of this, however, Swift said she turned down a partnership with Shamrock. 

According to Variety, the deal between Braun and Shamrock is estimated to be worth over $300 million. The Variety report preceded Taylor’s Twitter post, and could have prompted Taylor’s disclosure. 

In her posts, Swift also attached a copy of the letter she had sent Shamrock, expressing regret over having to turn down a potential partnership.

“I know this will diminish the value of my old masters, but I hope you will understand that this is my only way of regaining the sense of pride I once had when hearing songs from my first six albums and also allowing my fans to listen to those albums without feelings of guilt over benefitting Scooter,” she said.

Shamrock Holdings now owns the masters of Swift’s first 6 albums, 5 of which topped US charts and all of which are either gold, platinum, or diamond-certified albums several times over. 

Swift said that as planned, she’s re-recording her original music. “It has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling. I have plenty of surprises in store. I want to thank you guys for supporting me through this ongoing saga, and I can’t wait for you to hear what I’ve been dreaming up,” she added. 

Swift, 30, is among pop music’s biggest names. After her contract with Big Machine expired, she signed with Republic Records and has since released two albums, Lover and folklore. In 2020, the documentary Miss Americana – which covers the creation of 2019’s Lover and 2017’s Reputation, her last album with Big Machine – was released on Netflix. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.