[Image courtesy of Vulture]
By Grace Koennecke, Columns Editor
Taylor Swift has had quite the week, being named the Songwriter-Artist of the Decade by the Nashville Songwriters Association International as well as turning to TikTok to reveal new information for her upcoming album, Midnights.
On Tuesday night, Swift attended the NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards at the historic Ryman Auditorium. She gave a speech discussing her history as an artist and the way she compartmentalizes her songs. Swift also touched on the process of re-recording her albums, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version).
The singer also thanked the NSAI in her speech for hosting the event and professed her love for everyone in attendance, appreciating their love for music and imagination. Swift mentioned how the music industry always wants artists to do something “new,” and that now artists always have to be prepared for what they want to create next.
Swift said the award is a symbol of her hard work, grit, and determination to keep bringing in the “new” to the industry, as well as resemblance of the hardships, conflicts and discriminations she’s faced as well. Throughout the rest of the speech, Swift explained the inspiration and references behind her bodies of work. She also mentioned how the influence of writers Charlotte Bronte and Emily Dickinson helped her find new perspectives in her music based on her current and past life experiences.
Shortly after her appearance at the award show, Swift surprised fans everywhere by making a rare cameo on TikTok at midnight, sporting a brown blazer and sitting next to a bingo wheel. The singer went on to admit her past of leaving Easter eggs and clues for fans, announcing a new segment on the platform called “Midnights Mayhem With Me.”
In the video, Swift said, “I know that I have a habit of dropping cryptic clues and Easter eggs when giving you information about new music, and I’m not here to deny that, but I am here to defy that. Welcome to a new series I’m calling ‘Midnights Mayhem With Me.’ I am going to be using this technologically advanced device (the bingo wheel) to help me allow fate to decide exactly what track titles I’m going to be announcing and in what order.”
The singer went on to explain how each ball inside the bingo wheel was numbered one through 13, each representing a song title on Midnights. Incidentally, Swift drew ball 13 and picked up a red telephone.
Whispering into the phone, Swift announced the title of track 13 would be called “Mastermind,” causing fans to spiral into new theories and observations about the video and the new project.
Before the creation of “Midnights Mayhem With Me,” the singer shocked the world when she announced Midnights at the recent 2022 MTV Video Music Awards after winning “Video of the Year” for the highly successful music video “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version).”
Midnights drops Oct. 21, making it Swift’s 10th studio album at only 32 years old.