Why Taylor Swift's Decision to Re-Record Her Albums is So Empowering

If you haven’t heard, Taylor Swift is re-recording her first 6 albums. The move may surprise some, but as an avid Swift fan, I could not be more excited for this- especially knowing the history behind her fight to own her masters.

Swift signed to Big Machine Records in 2005 when she was just 16 years old. She went on to write six platinum-selling albums under the label. In 2018, she announced she was leaving Big Machine to sign with Republic Records, where she would own the masters to every album she produced with them. This was a big change from her time at Big Machine- Swift did not own the masters to any album she created with them.

If you’re unsure what a master is, I’ll break it down for you: a master is the rights to the recording of a song or album. In 2019, a man named Scooter Braun acquired Swift’s album masters when he bought Big Machine for a rumored $300 million. The deal was largely influenced by Swift’s masters, as her star power far outweighs anyone else on the label. When the news broke, Swift immediately denounced Braun and the former owner of Big Machine, Scott Borchetta. She claimed that she made multiple attempts to buy her masters but was never offered fair conditions. Fans speculated that Borchetta had been plotting to sell the label for a while and needed Swift’s masters to make such a large deal.

This past month, Swift dropped the first of the re-recordings. Love Story (Taylor’s Version), has topped the charts since its release. She also announced that the re-recorded version of her second album, Fearless, would be released on April 9th. As a Swift fan since the beginning, I could not be more excited for her. The decision to re-record her albums shows that she will never let people push her around. Throughout her career, she has consistently been a fierce feminist figure. The older she got, the more outspoken she became, as shown in her documentary Miss Americana.

Swift has a long-standing history of utilizing her platform for good.

In 2015, she pulled her music from Apple Music because they were not paying their artists enough, knowing that speaking out against the company would benefit smaller artists. She has always empowered girls with her songs, writing lyrics like “In your life, you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team.” Re-recording her masters is proof that she sticks to her word: when the time comes to stand up for herself, she does it. She shows that fighting against unfair policies and not getting the result you want does not have to be the end of the road. In fact, it can be a new beginning.