Taylor Swift responds to Damon Albarn’s comments: “It’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing”

"Your hot take is completely false and so damaging"

Taylor Swift has responded to comments from Damon Albarn in which he claimed the musician doesn’t write her own songs.

In a new interview with The Los Angeles Times, the Blur and Gorillaz frontman said that Swift’s co-writing approach is at odds with his “traditionalist” views on songwriting.

Albarn argued that there are “big” differences between acts who write their own songs, such as Billie Eilish, versus those who seek input from others.

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He said that performing stripped-back sets in promotion of his new album ‘The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows‘, leaves him more exposed than when performing with a full band. “You learn whether the songs are any good or whether they were popular at the time because of the sound and the attitude,” he said.

The interviewer picked up on his comment and asked whether many modern acts rely on “sound and the attitude” rather than the timeless quality of their music, to which Albarn replied: “Name me someone who’s not.”

After it was suggested to him that Swift is an “excellent songwriter”, he alleged that she doesn’t write her own songs.

“That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing,” Albarn said. “I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great.”

He continued: “And some of the greatest singers – I mean, Ella Fitzgerald never wrote a song in her life. When I sing, I have to close my eyes and just be in there. I suppose I’m a traditionalist in that sense. A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker – less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional.”

Gorillaz's Damon Albarn
Gorillaz’s Damon Albarn performing ‘Désolé’ for ‘Song Machine Live’ Credit: YouTube

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Swift has now replied to Albarn on Twitter, sharing her disappointment at his comments.

“@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this,” Swift wrote, referring to his interview.

“I write ALL my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.”

Swift’s frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff also commented on the disagreement and stood up for her.

“I’ve never met Damon Albarn and he’s never been to my studio but apparently he knows more than the rest of us about all those songs Taylor writes…”

He continued: “If you were there…cool…go off. If not…maybe…shut the fuck up?”

Albarn later responded to Swift’s comments, saying that his words had been reduce to “clickbait” in the interview.

He said: “I totally agree with you. I had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait.

“I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discreet your songwriting. I hope you understand.”

Albarn was speaking to the publication ahead of his gig (January 24) at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall. He was set to play a career-spanning set of songs from his new album and some older material on piano accompanied by a string section.

He’ll also showcase ‘The Nearer The Fountain…’ at an intimate show in London next month, taking to the stage at the Troxy on February 20 for the BRITs Week 2022 gig series.

Later in February (21-22) the musician will perform at London’s Barbican Hall for a show that was rescheduled from March due to the COVID pandemic.

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