Joe Alwyn explains the meaning behind his Taylor Swift songwriting pseudonym

Swift's boyfriend is credited as William Bowery on 'Folklore' and 'Evermore'

Taylor Swift‘s boyfriend Joe Alwyn has explained the story of his pseudonym William Bowery, the name he’s credited under for his contributions to Swift’s recent albums.

Alwyn is partially responsible for co-writing some songs on the singer-songwriter’s two 2020 albums ‘Folklore‘ and ‘Evermore‘, including ‘Exile’, ‘Betty’ and ‘Champagne Problems’. He also co-produced six songs on ‘Folklore’.

Appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show, he explained why he decided to use a pseudonym, and how they settled on the name.


Joe Alwyn
Joe Alwyn CREDIT: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

“We chose to do it so the people first and foremost would listen to the music first before dissecting the fact that we did it together,” he said on the show. “We did it under the name William Bowery… Very fancy. It sounds like a kind of Agatha Christie character that should be wearing a monocle with a big moustache.”

He added: “It was a combination of William … my great-grandfather – who I actually never met – [who] was a composer. He wrote a lot of classical music and he wrote a lot of film scores. And then Bowery is the area in New York that I spent a lot of time in when I first moved over there. So I stuck them together.”

Swift initially confirmed Bowery’s true identity during the Disney+ concert documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity because it’s not a real person,” she said. “So William Bowery is Joe, as we know. And Joe plays piano beautifully and he’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things.”