Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tip-Top Taylor... Swift.


Next weekend Taylor Swift comes to Edmonton on her Speak Now World Tour to play TWO sold out shows, and yes, I have my tickets. I was lucky to get them, because both shows sold out literally in MINUTES! She is going to put on an amazing show, and with her coming, I just wanted to share my thoughts on her...
Taylor Swift is one of very few artists who is genuine and real. You don’t have to like her music to like and respect her, and I don't think she gets the recognition she properly deserves.
I became a fan when she released her single Love Story. I saw the video and thought she was an amazing and very attractive singer. As I saw more of her, I realized how different she was from most of the other singers. In Taylor Swift, I saw a real person and not just a “Hollywood cut-out” trying to get rich and famous. I saw someone really no different than you or me.
Unfortunately, with all the scandals, rehab stays, DUIs, or breakdowns other stars are having, artists like Taylor Swift barely get any kind of media coverage. And yet, she has still managed to become one of the most popular and well loved stars around the world... all with one simple trick—truth.
Taylor Swift is who she says she is. She is true to herself, but more importantly, her songs are the story of her life. In fact, she has been quoted many times as saying that when you listen to her songs, it is like you’re reading her diary. It’s her vulnerability and openness in her music (and in herself) that has made her fans more like her friends, and this is what made, and will keep, Taylor Swift popular and respected.
When you see Taylor Swift doing an interview or watch her in a behind-the-scenes clip, she is a normal person—one who hasn’t succumb to the “Hollywood Lifestyle” or changed who she is. You don’t ever see photos of her staggering drunk out of a club, because that’s not who she is. You don’t ever see her posing for provocative or suggesting photos, because that is not who she is. In fact, she was once quoted as saying that she doesn’t wear skimpy or revealing clothing in her real life so she won't just for a photo-shoot. Again... a real person who is not gong to ‘bend over’ for "Hollywood."
I’ve watched interviews with her, and they all go the same way and leave me with the same impression—even if singing didn’t make her famous or wealthy, she would still be do it. True artists don’t do what they do because it makes them rich and famous; they do it because they love what they do and want to share it with others.
It is unfortunate, however, that some artists let the fame and fortune get to them and change them—usually not in a good way, either. There are numerous artists that I’ve really respected and enjoyed only to watch as the corruption and greed take over—destroying all respect I once had. I’ve read stories about artists spending $50000 a month on their hair and make-up, dropping a quarter of a million dollars at a club for a birthday party, or buying a $30 million house. Really? For what possible reason would one need a house that has twenty-two bathrooms?
But then, you have an artist like Taylor Swift. Sure, she has a couple of nice homes but nothing over-the-top. She stays very close with her family, and keeps a very level head. In fact, she just recently bought her parents a new house—a little costly, but not excessive and not wasteful... I mean it's her parents. They have and continue to support her and her dreams, so now she is just giving them a "Thank-You for everything" gift from the heart—that’s what I would do.
The most defining point, however, when talking about Taylor Swift is how she acts towards and interacts with her fans. They are more important to her than the fame or the fortune. Whenever you see her around her fans, she treats them like they REALLY are her best friends, because in her heart, they are. She talks to them (not at them) and honestly listens to and hears them. She respects them and treats them with such. No matter where she is or what she’s doing, she will take time to stop and ‘mingle’ with her admirers. This is what makes an artist truly amazing.
Not only does Taylor Swift respect her fans, but she also deeply respects her peers. It’s sad that quite often, however, this respect is one sided. Taylor Swift may win many ‘fan-voted’ awards, but she doesn’t win that many awards that are voted on or decided by the ‘industry.’ Fortunately, I don’t think this matters to her, though. I mean, it’s the awards that are chosen by the fans that are, or should be, the most important to an artist. No matter, even when you see Taylor Swift lose an award to another artist, you can see she is genuinely happy for the person who won. Not once have I ever seen a look of disgust or displeasure on her face when she didn’t win. Sadly, I can’t say the same for many other artists.
In fact, this past Sunday was the annual Teen Choice Awards. A fan-voted award show in which Taylor Swift won five awards in addition to the Ultimate Choice award, which is basically the top honour for this award’s show. When she accepted the award, you could tell it wasn’t the award itself that mattered to her. It was that the fans chose her, or more importantly her ‘stories,’ to receive the award. She was truly touched and humbled that what she has to share is so loved by those she shares it with.
Another example of Taylor Swift's humility and sincerity was when Selena Gomez performed Love You Like A Love Song, which won "Best Love Song." Taylor Swift lost the award for “Best Love Song” to Selena Gomez, but what did she do while Selena was performing the song live? She was right there in the front row, with a big smile on her face, dancing and singing along with Selena’s performance. Sound like a sore loser to you? Nope.
Many artists roll out songs written by whomever and record the songs they believe will get the most air-play or will sell the most albums. They are in it for the money, and as long as you’re buying their albums, they’re happy. Taylor Swift writes her own songs—songs that tell us about her life (both the good and the bad). Because the songs come from her heart, they are real. And because they are real, her fans easily relate to them and easily relate to her. All in all, a connection is created between Taylor Swift and her fans, and it’s because of this connection that Taylor Swift will remain highly adored and respected by people all over the world. Her fans are her friends, and friends don’t abandon you.
So, you don’t have to like her music, but you can’t help but respect her as an artist, because Taylor Swift is a true artist and sincere person.
But that’s just me...


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