Damon Albarn claimed Taylor Swift ‘doesn’t write her own songs’ & Taylor is mad

Years ago, Damon Albarn of Blur was idolized by the younger generation of British bands, musicians and singers coming up. But over the past decade, he’s really ruined the goodwill people had for him. He’s a curmudgeon and he gives interviews every so often where he just bitches about the current crop of musical talent. Notably, in 2014-15, he had beef with Adele of all people. He said publicly that Adele’s music is “middle of the road” and that she’s “insecure.” It really hurt her feelings because she had legitimately idolized him and had asked him for advice in good faith, not knowing he would disrespect her publicly afterwards.

Well, Albarn has a new project or something, I wasn’t paying attention to that part of his new Los Angeles Times interview. Within minutes of the start of the interview, Albarn complains about how difficult it is to do a whole concert on a piano, and how it’s so much easier to play in a band. That’s where this picks up:

LAT: Hard [to sit at a piano] because it’s so exposed?
You can’t hide behind anything. You learn whether the songs are any good or whether they were popular at the time because of the sound and the attitude. It’s a day of reckoning — and one, to be honest, that not much modern music could withstand.

LAT: You think a lot of modern musicians are relying on sound and attitude?
Name me someone who’s not.

LAT: She may not be to your taste, but Taylor Swift is an excellent songwriter.
She doesn’t write her own songs.

LAT: Of course she does. Co-writes some of them.
That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. 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. 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.

[From The LA Times]

I mean… this is the kind of criticism I would expect to see lodged at, you know, Beyonce. Because Beyonce does what Albarn is specifically criticizing, she “co-writes” a lot of songs technically, because other people write 90-95% of the song and Beyonce comes in and changes some of the lyrics so she gets to be a cowriter. Taylor Swift isn’t like that exactly – for some of her albums, she’s worked with cowriters and producers (Jack Antonoff, Max Martin) to help her develop the music, but Taylor legitimately writes and develops those songs. As you can imagine, Swift was pissed off. She tweeted this:

Albarn responded to Taylor on Twitter too:

Older men really don’t understand the meaning of “clickbait” do they? They think they can say any old sh-t and then when they’re quoted accurately, suddenly their bitchy insults are “clickbait.”

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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114 Responses to “Damon Albarn claimed Taylor Swift ‘doesn’t write her own songs’ & Taylor is mad”

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  1. LightPurple says:

    No excuse for this. Anyone in the music industry knows this has been an issue with her for years. She addressed it in a Grammy acceptance speech a few years ago after a writer made the same allegations against her.

    • HelloDolly! says:

      Honestly, Swift could win song writing awards for years, and he still wouldn’t recognize her as a songwriter. He clearly believes “real” artists are dudes, and women (and/or people presenting as feminine) are not legitimate artists. His sexism is clear. UGH.

    • superashes says:

      People always try to discredit female musicians as not writing their own music, especially black women, pretty much like exactly what happened in this article.


    • Lo says:

      He most likely said this because Taylor Swift’s music, sonically, sounds like it is geared toward children’s ears. She writes her own songs, great. Still doesn’t make me want to listen to them. Adele is middle of the road, he is right. The songs sound the same. Music for grannies. Boring. I’m really sticking my head on the block here, but I respect your right to listen to Taylor Swift so respect my right to state why I, and a lot of others, do not.

      • AnneL says:

        But he didn’t say he didn’t like her music. He said she doesn’t write her own songs. Whether you like them or not, she writes them herself, they’re popular, and she has the right to take credit for them.

      • superashes says:

        No one is bothered about whether someone wants to listen to Taylor Swift stylistically. This is about yet another person opting to just assume for exactly no reason whatsoever in an interview that she doesn’t write her own songs, then not taking accountability for the lie, and everyone being basically sick of this at this point.

      • Christine says:

        Yeah…..I’m too old to be a Swifty, but I can recognize utter sexism. Music is adored by all, no matter the age. It’s cute you backed off your original statement, by putting your head on a block of your own making. And yes, I mean “cute” in the same way as you demeaned Taylor Swift.

      • Berlin says:

        @Lo Late to comment here on this, but I agree with everything you just said and I respect you for saying it.

  2. chill says:

    How did I know it was a man who made those comments? Guess what? He loves Billie Eilish who has a brother who co writes! I’m shocked.

    • mrsbump says:

      that stood out to me too! It’s ok to co-write as long as man helps you do it

    • HelloDolly! says:

      Right? A woman can only be recognized as writer if a man legitimates her work by co-writing it. So gross.

    • elle says:

      That comment made zero sense and rendered his entire argument moot.

    • GnieWnie says:

      yeah exactly. Warning: RANT. The thing that drives me nuts about this type of personality is that the person in question with all the opinions NEVER takes a step back to look at the larger picture.

      Who or what, exactly, does he think he is servicing here…the art of songwriting? Who anointed him gatekeeper? Why does he think he has inside knowledge of what exactly goes on when Taylor Swift writes a song (correct me if I’m wrong, but did she not gain a foothold in the industry on the basis of her ability to write songs? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t on the basis of her ability to sing).

      And he clearly thinks he needs to air his super unique insights at the expense of women, for some mysterious, completely random reason that has nothing to do with gender at all.

      Does the art of songwriting not benefit from the participation of women? Has the art of songwriting not suffered because it is so exclusively male? That’s a discussion we could have but no, here we are with yet another man convinced of his own importance and position to gatekeep songwriting for all female artists. Just because he can, which speaks to the problem alluded to above…that he is apparently oblivious to. After all, HE’s the important one here, don’t you know?

    • Cecilia says:

      Apparently Damon was wrong about Taylor and her songwriting, but what he meant by co-writing songs, is when the record company contracts songwriters to write with/for the artist. That might be the situation with Beyonce. Billie and her brother, Damon,Lennon McCartney, Jagger and Richards, etc. couldn’t bill the record company for time spent writing music, they got paid when they recorded.

  3. Lili says:

    I think this is what the kids are calling “clout chasing” say something mean about a current famous person get called on it. then bingo you are back in the limelight for a beef in order to be relevant again

    • tisme says:

      This is exactly it!! Who is he again?

      • ItsMe! says:

        You must be young. He is the frontman from Blur and the founder of Gorillaz. They are (or apparently were) quite famous. You might disagree with him (regarding Taylor Swift I do, although I don’t like her music, she does write her own stuff) but putting him down saying he isn’t famous when in the 90’s/00’s he was everywhere is wrong.

      • Chaine says:

        He WAS famous is the point. Famous basically in the prior century. Im 50 so he’s from my era and I had to Google his music him to remember who he was. All generic dated 90s/early aughts type music. Someone whose ego can’t handle the notion that a woman could write her own songs and be perennially a hitmaker while his name is forgotten.

      • BabsORIG says:

        @tisme, Please stop. I am 60 years old but I have no idea who this guy is and I have never heard of Blur or gorillaz and that’s not putting the guy down. He might have been famous at some point but I have no idea who he is. Not knowing the guy is certainly NOT dissing him, please stop.

      • Selene says:

        @BabsORIG its no one’s fault you don’t know who Gorillaz is, but it is a one of a kind band who’s mainstream. I don’t listen to Gorillaz but I know who they are precisely because mainstream means that– a dominant trend, a general audience.

      • Meg says:

        @itsme im 37 and i have no idea who this guy is

      • canichangemyname says:

        I’m 45, and I know Gorillaz and Blur to the point that I could name off a couple of songs. I didn’t recognize this individual’s name though. Maybe that’s his problem. Regardless, I think it’s pretty widely known and accepted that Taylor Swift writes her own songs. It’s weird that he would call her out for NOT writing her own songs and then congratulate Billie, who co-writes with her brother. To be clear, I like both Taylor and Billie Eilish (sp?), and I think they’re both talented. But yeah, he’s coming off like a woman needs a man to co-sign on her work.
        I don’t blame TS for being angry.

      • BabsORIG says:

        @selene, you did deliberately misinterpret my post, SMH. Thanks for the English lesson but my take still stands. I never blamed anyone for my not knowing who this guy is, please reread my post. I just said that not knowing him or his band or his music/songs (and stating so), is not “putting him down”. And, stating that one doesn’t know the man or never heard of him is okay (just like knowing him is okay) there’s absolutely no reason to come for people this way. Please calm yourself down.

      • ninotchka says:

        Most Americans don’t know Blur or any of the other formative bands of my youth. He’s always been an ass though.

    • lemontwist says:

      Yup, I totally think that is a big element at play in this exchange.

      ETA: Not to say that Damon Albarn isn’t famous enough in his own right but this certainly bumped up the current interest.

    • Margot says:

      Thank you for explaining clout chasing. It’s hard for this Gen X to keep up sometimes!

  4. OldLady says:

    What part of ‘she doesn’t write her own songs’ had been misconstrued?

    • Colby says:

      Yep – just because you regret saying something doesn’t mean it was “taken out of context” or “misconstrued”

      He said something wrong and got called out for it. Period.

  5. iforget says:

    She wrote all the lyrics to an entire album before age 20 (Speak Now) by herself. No cowriters. So he couldn’t even get that right. Ugh.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      She co-wrote her songs and it was known. History was rewritten. Anyone that worked any music circuit before her Grammy nomination knew this too. She had song writers travel with her and they were listed with requests in her appearance contracts.
      She always had help and I’m not saying she didn’t write the majority, but there was never a song she did on her own. That’s the point he’s making. Also, she relies heavily on image, attitude and changing her sounds with the trends. Which isn’t bad. It’s just the industry.

      • iforget says:

        She wrote the lyrics alone. She did not produce the album or write the melodies alone. She wrote the lyrics alone. It’s okay, it’s a common mistake, but she wrote the lyrics for Speak Now alone.

    • Millenial says:

      Liz Rose was brought in to help her write her first 3~ albums. What Liz has said in interviews is that all the lyrics were pretty much Taylor’s and Liz was brought in to help her edit and polish. That’s why Taylor brought her back to get All Too Well down to 5 minutes from 10, even though their professional relationship had ended. But if you listen to the 10 minute version, you can see Liz’s editing but the lyrics remain pretty untouched.

      • iforget says:

        Liz Rose helped write lyrics for the first two & her fourth album for ATW as you said :), but not her third (Speak Now). Of course she was credited on her re-record of Red as well, but again she wrote the lyrics for Speak Now alone. Liz was definitely an editor and has been complimentary of Taylor’s songwriting, and I do love their songs together.

    • NotClaudia says:

      Nope, the whole Speak now album was self-written by Taylor alone, lyrics AND music!

  6. Lucy2 says:

    Seems like most of the people he picks on are women.
    And of course there are brilliantly talented people performing these days, some with even just a piano, gasp!

    • HelloDolly! says:

      After reading about the Adele drama with Damon, I felt for her. She confided in an idol about the very real experience of gender oppression in the professional world and in the media—that women are routinely regarded as less capable, motivated, and driven, particularly when they are also mothers. And Damon’s sexist, privileged ass responds by gaslighting her and publicly announcing she is insecure? Fuck you. Seriously, this guy is a tool.

    • tealily says:

      100% this. This is a super sexist statement. I feel like he’s probably not that familiar with Taylor Swift’s catalog, but went ahead and made some big assumptions anyway. What a dick.

  7. Lea says:

    Eh, I feel like unless he has *proof* from people who write with Taylor he can’t make these kinds of accusations. I had agreed with him when he made comments about Adele’s album because he was probably called in to collaborate and experiment but his input was not taken in and 25 did end up being very “middle of the road” and sounding way less interesting than 21. This Taylor criticism however just feels so uncalled for and with no legitimacy whatsoever.

  8. bitsycs says:

    Why are men?

    Seriously, though, there are lots of deserved criticisms of TS but this isn’t one of them and it seems absolutely sexist. I also think despite her age people treat her like she’s still 15. It’s gross and dismissive.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      He doesn’t come off great here, but at least he didn’t bring her up. The interviewer did.

      • MrsBump says:

        no one put a gun to his head and force him to comment. he could have avoided / deflected the question and focus on whatever he is trying to peddle atm

  9. Jane says:

    He’s not entirely wrong (especially about Adele and the piano stuff), but Taylor Swift was completely the wrong example to use to try and make his point about song writing. I wonder why all these middle-aged music dudes keep having a go at successful young female singers/song writers…?

  10. Jillian says:

    Damon is just going full Morrissey now? Not a good look

  11. Noki says:

    Beyonce has sooo many writers on a lot of her songs. In the early days a lot of writers and producers used to say her father would bully them into making sure Beyonce had credit for songs she barely contributed to.
    I do think Taylor writes her songs because they are incredibly childish and vengeful.

  12. Jennifer says:

    What an idiot. What was that “apology?!” Dude, you don’t go after Taylor. She is a vengeance demon and she will CUT YOU. (Or sue, or write a nasty song about haters, or both.)

  13. The Hench says:

    He is an a**e twice over. First for saying that Taylor doesn’t write her own songs when even I, hardly finger on the pulse when it comes to pop music, know she does and secondly by trying to get out of what he very clearly and plainly said with the nonsense Clickbait excuse. He disparaged and then he gaslighted. A***hole.

  14. Emily says:

    Whether people like the style of Taylor’s music or her public persona is opinion. But she is undeniably a prolific song writer and even wrote an entire #1 selling album at 19 without a single co-writer.

    Also he says co-writing isn’t writing and then commends Billie Ellison for co-writing with her brother.

    This guy got more attention for this stupid interview then he ever did for his songwriting.

  15. Mina_Esq says:

    Says the guy whose [arguably] biggest claim to songwriting fame is a song that consists mostly of the words “yeah” and “woo-hoo”. Whatever. Just another cranky Englishman threatened by a strong American woman. I’m annoyed by the people that are saying “oh she should have just called him instead of blasting him in such a public way”. Why? He made a misleading public statement, and she needed to have it corrected in the public forum. Good for her for not taking any crap from anyone.

    • I know right? I’m really sick and tired of women constantly being told to prioritize men’s feelings and egos.

      I occasionally check out subreddits which (among other things) showcase creepy text exchanges women get from men, and no matter what he says or how she responds (or doesn’t respond), there’s always at least a couple people saying she handled it wrong. Either she was rude or overly sensitive to block him so quickly and she should have given him a chance, or she led him on or made it worse by trying to reason or argue with him. Either she was overly mean and judgmental in assuming he was being creepy, or she was being too wimpy and should stick up for herself if she wants to get treated with respect. Women can’t win.

      The guy could be flat out threatening to sexually assault her, and there’ll be some putz going “welllll of course rape is wrong, but maybe if she was nicer he wouldn’t have said it.”🤮

    • elle says:

      The headline should be changed to “Taylor schools Albarn” or something to that effect. “Taylor is mad” makes it sound like she’s being petty instead of justifiably defending herself.

      I’m not even a Taylor fan, but this whole story is sticking in my craw.

  16. Case says:

    What an idiot. I’m glad Taylor called him out (as my dad says, she takes no sh!t) and his non-apology is just hilariously bad.

    The fact that he praised Billie for writing (co-writing!) songs that are not so upbeat like Taylor also tells me he hasn’t listened to Taylor recently.

    • Sof says:

      No, you don’t get it, he likes Billie because she is DARK, you know, an old soul and dark, just like himself who is not like the others in the industry, lol.

      • HeyJude says:

        I’m sorry but didn’t she just dye her hair blonde and come out looking like a rebirthed Marilyn Monroe recently?

        That’s not very dark.

        The whole dark girl personna was clearly affected.

        And I don’t know how he can think Taylor’s only a poppy happy persona but not see Eilish’s thing was just as much marketing as the “Love Story” era Taylor of years ago, but in the other direction. “Oh I’m too cool and dark and complicated to be like that” was Eilish’s entire shtick.

  17. pollyv says:

    Why don’t we just call a spade, a spade. The guy’s a dick. 100%

  18. lemontwist says:

    Gotta say, the way his BS ‘apology’ is being roasted on twitter is warming my heart. I don’t care who brought up what in the interview, he said what he said.
    His original comments didn’t even make sense. He was wrong about TS’s songwriting credits and then.. something, something, co-writing isn’t actual songwriting unless you’re Billie & Finneas Eilish? What?
    But doubling down with the weak-a** click-bait excuse on twitter and pretending he didn’t say what he said just kind of sealed it for me.

  19. Squirrelly says:

    If a man talks sh*t then I owe him nothin…

  20. It’sjustblanche says:

    I think it’s hilarious that this guy who no one even remembers thinks anyone cares.

  21. Ms. says:

    Damon shouldn’t try to hang with Noel Gallagher. The 90s Brit pop invasion already had the bitchy a**hole role covered and he doesn’t do it with the same humor. At least Noel got funnier as he got to grumpy old man early age, while Damon looks saltier.

    Besides that, he is way overestimating the impact of his own talent. Taylor and Adele have more international hits than Blur/Gorillaz ever did.

  22. thinking says:

    I’m surprised he’d denigrate her songwriting ability instead of commenting on her actual singing voice. Either way, he’d still land in trouble though. But if you’re going to name-check someone…

    I think she can write songs. I just don’t enjoy her voice that much. I suppose that’s neither here nor there, as it’s simply opinion and her voice appeals to other people, but songwriting isn’t where I’d expect someone to criticize her.

    I think Noel Gallagher made fun of her voice and that was rude too. But that was where I would expect actual mockery to come in. (Well, her “live” singing voice anyway, not necessarily the one you hear on a recorded album). The best thing is to just not saying anything publicly at all since tastes differ.

    As far as songwriting goes, my impression is that she knows what she’s doing there.

    • saturday says:

      I’m a Swiftie and I totally think it’s fair to say that she doesn’t have the best singing voice. And while I would disagree, I even think it’s fair game for someone to criticize the quality of her writing. But to question that it’s her work?? to discredit her like that is SO sexist. That’s basically calling her a liar & a cheat all at once.

      • thinking says:

        That’s true — he did discredit her work. I think she definitely writes her own songs and knows how to use her skill set independently.

    • Eurydice says:

      My mother, who trained in opera, says TS has a voice like a fish – just the mouth opening and closing, opening and closing. I’m not a particular fan, but I consider TS an artist – she has a specific point of view that she wants to communicate through lyrics, music and performance and she does it very effectively and memorably.

      • Norman Bates' Mother says:

        Her voice improved through the years – I loved her song with Bon Iver – “Exile” so I listened to the live version and I was surprised how good live she’s gotten, but she never writes belty, very demanding stuff anyway. She’s just very good at writing music fit for her vocal range and it’s fine.

        There are a lot of singer-songwriters whose strenght is in the lyrics and music and not singing. Of course – the better the writing, the worse singing can be. Bob Dylan or Tom Waits come to mind – their singing wouldn’t get them anywhere if not for the amazing songs they write. Taylor’s songs are not nearly on the same level lyrically, but she’s also not as bad of a singer, so she meets them in the middle. On the other hand – someone with a voice like Beyonce doesn’t need to write her own songs and it’s fine too. One is a singer-songwriter, the other is a vocalist.

  23. Ferdinand says:

    Wow, he sounds off and wrong about Taylor. But what he says about co-written songs is true, as it is pointed out some artists like Beyoncé who just change a word and gets writing credits. He might have thought of that when he thought of Taylor because he simply doesn’t know her “all too well”.

    Speaking of not knowing, I know you’re Taylor stans and all, but let not diminish the accomplishments this man has had. He is influencial in music: Blur in the 90’s , Gorillaz in the 2000-2010, just because he isn’t big in America, he is a name elsewhere. Just go watch “This is pop” on Netflix to grasp what did man represents for a whole generation of people in England and the rest of the world.

    • ItsMe! says:

      Thank you for expressing what I was trying to much better than me! For people who say they are late 30’s and over to say they don’t know him, I’ll ask: did you live under a rock?

      • alejamx says:

        This! Apparently they did live under a rock.

      • Or they lived in America during the ’90s. Blur, Oasis, and the other Britpop bands were never as big here as they were in the UK. Nirvana and the Seattle grunge bands were the big thing. I think Gorillaz might be more a little more well- known, but even then, not by much.

  24. JRenee says:

    I like her response. His apology was performative at best..

  25. HK9 says:

    Gawd. As a musician, saying a concert with you and a piano is harder is like saying water is wet. And quite frankly, those who do it well don’t complain about it they just do it c**cough-Prince’s piano & microphone setiescough*

  26. Liz version 700 says:

    Whew this guy sounds like a jealous a$$. Taylor has her up’s and downs and I like some of her songs and hate a couple of them, but it is well documented that she is very involved in the writing process of her song lyrics. Taking shots at women and artist of color to prop your sagging career up isn’t a good look dude. I hope he is still digging out from this for days lol.

  27. Lila says:

    There are a lot of Taylor things I will complain about, but songwriting isn’t one of them. She’s had a distinct style the entirety of her career. Whether or not co-writers dip in, her point of view comes through strongly. And we know she has a STRONG work ethic. None of what he says even makes sense with the facts of her career. He sounds like a cranky has-been that doesn’t like how often he hears her on the radio.

  28. kim says:

    tbh it sounds like the bitter man thinks he is relevant in the 20s……when he’s not ….his name didn’t being anyone here…..Adele and Taylor did….

  29. Annaloo. says:

    I’m giving him a pass and forgive. He apologized sincerely and explained he was used for click bait. Our world is too angry. Save that energy for assuring elections are fair. Taylor and her millions are both fine

    Maybe it’s the pandemic, but I’m tired of being angry and severe w people 🙁

    • It’s not up to you to forgive him–that would be up to Swift (and Adele). Also, we can care about elections being fair (?) AND care about women receiving proper credit for their efforts instead of enabling men who claim otherwise.

      “He apologized sincerely and explained he was used for click bait.”

      The apology was NOT sincere because Albarn’s not taking responsibility. He’s trying to fob it off on the journalist, who did nothing wrong but report what he said. The journo even tried to give Albarn an out by correcting him about Swift writing her own stuff, but he kept going.

    • JJS says:

      I’m with you, he’s built up enough esteem with me over the last 30 years that I’m willing to forgive this (though yes, it’s not up to me!) and think we should accept apologies more.
      (Though am annoyed at his misuse of “clickbait”, which I think is showing his age/not understanding.)

  30. Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

    I think it’s a little bit hypocritical to criticize Taylor Swift for not being dark and for being “too upbeat”, coming from the guy who headed up Blur and Gorillaz. Don’t act like you were on stage with Sevendust or System of a Down or Five Finger Death Punch.

    • Wilma says:

      And co-wrote all those songs with Blur and Gorillaz. You don’t get Blur songs without Graham Coxon.

      • H says:

        Thank you @Wilma! Blur was great, but it’s not a coincidence that they fell to pieces after Graham Coxon left.

    • Erinn says:

      Lol agreed but I wouldn’t really call the bands you listed especially hard either.

  31. Grant says:

    What the F even was the point of what he was saying? He was trying to minimize artists who don’t write their own music or who, GASP, dare to have a co-writer, but then venerates Ella Fitzgerald (who he admits never wrote a song to save her life) in his next breath. So did Ella rely on sound for success or not? He just wanted to b!tch about something.

  32. Normades says:

    Huge Blur fan in the day and Albarn was so unbelievably gorgeous. Urgh, why do all these Brit rockers grow up to be salty a$$holes?

  33. FayeG says:

    I dislike Taylor and I want to agree with Albarn, but I don’t know much about this issue. It seems like she does write her songs, whether or not someone actually likes them is a different matter.

  34. Luna17 says:

    My husband is a musician and hangs out with musicians. Most real musicians (people who write and play music and studied it) aren’t fans of people like Taylor and Adele and most popular music because it’s so over produced and lacks creativity. Obviously Taylor and Adele’s music isn’t going to be Pink Floyd or Velvet Underground when it comes to innovation and creativity. I like Taylor and thinks she’s talented but I’m also not a musician and know she is commercially marketed well. Honestly Adele’s songs all sound the same to me on every album but she is obviously appealing to a lot of people. Todays music is pretty lacking in general, especially to people that study music and know how empty it is. This guy sounds like a jerk but the industry sucks and has lost all authenticity for commercial success and I think people know that and take it out on the most successful artists.

    • Yasmine says:

      YES! Thank you for explaining why people can be frustrated with Swift. I love catchy pop, even if it’s simplistic in its structure, but it frustrates me how oversaturated Swift is, leaving little space in the industry for other artists.
      Take the singer Dagny for example, she makes excellent pop because she uses one-note melodies and layers them with different harmonies. She creates the perfectly catchy song, and even Katy Perry copied her songs (she asked for permission). Yet Dagny doesn’t really get any recognition. Or take Swift’s writing. NPR had a great article on how Taylor Swift’s storytelling is borrowed from hiphop, and they even do a side by side comparison. Again it’s frustrating because Swift gets a grammy for her writing, but hiphop artists who pioneered this style of writing do not. They won’t get an ounce of the exposure Swift does.
      I don’t think people really realize how big of a problem it is that the majority of mainstream music is in concentrated in the few like Swift. And you’re right, this guy’s a jackass so screw his opinion. But I’m glad someone brought up that there is a bigger problem and frustration here.

    • J says:

      I agree with you partially. I’m a ‘real musician’ by your definition and I would put Taylor in the overproduced pop category (though I think there’s nothing so wrong with that and she’s a decent musician) but wouldn’t generally put Adele there (though I didn’t like her new album at all). I think Adele has written a lot of great ballads and of course she has a fantastic voice. I agree much of her music sounds the same; a lot of musicians aren’t as keen on Adele because her music is piano heavy and she mostly writes ballads, eg my brother and dad (guitarists and drummers) always complain that she’s using too much piano and her music is too slow. But for me, a trained singer and a classically trained pianist, I really like her piano-heavy music and (previously) more acoustic sound, ie real instruments (she strongly moved away from this on 30). There a lot of snobbery about music but ultimately a lot of it comes down to personal taste, even among people who are trained musicians

  35. els says:

    Say what you will about Taylor, her songwriting is the one thing you can’t discredit her for. And when the few times she cowrote songs, she was transparent about it.

  36. thinking says:

    I don’t think he was misquoted at all, but I can sort of see why he brought the “clickbait” comment in.

    When I read the interview, I noticed it was the journalist who brought up Taylor Swift’s name. I don’t know if he would have volunteered how he perceives Taylor Swift if her name hadn’t been brought up. I don’t think Damon Albarn was tricked or anything like that, but I think it might have been one of those moments where he was in conversation/dialogue and he answered to a question asked of him and gave a misinformed answer about her capabilities. I don’t think he intentionally set out to mention her name in a negative context to get press for himself, based on how her name came into the conversation.

    • thinking says:

      Actually, reading the interview again, I noticed Damon Albarn said “Name me someone who’s not” and the journalist mentioned Taylor Swift.

      So, I amend my comment to say that I think Damon Albarn set himself up. Whoops.

      • Melissa says:

        I commend you for rectifying your error. If only others on this thread did the same. They’re losing their minds over a misunderstanding. He did set himself up by not knowing much about Taylor. That was his mistake and he apologized for it. That’s it.

  37. Cortney says:

    Someone above said “I do think Taylor writes her own songs because they are childish and vengeful.” If you haven’t listened to her discography, baby, just say that. 😏

    • Lucille says:

      I have and I agree with them. The songs are childish.

    • RubySlider says:

      Right, like tell me you’ve never listened to Folklore or Evermore without telling me! Childish?? Listen to Marjorie and tell me that is childish. I’m shocked that anyone still believe that about Taylor in 2022.

  38. Beff says:

    All these men in the comments thinking they’re doing something. Holy shit, CB you’re so mainstream now men think they are making relevant statements. Lol. Almost as relevant as Derek.

    As an aside, I’ve attended probably 1000 concerts in my 46 yrs and couldn’t pick Derek out of a lineup. Or name one of his songs. I also don’t listen to Taylor’s music but have absorbed tons of her music just bc she’s prolific.

    • ?? Pretty sure the majority of commenters in this thread (and on CB in general) are female.

      And if by “Derek” you mean Damon Albarn, he’s well-known for fronting Blur, who were HUGE in the 90s (at least in the UK). Since then, he’s been famous for Gorillaz. I respectfully submit that someone is culturally relevant even if you haven’t heard of them; it may simply be that you follow very different genres/eras of music (which is okay).

  39. The Voice says:

    So Taylor writes or co-writes her songs but he doesn’t recognize her as a songwriter. But Billie Eilish co-writes her songs and he recognizes her as a songwriter. That just logically doesn’t make sense. He’s letting his feelings and emotions get in the way of logic.

  40. thinking says:

    I know who Damon Albarn is and I think he is gifted, but I don’t know why he waded into this if he was going to have to apologize.

  41. Jan says:

    At minimum Jack A has alluded that Taylor doesn’t write her own songs. I use to know someone who knew him. Context I wS gushing I love T and… she tired to hide her source but she’s just to honest/ernest.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Interesting…a bit odd too since Jack tweeted vehemently in defense of her the other day.

  42. Tim+Whatley says:

    He used to be hot.
    And like “Beelebum” was such superior song writing, lol. What an ass.

  43. Lucille says:

    This is a common theme with Taylor. The minute someone uses her name and doesn’t just praise her she gets upset and sends her minions to bully those people. She never got over her Highschool mean girl phase. He doesn’t like her songwriting, or let’s say co-writing and is more than entitled to that opinion. I think most musicians really don’t like Taylor’s music. It’s not a big deal.

    • Or maybe people are sick and tired of kneejerk misogyny. “People are allowed to not like her music” is a straw man argument; the problem isn’t that he doesn’t like her music. The problem is that for the nth time, a man is claiming that a woman doesn’t deserve credit for her own work.

  44. nutella toast says:


    Also, I lived in LA during the 90’s and didn’t know this guy’s name. I went to clubs, concerts, and worked in the industry and had friends in a wide circle and no one ever talked about either of those bands enough for me to remember – I’m guessing it’s a very specific taste or genre but not knowing him doesn’t mean you lived under a rock. I lived under the Hollywood sign though?

    • Wow….I’ll bet you have some great stories!

      Albarn’s more well-known in the UK. He was part of the Britpop scene in the ’90s, but over here it was more about grunge and alternative. Good times. 🥰

  45. Clara Barton says:

    Damon Albarn has been doing and saying shit about women like this his whole career. I’m old enough to remember when he tacitly took credit for writing his then-girlfriend’s band’s album (Elastica). He couldn’t stand it that they were popular in the U.S. while his band could not gain traction. Also blamed her for his doing heroin. The worst part of this Taylor Swift thing in my opinion is not the lies he told in the interview but his “apology to her” in which he lied about lying. Classic gaslighting. He did the same thing to Adele. Like Taylor and Adele, I was a big fan of his music. But this is the last straw for me. There are plenty of other artists to enjoy who aren’t scumbags.

  46. Yinyang says:

    If she writes the lyrics I can believe it like “ohh baby baby you’re so fine” but I don’t think she composes her music, like rythum beats the actual sound, if she does it’s with a team.