Albarn, best known for being the songwriter and lead vocalist for the bands Blur and Gorillaz, accused Swift of not writing her own songs. The cross-genre singer responded over Twitter, calling his comment “damaging”.
Albarn makes comments about Swift
In an interview, Albarn was asked if he thinks “a lot of modern musicians are relying on sound and attitude,” to which he responded, “Name me someone who’s not.” The interviewer goes on to compliment Taylor Swift’s work. The star has been known for writing personal songs about love, heartbreak, and growing up, for almost two decades.
She recently released two surprise albums, Forklore and Evermore, which were created during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. She has also been on a journey rerecording her albums in retaliation to music producer Scooter Braun acquiring and selling her master recordings.
Making a jab at Swift, Albarn responded to the interviewer, “She doesn’t write her own songs.”
He goes on to say that “co-writing” isn’t the same. Albarn adds, “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.”
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.”
Bringing Swift back into the narrative, he added, “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.”
Swift strikes back, Albarn apologizes
Swift hit back, tweeting her response to her 89.9 million followers. Quote-tweeting the Los Angeles Times, she wrote, “I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really f**ked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.”
She instantly followed up her tweet with, “PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering.”
Albarn responded to her tweet hours later with an apology. He accused the entertainment outlet of using his words as “clickbait”. The rock singer wrote, “I totally agree with you. i had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait.”
Albarn continued, “I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand.” He signed off the tweet with his name.
Swift has yet to respond to his apology, her fans however have rejected it.
Many have gone on to question Albarn, stating that his words were not taken out of context or used as clickbait, given that the full transcript of his conversation with the Los Angeles Times was included. Others are chalking up his apology as a PR statement to reduce damage.