Taylor Swift is not one who abides by the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” She’s sold over 20 million albums worldwide with her uniquely personal musical style that blends confessional lyrics with pop-tinged-yet-still-Nashville-friendly instrumentals, but seems committed to shaking things up on her fourth studio album, Red. The first single from the album, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (watch the video!), was a pretty stark departure from her past material in that it’s an unapologetic swing for the pop music fences. That collaboration with Swedish hit-making machines Max Martin (Katy Perry, Britney Spears) and Shellback (Maroon 5, Adam Lambert) resulted in her first career #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, but Taylor’s willingness to experiment didn’t stop with Top 40 friendly beats.
Recently, VH1 News’ own Lauren Smith caught up with Taylor Swift here at VH1 headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and asked her about the risky decision to embrace dubstep on her song “I Knew You Were Trouble” on Red. (See video above.)
“As far as the production of this album,” Taylor explained, “I really wanted every single song to operate from an emotional place. Take the song, listen to it acoustically — what does that emotion sound like on a bigger scale? Like, if you’re dealing with the sound of being completely let down by someone and feeling that frustration and complex emotion there, and that sounds like kind of intense, bass-heavy production — That’s what we did. We didn’t overthink it, we just kind of went to a place of, ‘Alright, if you’re feeling this way, and you’re feeling this way in your head, what does that sound like?’ I worked with a bunch of different amazing producers and there are some incredible risks taken musically on this album, but they’re all risks I’m really proud to take.”
It seems her fans would agree, as “I Knew You Were Trouble” spent some time two weeks ago sitting at #1 on the iTunes single chart. Despite the fact that this particular song did not make the setlist for Taylor’s upcoming performance on VH1 Storytellers in November, that doesn’t mean that we’re any less excited to share the whole show with you. Set your stopwatches, VH1 Storytellers: Taylor Swift will air on November 11th at 6 p.m. ET/PT.