Damon Albarn: What the Blur frontman said about Taylor Swift’s songwriting – and how did she respond on Twitter?


‘Does Taylor Swift write her own songs?’ is the question everyone is asking following a claim made by Damon Albarn, the frontman of Blur and Gorillaz.

Damon Albarn sparked outrage online after claiming that Taylor Swift “doesn’t write her own songs” in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.

His comments were called “completely ignorant” by other musicians online, following a direct callout on Twitter by the Very good a singer.

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Who is Damon Albarn?

Albarn is an English singer and musician, best known as the frontman and main lyricist of the band Blur, and the co-founder, lead vocalist, instrumentalist and main songwriter of the band Gorillaz.

Blur released their first single in 1990 with the song She is so tallwhich reached number 48 on the UK Singles Chart.

Their first album, Hobbies, released in 1991, reached number seven on the UK Albums Chart, but was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans. Their second album, Modern life suckswhich was released in 1993, peaked below its debut as number 15 on the UK Albums Chart.

Damon Albarn is best known for his involvement with bands Blur and Gorillaz (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It was their third studio album, the 1994 Parklife, which really made Blur so successful. It entered the UK charts at number one and stayed on the UK charts for 90 weeks. The following year, Blur won four awards at the 1995 Brit Awards, namely Best British Group and British Album of the Year for Parklife.

Other albums released by Blur over the years include fall out in 1997, 13 in 1999, Thinking group in 2003 and The magic whip in 2015.

In 1998 Albarn co-founded the band Gorillaz alongside comic book artist Jamie Hewlett. They released Gorillaz’ self-titled debut album in 2001 to positive reviews, and in 2005 they released demon days who presented the singles Feel Good Inc and dirty harry.

What did he say about Taylor Swift?

In an interview with the Los Angeles TimesAlbarn claimed that Swift does not write her own songs.

The interviewer, Mikael Wood, said “She may not be to your taste, but Taylor Swift is a great songwriter”, to which Albarn replied, “She doesn’t write her own songs.”

Wood went on to say that “of course” Swift writes her own songs and she also co-writes some of them.

Albarn then said, “That doesn’t count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different from writing. I don’t hate anyone, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes.

Albarn said Taylor Swift doesn’t write her own songs – a claim he would quickly back down (Picture: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

“That doesn’t mean the result 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 be there. I guess I’m a traditionalist in that sense.

“A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I’m more drawn to that than Taylor Swift. It’s just darker – less endlessly upbeat. Much more minor and weird. I think she’s exceptional.

How did Taylor Swift react?

Swift quote tweeted the Los Angeles Times article on Twitter, which read, “Albarn also shares his thoughts on some of today’s chart-topping musical artists. Billie Eilish? “I think she’s exceptional.” Taylor Swift? “She doesn’t write her own songs.”

In her tweet, she called out Albarn directly, tagging him and writing, “@DamonAlbarn I was such a fan of you until I saw this. I write ALL my own songs. Your hot plug is completely wrong and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs, but it’s really shit to try to discredit my songwriting. WOW.”

She followed her tweet with another, stating, “PS I wrote this tweet by myself in case you were wondering.”

A number of Swift’s fellow musicians have also supported her online.

Grammy-winning songwriter and music producer Joel Little tweeted: “Just to confirm what 99% of people already knew, @taylorswift13 is a force of nature in the studio and one of the best at Anyone who’s ever done music with her knows they were lucky to be in the room.

“I don’t know why you @DamonAlbarn would try to discredit Taylor’s brilliant writing, but as someone who started recording around her…your statements couldn’t be further from the truth…you are obviously completely ignorant as to her actual songwriting and working process,” tweeted Aaron Dessner, who has collaborated with Swift on several of her albums, including the 2021 Grammy-winning Album of the Year. Folklore.

A number of Taylor Swift’s fellow musicians have come to her defense on Twitter (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

John Paul White, one half of award-winning duo The Civil Wars, who has worked with Swift in the past on the 2011 song Safe and soundtweeted: “I can personally vouch that she played a major part in the songwriting on Safe and Sound. She turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever worked with. Selfless, generous , insightful, nuanced – with a CLEAR understanding of the mission.”

The official Twitter account of Tidal, which is a music streaming service, tweeted, “I can confirm that Taylor’s pen playing is strong,” adding two screenshots of Taylor Swift being credited as a lyricist on her songs.

Did Damon Albarn apologize?

Following outrage over his comments claiming that Swift doesn’t write her own songs, Albarn quickly apologized “unreservedly and unconditionally.”

Responding to Swift on Twitter, Albarn wrote, “I totally agree with you.

“I had a conversation about songwriting and unfortunately it boiled down to a clickbait.

“I apologize unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your line-up.

“I hope you understand – Damon.”

However, Albarn’s apology didn’t sit well with fans online, with many pointing out the incorrect use of the term “clickbait” and refusing to take responsibility for what he said.

Taylor Swift posing as winner of Album of the Year and Best Pop Album at the 58th GRAMMY Awards (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

One person tweeted: “‘clickbait’ is when a quote is taken out of context in order to trick readers into clicking on a story. The context here is that Albarn said Taylor Swift didn’t write his own songs, had been CORRECTED BY REPORTER and dubbed lmao.

Another wrote, “we can literally read what you said”, along with a screenshot of the interview.

Another tweeted: “‘She doesn’t write her own songs.’ In what context can that mean ANYTHING other than discrediting her writing? Admit you were wrong or sue the @latimes. You would have had to correct you when this article was first published.

“How much of that was reduced to clickbait? You said her songwriting didn’t count as songwriting, then you compared her to another female artist with a completely different style. Don’t turn on no gas and don’t throw someone else under the bus because you never thought she would call you,” another wrote.

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